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Exodus 22:1

Context
Laws about Property

22:1 1 (21:37) 2  “If a man steals an ox or a sheep and kills it or sells it, he must pay back 3  five head of cattle for the ox, and four sheep for the one sheep. 4 

Exodus 22:4

Context
22:4 If the stolen item should in fact be found 5  alive in his possession, 6  whether it be an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he must pay back double. 7 

Exodus 22:7

Context

22:7 “If a man gives his neighbor money or articles 8  for safekeeping, 9  and it is stolen from the man’s house, if the thief is caught, 10  he must repay double.

Exodus 22:9

Context
22:9 In all cases of illegal possessions, 11  whether for an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any kind of lost item, about which someone says ‘This belongs to me,’ 12  the matter of the two of them will come before the judges, 13  and the one whom 14  the judges declare guilty 15  must repay double to his neighbor.

1 sn The next section of laws concerns property rights. These laws protected property from thieves and oppressors, but also set limits to retribution. The message could be: God’s laws demand that the guilty make restitution for their crimes against property and that the innocent be exonerated.

2 sn Beginning with 22:1, the verse numbers through 22:31 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 22:1 ET = 21:37 HT, 22:2 ET = 22:1 HT, etc., through 22:31 ET = 22:30 HT. Thus in the English Bible ch. 22 has 31 verses, while in the Hebrew Bible it has 30 verses, with the one extra verse attached to ch. 21 in the Hebrew Bible.

3 tn The imperfect tense here has the nuance of obligatory imperfect – he must pay back.

4 tn בָּקַר (baqar) and צֹאן (tson) are the categories to which the ox and the sheep belonged, so that the criminal had some latitude in paying back animals.

5 tn The construction uses a Niphal infinitive absolute and a Niphal imperfect: if it should indeed be found. Gesenius says that in such conditional clauses the infinitive absolute has less emphasis, but instead emphasizes the condition on which some consequence depends (see GKC 342-43 §113.o).

6 tn Heb “in his hand.”

7 sn He must pay back one for what he took, and then one for the penalty – his loss as he was inflicting a loss on someone else.

8 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.

9 tn Heb “to keep.” Here “safekeeping,” that is, to keep something secure on behalf of a third party, is intended.

10 tn Heb “found.”

11 tn Heb “concerning every kind [thing] of trespass.”

12 tn The text simply has “this is it” (הוּא זֶה, huzeh).

13 tn Again, or “God.”

14 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).

15 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.



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