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Exodus 22 (Today's New International Version)

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Protection of Property

1 "Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back1 five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep. 2 "If a thief is caught breaking in2 and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;3 3 but if it happensa after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed. "Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution,4 but if they have nothing, they must be sold5 to pay for their theft. 4 If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession6--whether ox or donkey or sheep--they must pay back double.7 5 "If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in another person's field, restitution8 must be made from the best of the livestock owner's field or vineyard. 6 "If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocks9 of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution.10 7 "If anyone gives a neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping11 and they are stolen from the neighbor's house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double.12 8 But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges,13 and they mustb determine whether the owner of the house has laid hands on the other person's property. 9 In 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.c14 The one whom the judges declared guilty must pay back double to the other. 10 "If anyone gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to a neighbor for safekeeping15 and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking, 11 the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath16 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. 12 But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, restitution17 must be made to the owner. 13 If 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.18 14 "If anyone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, restitution19 must be made. 15 But 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.20

Social Responsibility

16 "If a man seduces a virgin21 who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price,22 and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins. 18 "Do not allow a sorceress23 to live. 19 "Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal24 is to be put to death. 20 "Whoever sacrifices to any god25 other than the LORD must be destroyed.e26 21 "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner,27 for you were foreigners28 in Egypt. 22 "Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.29 23 If you do and they cry out30 to me, I will certainly hear their cry.31 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.32 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.33 26 If you take your neighbor's cloak as a pledge,34 return it by sunset, 27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can your neighbor sleep in?35 When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.36 28 "Do not blaspheme Godf37 or curse38 the ruler of your people.39 29 "Do not hold back offerings40 from your granaries or your vats.g "You must give me the firstborn of your sons.41 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep.42 Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.43 31 "You are to be my holy people.44 So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts;45 throw it to the dogs.
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