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Laws of Restitution

22 [a] When someone steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, the thief shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.[b] The thief shall make restitution, but if unable to do so, shall be sold for the theft. When the animal, whether ox or donkey or sheep, is found alive in the thief’s possession, the thief shall pay double.

[c] If a thief is found breaking in, and is beaten to death, no blood-guilt is incurred; but if it happens after sunrise, blood-guilt is incurred.

When someone causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets livestock loose to graze in someone else’s field, restitution shall be made from the best in the owner’s field or vineyard.

When fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, the one who started the fire shall make full restitution.

When someone delivers to a neighbour money or goods for safe keeping, and they are stolen from the neighbour’s house, then the thief, if caught, shall pay double. If the thief is not caught, the owner of the house shall be brought before God,[d] to determine whether or not the owner had laid hands on the neighbour’s goods.

In any case of disputed ownership involving ox, donkey, sheep, clothing, or any other loss, of which one party says, ‘This is mine’, the case of both parties shall come before God;[e] the one whom God condemns[f] shall pay double to the other.

10 When someone delivers to another a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal for safekeeping, and it dies or is injured or is carried off, without anyone seeing it, 11 an oath before the Lord shall decide between the two of them that the one has not laid hands on the property of the other; the owner shall accept the oath, and no restitution shall be made. 12 But if it was stolen, restitution shall be made to its owner. 13 If it was mangled by beasts, let it be brought as evidence; restitution shall not be made for the mangled remains.

14 When someone borrows an animal from another and it is injured or dies, the owner not being present, full restitution shall be made. 15 If the owner was present, there shall be no restitution; if it was hired, only the hiring fee is due.

Social and Religious Laws

16 When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married, and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. 17 But if her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins.

18 You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.

19 Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.

20 Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.

21 You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. 22 You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. 23 If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; 24 my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.

25 If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. 26 If you take your neighbour’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; 27 for it may be your neighbour’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbour cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate.

28 You shall not revile God, or curse a leader of your people.

29 You shall not delay to make offerings from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses.[g]

The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30 You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: for seven days it shall remain with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.

31 You shall be people consecrated to me; therefore you shall not eat any meat that is mangled by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 22:1 Ch 21.37 in Heb
  2. Exodus 22:1 Verses 2, 3, and 4 rearranged thus: 3b, 4, 2, 3a
  3. Exodus 22:2 Ch 22.1 in Heb
  4. Exodus 22:8 Or before the judges
  5. Exodus 22:9 Or before the judges
  6. Exodus 22:9 Or the judges condemn
  7. Exodus 22:29 Meaning of Heb uncertain

Protection of Property

22 [a]“Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back(A) five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

“If a thief is caught breaking in(B) at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;(C) but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.

“Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution,(D) but if they have nothing, they must be sold(E) to pay for their theft. If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession(F)—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double.(G)

“If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in someone else’s field, the offender must make restitution(H) from the best of their own field or vineyard.

“If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks(I) of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution.(J)

“If anyone gives a neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping(K) and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double.(L) But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges,(M) and they must[b] determine whether the owner of the house has laid hands on the other person’s property. In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges.[c](N) The one whom the judges declare[d] guilty must pay back double to the other.

10 “If anyone gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to their neighbor for safekeeping(O) and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking, 11 the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath(P) before the Lord that the neighbor did not lay hands on the other person’s property. The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required. 12 But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, restitution(Q) must be made to the owner. 13 If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the neighbor shall bring in the remains as evidence and shall not be required to pay for the torn animal.(R)

14 “If anyone borrows an animal from their neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution.(S) 15 But if the owner is with the animal, the borrower will not have to pay. If the animal was hired, the money paid for the hire covers the loss.(T)

Social Responsibility

16 “If a man seduces a virgin(U) who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price,(V) and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

18 “Do not allow a sorceress(W) to live.

19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal(X) is to be put to death.

20 “Whoever sacrifices to any god(Y) other than the Lord must be destroyed.[e](Z)

21 “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner,(AA) for you were foreigners(AB) in Egypt.

22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.(AC) 23 If you do and they cry out(AD) to me, I will certainly hear their cry.(AE) 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.(AF)

25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.(AG) 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge,(AH) return it by sunset, 27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in?(AI) When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.(AJ)

28 “Do not blaspheme God[f](AK) or curse(AL) the ruler of your people.(AM)

29 “Do not hold back offerings(AN) from your granaries or your vats.[g]

“You must give me the firstborn of your sons.(AO) 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep.(AP) Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.(AQ)

31 “You are to be my holy people.(AR) So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts;(AS) throw it to the dogs.

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 22:1 In Hebrew texts 22:1 is numbered 21:37, and 22:2-31 is numbered 22:1-30.
  2. Exodus 22:8 Or before God, and he will
  3. Exodus 22:9 Or before God
  4. Exodus 22:9 Or whom God declares
  5. Exodus 22:20 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  6. Exodus 22:28 Or Do not revile the judges
  7. Exodus 22:29 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.

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