Exodus 22

Listen to Exodus 22
1 [a]"If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and 1four sheep for a sheep.
2 [b] If a thief is found 2breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him,
3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then 3he shall be sold for his theft.
4 If the stolen beast 4is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, 5he shall pay double.
5 "If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man's field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.
6 "If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.
7 "If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man's house, then, if the thief is found, 6he shall pay double.
8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor's property.
9 For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, 'This is it,' the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.
10 "If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it,
11 7an oath by the LORD shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor's property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution.
12 But if 8it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner.
13 If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn.
14 "If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution.
15 If the owner was with it, he shall not make restitution; if it was hired, it came for its hiring fee.[c]

Laws About Social Justice

16 9"If a man seduces a virgin[d] who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price[e] for her and make her his wife.
17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, 10he shall pay money equal to the 11bride-price for virgins.
18 12"You shall not permit a sorceress to live.
19 13"Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.
20 14"Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the LORD alone, shall be devoted to destruction.[f]
21 15"You shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
22 16You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child.
23 If you do mistreat them, and they 17cry out to me, I will surely 18hear their cry,
24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and 19your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
25 20"If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.
26 21If ever you take your neighbor's cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down,
27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he 22cries to me, I will hear, for I am 23compassionate.
28 24"You shall not revile God, nor 25curse a ruler of your people.
29 "You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. 26The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me.
30 27You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: 28seven days it shall be with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.
31 29"You shall be consecrated to me. Therefore 30you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; 31you shall throw it to the dogs.

Exodus 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Judicial laws.

- The people of God should ever be ready to show mildness and mercy, according to the spirit of these laws. We must answer to God, not only for what we do maliciously, but for what we do heedlessly. Therefore, when we have done harm to our neighbour, we should make restitution, though not compelled by law. Let these scriptures lead our souls to remember, that if the grace of God has indeed appeared to us, then it has taught us, and enabled us so to conduct ourselves by its holy power, that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, ( Titus 2:12 ) . And the grace of God teaches us, that as the Lord is our portion, there is enough in him to satisfy all the desires of our souls.

Cross References 31

  • 1. 2 Samuel 12:6; [Proverbs 6:31; Luke 19:8]
  • 2. Matthew 24:43
  • 3. [Exodus 21:2]
  • 4. Exodus 21:16
  • 5. [ver. 1]
  • 6. [See ver. 4 above]
  • 7. Hebrews 6:16
  • 8. Genesis 31:39
  • 9. Deuteronomy 22:28, 29
  • 10. [See ver. 16 above]
  • 11. Genesis 34:12; 1 Samuel 18:25
  • 12. Leviticus 19:26, 31; Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10, 11; 1 Samuel 28:3, 9
  • 13. Leviticus 18:23; Leviticus 20:15; Deuteronomy 27:21
  • 14. [Num. 25:2, 7, 8; Joshua 23:16]; See Deuteronomy 13:1-15; Deuteronomy 17:2-5
  • 15. Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:33; Deuteronomy 10:18, 19; Jeremiah 7:6; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5
  • 16. Deuteronomy 24:17; Deuteronomy 27:19; Psalms 94:6; Isaiah 1:17, 23; Isaiah 10:2; Ezekiel 22:7; Zechariah 7:10; James 1:27
  • 17. Job 34:28; Luke 18:7
  • 18. Psalms 18:6; Psalms 145:19; [James 5:4]
  • 19. Psalms 109:9; Lamentations 5:3
  • 20. Leviticus 25:35-37; Deuteronomy 23:19, 20; Nehemiah 5:7; Psalms 15:5; Proverbs 28:8; Ezek. 18:8, 13, 17; Ezekiel 22:12
  • 21. Deuteronomy 24:13, 17; Proverbs 20:16; Ezekiel 18:7, 16; Amos 2:8; [Proverbs 22:27]
  • 22. [See ver. 23 above]
  • 23. Exodus 34:6; 2 Chronicles 30:9; Nehemiah 9:17
  • 24. Cited Acts 23:5; [2 Samuel 19:21; Ecclesiastes 10:20; Jude 8]
  • 25. Cited Acts 23:5; [2 Samuel 19:21; Ecclesiastes 10:20; Jude 8]
  • 26. See Exodus 13:2
  • 27. Deuteronomy 15:19
  • 28. Leviticus 22:27
  • 29. Exodus 19:6; Leviticus 11:44, 45
  • 30. Leviticus 22:8; Ezekiel 4:14; Ezekiel 44:31
  • 31. [Matthew 7:6]

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Ch 21:37 in Hebrew
  • [b]. Ch 22:1 in Hebrew
  • [c]. Or it is reckoned in (Hebrew comes into) its hiring fee
  • [d]. Or a girl of marriageable age; also verse 17
  • [e]. Or engagement present; also verse 17
  • [f]. That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains various laws concerning theft, Ex 22:1-4, concerning damage done to fields and vineyards by beasts, and to corn in stacks or standing, by fire, Ex 22:5,6, concerning anything or creature deposited in the hands of a neighbour, and they be stolen or lost by one means or another, Ex 22:7-13, concerning anything borrowed, and it comes to any damage, Ex 22:14,15, concerning fornication, Ex 22:16,17 concerning witchcraft, bestiality, and idolatry, Ex 22:18-20 concerning oppression, and affliction of the stranger, fatherless, and widow, Ex 22:21-24 concerning taking usury and pledges, Ex 22:25-27, concerning irreverence to magistrates, Ex 22:28, concerning the offering of firstfruits to God, Ex 22:29,30 and the chapter is concluded with a prohibition of eating anything torn by beasts, Ex 22:31.

Exodus 22 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.