Exodus 22:27

27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.

Read Exodus 22:27 Using Other Translations

For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.
for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he cries to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.
This coat may be the only blanket your neighbor has. How can a person sleep without it? If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am merciful.

What does Exodus 22:27 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Exodus 22:27

For that is his covering only
All that he has to cover him, the only covering he has when he lies down to sleep; and therefore should be restored to him by the time of sunset, at which time he returns from his labour; and after some refreshment retires to his bed for rest, when his covering will be necessary:

it is his raiment for his skin;
which is next to his skin, and covers his naked body, as it is when he lies down to sleep; and therefore if not returned, he must lie naked without any covering, which to deprive him of would be cruel: Jarchi interprets this covering of his shirt, but it rather means his bed clothes: the Septuagint version calls it the clothes of his shame, what cover and hide the shame of nakedness:

wherein shall he sleep?
what shall he have to sleep in if this is detained from him? nothing at all; or it may be read without an interrogation, wherein he should sleep, or was used to sleep:

and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me;
and complains of ill usage, that he has nothing to cover him in the night season, when he lies down to sleep, which is very uncomfortable, as well as unhealthful and dangerous:

that I will hear;
his cry and complaint, take notice of it, and resent the usage of him:

for I am gracious;
or merciful; and therefore everything cruel and uncompassionate is disagreeable, and even abominable to him, and he will take care in his providence that the injured person shall be redressed and the injurer punished.

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