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Property Laws

22 “A man might steal a bull or a sheep and kill or sell it. Then he must pay back five bulls for the one bull he stole. Or he must pay back four sheep for the one sheep he stole.

2-4 “The robber who is caught must pay back what he stole. He might own nothing. Then he must be sold as a slave to pay for what he stole. The stolen animal might be found alive with the robber. Then he must give the owner two animals for every animal he stole. He must pay, whether he stole a bull, donkey or sheep.

“A thief might be killed while breaking into a house at night. Then the one who killed him is not guilty of murder. But if this happens during the day, he is guilty of murder.

“A person might let his farm animal graze in his field or vineyard. And it might wander into another person’s field or vineyard. Then the owner of the animal must pay back the loss. The payment must come from the best of his crop.

“A man might start a fire that spreads through the thornbushes to his neighbor’s field. The fire might burn his neighbor’s growing grain or grain that has been stacked. Or it might burn his whole field. Then the person who started the fire must pay for what was burned.

“A man might give his neighbor money or other things to keep for him. Those things might be stolen from the neighbor’s house. And the thief might be caught. Then he must pay back twice as much as he stole. But maybe the thief is never found. Then the owner of the house must make a promise before God. He must promise that he has not stolen his neighbor’s things.

“Two men might disagree about who owns something. It might be an ox, donkey, sheep or clothing. Or it might be something else that is lost. Each says, ‘This is mine.’ Each man must bring his case to God. God’s judges will decide who is guilty. Then he must pay the other man twice as much as the thing is worth.

10 “A man might ask his neighbor to keep his animal for him. This animal might be a donkey, ox, sheep or some other animal. And that animal might die, be hurt or be taken away. And no one saw what happened. 11 That neighbor must promise before the Lord that he did not harm or kill the other man’s animal. The owner of the animal must accept his promise made before God. The neighbor does not have to pay the owner for the animal. 12 But the animal might have been stolen from the neighbor. Then he must pay the owner for it. 13 Wild animals might have killed the animal. Then the neighbor must bring the body as proof. He will not have to pay for the animal that was killed.

14 “A man might borrow an animal from his neighbor. It might get hurt or die while the owner is not there. Then the one who borrowed it must pay the owner for the animal. 15 The owner might be with the animal. Then the one who borrowed it does not have to pay. If the animal was rented, the rental price covers the loss.

Laws and Relationships

16 “A man might find a woman who is not pledged to be married. She has never had physical relations with a man. He might trick her into having physical relations with him. Then he must give her family the payment to marry her. And she will be his wife. 17 But her father might refuse to allow his daughter to marry him. Then the man must still give the payment for a bride. He must pay the usual charge for a woman who is a virgin.

18 “Put to death any woman who does evil magic.

19 “Put to death anyone who has unnatural physical relations with an animal.

20 “Destroy completely any person who makes a sacrifice to any god except the Lord.

21 “Do not cheat or hurt a foreigner. Remember that you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.

22 “Do not cheat a widow or an orphan. 23 If you do, they will cry out to me for help. I certainly will hear their cry. 24 And I will be very angry and kill you in war. Then your wives will become widows, and your children will become orphans.

25 “You might lend money to one of my people who is poor. Then do not treat him as a moneylender would. Charge him nothing for using your money. 26 Your neighbor might give you his coat as a promise. He is promising to pay you the money he owes you. But you must give it back to him by sunset. 27 That coat is the only cover to keep his body warm. He has nothing else to sleep in. If he cries out to me for help, I will listen because I am merciful.

28 “You must not speak against God. You must not curse a leader of your people.

29 “Do not hold back your offering from the first of your harvest. Give me the first grain that you harvest. Give me the first wine that you make. Also, you must give me your firstborn sons. 30 You must do the same with your bulls and your sheep. Let the firstborn males stay with their mothers for seven days. On the eighth day you must give them to me.

31 “You are to be my holy people. You must not eat the meat of any animal that has been killed by wild animals. Instead, give it to the dogs.

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