Property laws
The Lord said:
1If you steal an ox and slaughter or sell it, you must replace it with five oxen; if you steal a sheep and slaughter it or sell it, you must replace it with four sheep. 2-4But if you cannot afford to replace the animals, you must be sold as a slave to pay for what you have stolen. If you steal an ox, donkey, or sheep, and are caught with it still alive, you must pay the owner double.
If you happen to kill a burglar who breaks into your home after dark, you are not guilty. But if you kill someone who breaks in during the day, you are guilty of murder.
5If you allow any of your animals to stray from your property and graze#22.5 graze: Or “eat everything”. in someone else's field or vineyard, you must repay the damage from the best part of your own harvest of grapes and grain.
6If you carelessly let a fire spread from your property to someone else's, you must pay the owner for any crops or fields destroyed by the fire.
7Suppose a neighbour asks you to keep some silver or other valuables, and they are stolen from your house. If the thief is caught, the thief must repay double. 8But if the thief isn't caught, some judges#22.8 some judges: Or “I”. will decide if you are the guilty one.
9Suppose two people claim to own the same ox or donkey or sheep or piece of clothing. Then the judges#22.9 the judges: Or “I”. must decide the case, and the guilty person will pay the owner double.
10Suppose a neighbour who is going to be away asks you to keep a donkey or an ox or a sheep or some other animal, and it dies or gets injured or is stolen while no one is looking. 11If you swear with me as your witness that you did not harm the animal, you do not have to replace it. Your word is enough. 12But if the animal was stolen while in your care, you must replace it. 13If the animal was attacked and killed by a wild animal, and you can show the remains of the dead animal to its owner, you do not have to replace it.
14Suppose you borrow an animal from a neighbour, and it gets injured or dies while the neighbour isn't around. Then you must replace it. 15But if something happens to the animal while the owner is present, you do not have to replace it. If you had leased the animal, the money you paid the owner will cover any harm done to it.
Laws for everyday life
The Lord said:
16 # Deut 22.2829 Suppose a young woman has never been married and isn't engaged. If a man talks her into having sex, he must pay the bride price#22.16 bride price: It was the custom for a man to pay his wife's family a bride price before the actual wedding ceremony took place. and marry her. 17But if her father refuses to let her marry the man, the bride price must still be paid.
18 # Deut 18.1011 Death is the punishment for witchcraft.
19 # Lev 18.23Lev 20.1516Deut 27.21 Death is the punishment for having sex with an animal.
20 # Deut 17.2–7 Death is the punishment for offering sacrifices to any god except me.
21 # Exod 23.9Lev 19.3334Deut 24.1718Deut 27.19 Do not ill-treat or abuse foreigners who live among you. Remember, you were foreigners in Egypt.
22Do not ill-treat widows or orphans. 23If you do, they will beg for my help, and I will come to their rescue. 24In fact, I will get so angry that I will kill your men and make widows of their wives and orphans of their children.
25 # Lev 25.35–38Deut 15.7–11Deut 23.1920 Don't charge interest when you lend money to any of my people who are in need. 26#Deut 24.10–13Before sunset you must return any coat taken as security for a loan, 27because that is the only cover the poor have when they sleep at night. I am a merciful God, and when they call out to me, I will come to help them.
28 # Acts 23.5 Don't speak evil of me#22.28 me: Or “your judges”. or of the ruler of your people.
29Don't fail to give me the offerings of grain and wine that belong to me.#22.29 Don't fail … me: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Dedicate to me your firstborn sons 30and the firstborn of your cattle and sheep. Let the animals stay with their mothers for seven days, then on the eighth day give them to me, your God.
31 # Lev 17.15 You are my chosen people, so don't eat the meat of any of your livestock that was killed by a wild animal. Instead, feed the meat to dogs.
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