If fire break out
Even though of itself, as Jarchi interprets it:
and catch in thorns
a thorn hedge or fence, with which cornfields might be en closed:
so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be
whether it be corn cut down, bound up in sheaves, and laid up in heaps or stacks, or whether it be yet growing, and not fully ripe, at least not cut down, or any other fruits of the field; if the fire that takes the thorns which are near them should reach to those, and kindle upon them and destroy them:
he that kindleth the fire, shall surely make restitution:
that is, though he kindles the fire upon his own ground, yet being careless of it, it breaks out without his intention and design, and catches hold on a thorn hedge between him and his neighbour's field, and so spreads itself to the corn there, whether standing or in stacks, or to other fruits either lying or growing there; now, though he did not kindle the fire in the corn, and among the stacks or heaps of fruit in his neighbours field, yet, for his carelessness in not looking after the fire he had kindled in his own field, he was to make good all the damages his neighbour sustained hereby: the Jewish canons relating to this affair are these;
``if a man kindles a fire by the hands of a deaf man, or a fool, or a child, he is free by human judgment, but he is bound by the judgment of heaven (that is, to make restitution); if he kindles it by the hand of a knowing and understanding man, he is bound; one brings fire and another "afterwards" brings wood, he that brings the wood is bound; one brings wood and another "afterwards" brings fire, he that brings the fire is bound; "after that", another comes and blows the flame (or fire), he is bound; "but if" the wind blows it they are all free; he that kindles fire and it consumes wood or stones, or dust, he is bound, as it is said, ( Exodus 22:6 ) "if fire break out" if the fire passes over a fence four cubits high, or a public road, or a river, he is free F14;''those two things last mentioned, feeding on another man's field and fire, with the ox and the pit, observed in the preceding chapter, are with the Misnic doctors F15, the four fathers' fountains, or sources of damages.
F14 Bartenora in Misn. Gittin, c. 5. sect. 4.
F15 Ib. c. 1. sect. 1.