Exodus 23:4

4 “If you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey that has strayed away, take it back to its owner.

Exodus 23:4 Meaning and Commentary

Exodus 23:4

If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray
Or any other beast, as the Samaritan version adds; for these are only mentioned for instances, as being more common, and creatures subject to go astray; now when such as these are met going astray, so as to be in danger of being lost to the owner, though he is an enemy; or as the Targum of Jonathan,

``whom thou hatest because of a sin, which thou alone knowest in him;''

yet this was not so far to prejudice the finder of his beasts against him, as to be careless about them, to suffer them to go on without acquainting him with them, or returning them to him, as follows:

thou shalt surely bring it back to him again;
whether it be an ox, or an ass, or any other beast, the law is very strong and binding upon the finder to return it to his neighbour, though an enemy, and bring it either to his field or to his farm.

Exodus 23:4 In-Context

2 “You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice.
3 And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.
4 “If you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey that has strayed away, take it back to its owner.
5 If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help.
6 “In a lawsuit, you must not deny justice to the poor.