Exodus 22:13

Exodus 22:13

If it be torn in pieces
By some wild beast, at least as pretended:

[then] let him bring it for witness;
part of that which is torn, that it may be witness for him that it was torn, as in ( Amos 3:12 ) as Aben Ezra observes; and so the Jerusalem Targurn,

``let him bring of the members of it a witness,''

which would make it a clear case that it had been so used; but it is possible that the whole carcass might be carried off, and nothing remain to be brought as a proof of it; wherefore the Targum of Jonathan is,

``let him bring witnesses;''

and so some versions render it F26; and to this agrees Jarchi, whose note is,

``let him bring witnesses of its being torn by violence, and he is free,''

such who saw it done; but it is before supposed, that such cattle may be hurt, broken, or maimed, no man seeing it, ( Exodus 22:10 ) and therefore in such a case no witnesses could be brought, wherefore the first sense seems best:

[and] he shall not make good that which was torn;
or shall not pay for it, pay the price of it, as much as it is worth. Here Jarchi distinguishes,

``there is that which is torn, for which a man pays, and there is that which is torn, for which he does not pay; that which is torn by a cat, or a fox, or a marten (a kind of weasel), he pays for, but that which is torn by a wolf, a lion, or a bear, he does not pay for:''

the reason of which is, because it is thought the keeper might have preserved and delivered from the former, and therefore was culpable, when it was not in his power to save from the latter; and the Misnic doctors observe, that one wolf is not violence, but two are; so that what is torn by one, the keeper is bound to pay for, but not what is torn by more. But two dogs are not violence, unless they come from two different quarters, and then they are: a single thief is violence, and so is a lion, a bear, a leopard, a basilisk, and a serpent, and this only when they come willingly, and of themselves; but if they (the cattle) are brought to places where there are troops of wild beasts, and thieves, it is no violence F1, and in such a case the keepers are liable to pay; and so unless he makes use of staves, and calls in other shepherds to his assistance, as Maimonides F2 observes, when it is in his power to do it; and so at least might make an attempt to save or rescue the cattle.


F26 (de whaby) "adducet eum testem", Pagninus, Montanus; "adducat ille testem", Munster, Fagius.
F1 Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 7. sect. 9.
F2 Hilchot Shecirat, c. 3. sect. 6.