Protection of Property
In Hebrew texts 22:1 is numbered 21:37, and 22:2-31 is numbered 22:1-30. 1“Whoever 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.
2“If a thief is caught breaking in at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; 3but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.
“Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft. 4If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double.
5“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 from the best of their own field or vineyard.
6“If 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.
7“If 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. 8But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges, and they must22:8 Or before God, and he will determine whether the owner of the house has laid hands on the other person’s property. 9In 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.22:9 Or before God The one whom the judges declare22:9 Or whom God declares 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 and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking, 11the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath 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. 12But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, restitution must be made to the owner. 13If 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.
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. 15But 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.
16“If 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. 17If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.
18“Do not allow a sorceress to live.
19“Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death.
20“Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.22:20 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
21“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
22“Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.
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. 26If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, 27because 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 compassionate.
28“Do not blaspheme God22:28 Or Do not revile the judges or curse the ruler of your people.
29“Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.22:29 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
“You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 30Do 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.
31“You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.
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.
2“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. 3But 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. 4What if the stolen ox, donkey or sheep is found alive with the thief? Then the thief must pay back twice as much.
5“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.
6“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.
7“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. 8But 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. 9Suppose 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. 11Then 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. 12But suppose the animal really was stolen. Then the neighbor must pay the owner back. 13Or 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. 15But 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. 17But 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. 23If you do, they might cry out to me. I will certainly hear them. 24And 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. 26Suppose your neighbor owes you money and gives you a coat as a promise to pay it back. Then return it by sunset. 27That 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. 30Do 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.