Exodus 22: Property Laws & Behavioral Relationship Laws
Protection of Property
Protection of Property
& Restitution of Animals
steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay
back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.
a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow,
the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;
if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.
on Theft & Restitution of Animals
who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing,
they must be sold to pay for their theft.
the stolen animal is found alive in their possession—whether ox
or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double.
for damage to neighbours' crops etc.
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 from the best of their own field or vineyard.
a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns
shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one
who started the fire must make restitution.
of Goods Problems
anyone gives a neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping and they
are stolen from the neighbor's house, the thief, if caught, must
pay back double.
if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear
before the judges, and they must determine whether the owner of
the house has laid hands on the other person's property.
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. The one whom the judges declare guilty must pay back double
to the other.
anyone gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to their
neighbor for safekeeping and it dies or is injured or is taken
away while no one is looking,
issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath before
the neighbor did not lay hands on the other person's property.
The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required.
if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, restitution must be
made to the owner.
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.
anyone borrows an animal from their neighbor and it is injured
or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution.
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
Each of these laws accepts, in one way or another, the
concept of rights of ownership of goods and property and caters
for violations of those rights.]
to Young Women
a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps
with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife.
her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still
pay the bride-price for virgins.
Bestiality & Idolatry
not allow a sorceress to live.
who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death.
sacrifices to any god other than the Lord
for foreigners and the weak and needy
not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in
not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.
you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.
anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your
wives will become widows and your children fatherless.
you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do
not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.
you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset,
that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can
they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am
not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.
not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. “You
must give me the firstborn of your sons.
the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their
mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.
are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal
torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.
Within this very mixed bunch of laws there is a combination
of respecting individual identity and maintaining that identity
of all individuals made in the image of God. The scope of the
built-in sub-headings shows the variety of ways people can abuse
that ‘image of God' concept and respect and honouring others in
Continue to Chapter 23