22:7 “If a man gives his neighbor money or articles 1 for safekeeping, 2 and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is caught, 3 he must repay double. 22:8 If the thief is not caught, 4 then the owner of the house will be brought before the judges 5 to see 6 whether he has laid 7 his hand on his neighbor’s goods. 22:9 In all cases of illegal possessions, 8 whether for an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any kind of lost item, about which someone says ‘This belongs to me,’ 9 the matter of the two of them will come before the judges, 10 and the one whom 11 the judges declare guilty 12 must repay double to his neighbor. 22:10 If a man gives his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep, and it dies or is hurt 13 or is carried away 14 without anyone seeing it, 15 22:11 then there will be an oath to the Lord 16 between the two of them, that he has not laid his hand on his neighbor’s goods, and its owner will accept this, and he will not have to pay. 22:12 But if it was stolen 17 from him, 18 he will pay its owner. 22:13 If it is torn in pieces, then he will bring it for evidence, 19 and he will not have to pay for what was torn.
22:14 “If a man borrows an animal 20 from his neighbor, and it is hurt or dies when its owner was not with it, the man who borrowed it 21 will surely pay. 22:15 If its owner was with it, he will not have to pay; if it was hired, what was paid for the hire covers it. 22
1 tn The word usually means “vessels” but can have the sense of household goods and articles. It could be anything from jewels and ornaments to weapons or pottery.
2 tn Heb “to keep.” Here “safekeeping,” that is, to keep something secure on behalf of a third party, is intended.
3 tn Heb “found.”
4 tn Heb “found.”
5 tn Here again the word used is “the gods,” meaning the judges who made the assessments and decisions. In addition to other works, see J. R. Vannoy, “The Use of the Word ha’elohim in Exodus 21:6 and 22:7,8,” The Law and the Prophets, 225-41.
6 tn The phrase “to see” has been supplied.
7 tn The line says “if he has not stretched out his hand.” This could be the oath formula, but the construction here would be unusual, or it could be taken as “whether” (see W. C. Kaiser, Jr., “Exodus,” EBC 2:438). U. Cassuto (Exodus, 286) does not think the wording can possibly fit an oath; nevertheless, an oath would be involved before God (as he takes it instead of “judges”) – if the man swore, his word would be accepted, but if he would not swear, he would be guilty.
8 tn Heb “concerning every kind [thing] of trespass.”
9 tn The text simply has “this is it” (הוּא זֶה, hu’ zeh).
10 tn Again, or “God.”
11 tn This kind of clause Gesenius calls an independent relative clause – it does not depend on a governing substantive but itself expresses a substantival idea (GKC 445-46 §138.e).
12 tn The verb means “to be guilty” in Qal; in Hiphil it would have a declarative sense, because a causative sense would not possibly fit.
13 tn The form is a Niphal participle from the verb “to break” – “is broken,” which means harmed, maimed, or hurt in any way.
14 tn This verb is frequently used with the meaning “to take captive.” The idea here then is that raiders or robbers have carried off the animal.
15 tn Heb “there is no one seeing.”
16 tn The construct relationship שְׁבֻעַת יְהוָה (shÿvu’at yÿhvah, “the oath of Yahweh”) would require a genitive of indirect object, “an oath [to] Yahweh.” U. Cassuto suggests that it means “an oath by Yahweh” (Exodus, 287). The person to whom the animal was entrusted would take a solemn oath to Yahweh that he did not appropriate the animal for himself, and then his word would be accepted.
17 tn Both with this verb “stolen” and in the next clauses with “torn in pieces,” the text uses the infinitive absolute construction with less than normal emphasis; as Gesenius says, in conditional clauses, an infinitive absolute stresses the importance of the condition on which some consequence depends (GKC 342-43 §113.o).
18 sn The point is that the man should have taken better care of the animal.
19 tn The word עֵד (’ed) actually means “witness,” but the dead animal that is returned is a silent witness, i.e., evidence. The word is an adverbial accusative.
20 tn Heb “if a man asks [an animal] from his neighbor” (see also Exod 12:36). The ruling here implies an animal is borrowed, and if harm comes to it when the owner is not with it, the borrower is liable. The word “animal” is supplied in the translation for clarity.
21 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man who borrowed the animal) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
22 tn Literally “it came with/for its hire,” this expression implies that the owner who hired it out and was present was prepared to take the risk, so there would be no compensation.