"If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;
"If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.
"If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty.
If the thief is caught while breaking in and is hit hard and dies, there is no bloodguilt.
If a thief is taken in the act of forcing his way into a house, and his death is caused by a blow, the owner of the house is not responsible for his blood.
If a thief is found breaking in, and is beaten to death, no bloodguilt is incurred;
"If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “found” (so KJV, ASV, NRSV).
2 tn The word בַּמַּחְתֶּרֶת (bammakhteret) means “digging through” the walls of a house (usually made of mud bricks). The verb is used only a few times and has the meaning of dig in (as into houses) or row hard (as in Jonah 1:13).
3 tn The text has “there is not to him bloods.” When the word “blood” is put in the plural, it refers to bloodshed, or the price of blood that is shed, i.e., blood guiltiness.
sn This law focuses on what is reasonable defense against burglary. If someone killed a thief who was breaking in during the night, he was not charged because he would not have known it was just a thief, but if it happened during the day, he was guilty of a crime, on the assumption that in daylight the thief posed no threat to the homeowner’s life and could be stopped and made to pay restitution.