Exodus 22

Property Rights

1 "If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and 1four sheep for the sheep.
2 "If the 2thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.
3 "But if the sun has risen on him, there will be bloodguiltiness on his account. He shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be 3sold for his theft.
4 "If what he stole is actually found alive in his possession, whether an ox or a donkey or a sheep, 4he shall pay double.
5 "If a man lets a field or vineyard be grazed bare and lets his animal loose so that it grazes in another man's field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard.
6 "If a fire breaks out and spreads to thorn bushes, so that stacked grain or the standing grain or the field itself is consumed, he who started the fire shall surely make restitution.
7 "5If a man gives his neighbor money or goods to keep for him and it is stolen from the man's house, if the thief is caught, he shall pay double.
8 "If the thief is not caught, then the owner of the house shall appear before 6the judges, to determine whether * he laid his hands on his neighbor's property.
9 "For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any lost thing about which one says, 'This is it,' the case of both parties shall come before 7the judges; he whom the judges condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.
10 "If a man gives his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep for him, and it dies or is hurt or is driven away while no one is looking,
11 an 8oath before the LORD shall be made by the two of them that he has not laid hands on his neighbor's property; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution.
12 "But if it is actually stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner.
13 "If it is all torn to pieces, let him bring it as evidence; he shall not make restitution for what has been torn to pieces.
14 "If a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not with it, he shall make full restitution.
15 "If its owner is with it, he shall not make restitution; if it is hired, it came for its hire.

Sundry Laws

16 "9If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged, and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be his wife.
17 "If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equal to the 10dowry for virgins.
18 "You shall not allow a 11sorceress to live.
19 "12Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.
20 "13He who sacrifices to any god, other than to the LORD alone, shall be utterly destroyed.
21 "14You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
22 "15You shall not afflict any widow or orphan.
23 "If you afflict him at all, and 16if he does cry out to Me, 17I will surely hear his cry;
24 and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, 18and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.
25 "19If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, you are not to act as a creditor to him; you shall not charge * him 20interest.
26 "If you ever take your neighbor's cloak 21as a pledge, you are to return it to him before the sun sets,
27 for that is his only covering; it is his cloak for his body. What else shall he sleep in? And it shall come about that 22when he cries out to Me, I will hear him, for 23I am gracious.
28 "You shall not 24curse God, 25nor curse a ruler of your people.
29 "26You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. 27The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.
30 "28You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; 29on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.
31 "30You shall be holy men to Me, therefore 31you shall not eat any flesh torn to pieces in the field; you 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; Luke 19:8
  • 2. Matthew 6:19; Matthew 24:43; 1 Peter 4:15
  • 3. Matthew 18:25
  • 4. Exodus 22:7
  • 5. Leviticus 6:1-7
  • 6. Exodus 22:9; Deuteronomy 17:8, 9; Deuteronomy 19:17
  • 7. Exodus 22:8, 28; Deuteronomy 25:1
  • 8. Hebrews 6:16
  • 9. Deuteronomy 22:28, 29
  • 10. Genesis 34:12; 1 Samuel 18:25
  • 11. Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6, 27; Deuteronomy 18:10, 11; 1 Samuel 28:3; Jeremiah 27:9, 10
  • 12. Leviticus 18:23; Leviticus 20:15, 16; Deuteronomy 27:21
  • 13. Exodus 32:8; Exodus 34:15; Leviticus 17:7; Numbers 25:2; Deut 17:2, 3, 5; 1 Kings 18:40; 2 Kings 10:25
  • 14. Exodus 23:9; Leviticus 19:33, 34; Leviticus 25:35; Deuteronomy 1:16; Deuteronomy 10:19; Deuteronomy 27:19; Zechariah 7:10
  • 15. Deuteronomy 24:17, 18; Proverbs 23:10, 11; Jeremiah 7:6, 7
  • 16. Deuteronomy 15:9; Job 35:9; Luke 18:7
  • 17. Deuteronomy 10:18; Job 34:28; Ps 10:14, 17, 18; Psalms 18:6; Psalms 68:5; James 5:4
  • 18. Psalms 109:2, 9
  • 19. Leviticus 25:35-37; Deuteronomy 15:7-11
  • 20. Deuteronomy 23:19, 20; Nehemiah 5:7; Psalms 15:5; Ezekiel 18:8
  • 21. Deut 24:6, 10-13; Job 24:3; Proverbs 20:16; Amos 2:8
  • 22. Exodus 22:23
  • 23. Exodus 34:6
  • 24. Leviticus 24:15, 16
  • 25. Ecclesiastes 10:20; Acts 23:5
  • 26. Exodus 23:16, 19; Deuteronomy 26:2-11; Proverbs 3:9
  • 27. Exodus 13:2, 12
  • 28. Deuteronomy 15:19; Leviticus 22:27
  • 29. Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:3
  • 30. Exodus 19:6; Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 19:2
  • 31. Leviticus 7:24; Leviticus 17:15; Ezekiel 4:14

Footnotes 25

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