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Exodus 22:1-15 (New International Reader's Version)

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Laws About Keeping Property Safe

1 "Suppose a man steals an ox or a sheep. And suppose he kills it or sells it. Then he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox. Or he must pay back four sheep or goats for the sheep. 2 "Suppose you catch a thief breaking into your house. And suppose you hit the thief and kill him. Then you are not guilty of murder. 3 But suppose it happens after the sun has come up. Then you are guilty of murder. "A thief must pay for what he has stolen. But suppose he does not have anything. Then he must be sold to pay for what he has stolen. 4 "What if the stolen ox, donkey or sheep is found alive with him? Then the thief must pay back twice as much as he stole. 5 "Suppose a man lets his livestock eat grass in someone else's field or vineyard. Then he must pay that person back from the best crops of his own field or vineyard. 6 "Suppose a fire breaks out and spreads into bushes. It burns grain that has been cut and stacked. Or it burns grain that is still growing. Or it burns the whole field. Then the one who started the fire must pay for the loss. 7 "Suppose a man gives his neighbor silver or other things to keep safe. And suppose they are stolen from the neighbor's house. If the thief is caught, he must pay back twice as much as he stole. 8 "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. 9 "Suppose you have an ox, donkey, sheep or clothing that does not belong to you. Or you have other property that was 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 a man asks his 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 taking an oath and promising the LORD to tell the truth. "Suppose the neighbor takes an oath and 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 a man borrows an animal from his neighbor. And it gets hurt or dies while the owner is not there. Then the man must pay for it. 15 "But suppose the owner is with the animal. Then the man will not have to pay. If he hired the animal, the money he paid to hire it covers the loss.
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