New Living Translation

Exodus 22

Protection of Property

1[a]“If someone steals an ox[b] or sheep and then kills or sells it, the thief must pay back five oxen for each ox stolen, and four sheep for each sheep stolen.

[c]“If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder. But if it happens in daylight, the one who killed the thief is guilty of murder.

“A thief who is caught must pay in full for everything he stole. If he cannot pay, he must be sold as a slave to pay for his theft. If someone steals an ox or a donkey or a sheep and it is found in the thief’s possession, then the thief must pay double the value of the stolen animal.

“If an animal is grazing in a field or vineyard and the owner lets it stray into someone else’s field to graze, then the animal’s owner must pay compensation from the best of his own grain or grapes.

“If you are burning thornbushes and the fire gets out of control and spreads into another person’s field, destroying the sheaves or the uncut grain or the whole crop, the one who started the fire must pay for the lost crop.

“Suppose someone leaves money or goods with a neighbor for safekeeping, and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house. If the thief is caught, the compensation is double the value of what was stolen. But if the thief is not caught, the neighbor must appear before God,[d] who will determine if he stole the property.

“Suppose there is a dispute between two people who both claim to own a particular ox, donkey, sheep, article of clothing, or any lost property. Both parties must come before God, and the person whom God declares[e] guilty must pay double compensation to the other.

10 “Now suppose someone leaves a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal with a neighbor for safekeeping, but it dies or is injured or is taken away, and no one sees what happened. 11 The neighbor must then take an oath in the presence of the Lord. If the Lord confirms that the neighbor did not steal the property, the owner must accept the verdict, and no payment will be required. 12 But if the animal was indeed stolen, the guilty person must pay compensation to the owner. 13 If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the remains of the carcass must be shown as evidence, and no compensation will be required.

14 “If someone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is injured or dies when the owner is absent, the person who borrowed it must pay full compensation. 15 But if the owner was present, no compensation is required. And no compensation is required if the animal was rented, for this loss is covered by the rental fee.

Social Responsibility

16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and has sex with her, he must pay the customary bride price and marry her. 17 But if her father refuses to let him marry her, the man must still pay him an amount equal to the bride price of a virgin.

18 “You must not allow a sorceress to live.

19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must certainly be put to death.

20 “Anyone who sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.[f]

21 “You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

22 “You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. 23 If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.

25 “If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would. 26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as security for a loan, you must return it before sunset. 27 This coat may be the only blanket your neighbor has. How can a person sleep without it? If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am merciful.

28 “You must not dishonor God or curse any of your rulers.

29 “You must not hold anything back when you give me offerings from your crops and your wine.

“You must give me your firstborn sons.

30 “You must also give me the firstborn of your cattle, sheep, and goats. But leave the newborn animal with its mother for seven days; then give it to me on the eighth day.

31 “You must be my holy people. Therefore, do not eat any animal that has been torn up and killed by wild animals. Throw it to the dogs.

Notas al pie

  1. 22:1a Verse 22:1 is numbered 21:37 in Hebrew text.
  2. 22:1b Or bull, or cow; also in 22:4, 9, 10.
  3. 22:2 Verses 22:2-31 are numbered 22:1-30 in Hebrew text.
  4. 22:8 Or before the judges.
  5. 22:9 Or before the judges, and the person whom the judges declare.
  6. 22:20 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.

New International Reader's Version

Exodus 22

Laws About Keeping Property Safe

1“Suppose someone steals an ox or a sheep. And suppose that person kills it or sells it. Then the thief must pay back five oxen for the ox. Or the thief must pay back four sheep for the sheep.

“Suppose you catch a thief breaking into your house at night. And suppose you hit the thief and the thief dies. Then you are not guilty of murder. But suppose it happens after the sun has come up. Then you are guilty of murder.

“Anyone who steals must pay for whatever they steal. But suppose the thief does not have anything. Then the thief must be sold to pay for what was stolen. What if the stolen ox, donkey or sheep is found alive with the thief? Then the thief must pay back twice as much.

“Suppose someone lets their livestock eat grass in someone else’s field or vineyard. Then they must pay that person back from the best crops of their own field or vineyard.

“Suppose a fire breaks out and spreads into bushes. Suppose it burns cut and stacked grain or grain that is still growing. Or suppose it burns the whole field. Then the one who started the fire must pay for the loss.

“Suppose someone gives a neighbor silver or other things to keep safe. And suppose they are stolen from the neighbor’s house. The thief, if caught, must pay back twice as much as was stolen. But suppose the thief is not found. Then the neighbor must go to the judges. They will decide whether the neighbor has stolen the other person’s property. Suppose you have an ox, donkey, sheep or clothing that does not belong to you. Or you have other property lost by someone else. And suppose someone says, ‘That belongs to me.’ Then both people must bring their case to the judges. The one the judges decide is guilty must pay back twice as much to the other person.

10 “Suppose someone asks their neighbor to take care of a donkey, ox, sheep or any other animal. And suppose the animal dies or gets hurt. Or suppose it is stolen while no one is looking. 11 Then the problem will be settled by promising the Lord to tell the truth. Suppose the neighbor says, ‘I didn’t steal your property.’ Then the owner must accept what the neighbor says. No payment is required. 12 But suppose the animal really was stolen. Then the neighbor must pay the owner back. 13 Or suppose it was torn to pieces by a wild animal. Then the neighbor must bring in what is left as proof. No payment is required.

14 “Suppose someone borrows an animal from their neighbor. And it gets hurt or dies while the owner is not there. Then the borrower must pay for it. 15 But suppose the owner is with the animal. Then the borrower will not have to pay. If the borrower hired the animal, the money paid to hire it covers the loss.

Laws About Social Problems

16 “Suppose a man meets a virgin who is not engaged. And he talks her into having sex with him. Then he must pay her father the price for a bride. And he must marry her. 17 But suppose her father absolutely refuses to give her to him. Then he must still pay the price for getting married to a virgin.

18 “Do not let a woman who does evil magic stay alive. Put her to death.

19 “Anyone who has sex with an animal must be put to death.

20 “Anyone who sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.

21 “Do not treat outsiders badly. Do not give them a hard time. Remember, you were outsiders in Egypt.

22 “Do not take advantage of widows. Do not take advantage of children whose fathers have died. 23 If you do, they might cry out to me. I will certainly hear them. 24 And I will get angry. I will kill you with a sword. Your wives will become widows. Your children’s fathers will die.

25 “Suppose you lend money to one of my people among you who is in need. Then do not treat it like a business deal. Do not charge any interest at all. 26 Suppose your neighbor owes you money and gives you a coat as a promise to pay it back. Then return it by sunset. 27 That coat is the only thing your neighbor owns to wear or sleep in. When they cry out to me, I will listen, because I am loving and kind.

28 “Do not speak evil things against God. Do not curse the ruler of your people.

29 “Do not keep for yourself your grain offerings or wine offerings.

“You must give me the oldest of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days. But give them to me on the eighth day.

31 “I want you to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of any animal that has been torn by wild animals. Throw it to the dogs.