Exodus 22:1 “…restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep”
Restoration due if the thief kills or sells what he stole. Five to one for an ox and four to one for a sheep. Will see in a moment he only has to pay double if he can return what was stolen.
2-3 “…found breaking in…If the sun has risen on him…”
If the owner catches him breaking in and attacks him, the owner’s not held responsible for what happens to him. But he can’t go after the fellow later and do anything to him. Commentary also seemed to bring out the idea that there is less danger in the daylight. The owner wouldn’t know the person’s intentions if he broke in at night, so anything he does to protect himself and his would be acceptable. Similar to what we have now. An intruder’s intentions are unknown, so a homeowner isn’t held responsible for injury to the intruder if he is protecting his home.
4 “If the theft is certainly found alive …he shall restore double”
He only has to restore double if he’s caught with what he stole and it can be returned. But if he can’t make restitution, he’s sold to pay for the debt. Proverbs mentions this. People don’t despise thieves who steal when they’re starving, but they still have to make restitution. They may lose all they have.
5 “…it feeds in another man’s field…”
Have to pay for any damage your animals cause.
6 “…he who kindled the fire…”
You have to pay for any damage you cause.
8 “…the master of the house shall be brought to the judges…”
If you’re keeping something for someone and it gets stolen, if it can be recovered great. But if not, you would be investigated to see if you were the actual thief. It doesn’t mention what proof they would take to assure the homeowner wasn’t involved.
9 “For any kind of trespass…”
Commentary said this was a case of someone entrusting their property to other keepers only to be told their property was lost or stolen. And yet the owner can see their property. Would be fraud on the part of the keeper. In those cases, it would go before judges and the loser would have to pay double.
11 “…an oath of the LORD shall be between them…the owner of it shall accept that, and he shall not make it good”
If no one sees the property disappear, the keeper can swear an oath to the LORD that he didn’t have anything to do with the disappearance, and the owner would have to accept it. But if the keeper has it stolen from him, he’ll have to make restitution. If he can provide evidence that it was taken by wild beasts, then he doesn’t have to make restitution. Commentary said the idea was that he should have provided care well enough to prevent theft, but that an attack from a wild beast wasn’t preventable.
14 “…the owner of it not being with it…”
If someone borrows an animal to use and it dies while he was using it, he has to make good. But if he hires the owner and the animal and the animal dies, he doesn’t have to make good. What he paid for the hire is good enough.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.