Exodus 22:11

11 the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath 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.

Read Exodus 22:11 Using Other Translations

Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
an 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.
The neighbor must then take an oath in the presence of the LORD . If the LORD confirms that the neighbor did not steal the property, the owner must accept the verdict, and no payment will be required.

What does Exodus 22:11 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 22:11

Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both
Either by the one, the keeper, for the satisfaction of the owner, or by them both; by the owner, that he delivered such and such cattle to the keeper; and by the keeper, that he was no ways concerned in the death, hurt, or carrying off of the same: and this is called "the oath of the Lord", not only because in this law required by him, but because sworn by him, or in his name, and made before him, in his presence, who is hereby appealed unto; and who is called upon to take vengeance on the person that takes the oath of perjury; and such an oath only is a lawful one, men are to swear only by the Lord. But this oath was not tendered to anyone:

``if a man was suspected of an oath (i.e. of perjury) they might not give him his oath, neither the oath of the law, nor the oath from their words (the scribes), nor the oath of imposition (imposed by the wise wen); and even though he that brought the action would have it, they might not hearken unto him: if a man has swore falsely a rash oath, or an oath of testimony, or an oath concerning anything deposited, or a vain oath, lo, he is suspected of an oath, and so everyone that is rejected for witness on account of any transgression F23.''

The oath to be taken by the keeper, and who indeed seems to be the only person that was to take one, was, "that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods"; so as either to kill or maim, or drive away, or suffer to be driven away, any of the cattle committed to his care, or that he had not disposed of them to his own use and profit:

and the owner of it shall accept thereof;
of the oath, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi, and so be satisfied, and give no further trouble, such an oath being for the confirmation of the thing, and to put an end to strife; or he shall take the ass, ox, or sheep, as it was, and be content; but then, though he might take the dead or maimed one, he could not take that which was driven or carried away, wherefore the first sense, is best:

and he shall not make [it] good;
or pay for it to the owner what it was worth.


F23 Maimon. Hilchot Toan Venitan, c. 2. sect. 1, 2.
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