King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Exodus 22

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] 1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no […]

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1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

3 If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

6 If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods.

9 For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it:

11 Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.

12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.

13 If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn.

14 And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.

15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.

16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry;

24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

26 If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:

27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Five oxen; because they are of greater value than sheep. Theodor. — As these things may easily be stolen, a heavier fine is imposed than on those who steal money. The Scythians punish theft with the utmost severity. Grot. — All these punishments, till the 25th chapter, were inflicted by the judge. T.

Ver. 2. Blood. The reason is, because it could not easily be known whether the thief had not a design upon the life of the people in the house; and therefore, the law gave them authority to defend themselves. But they were not authorized to kill the thief designedly. the laws of Athens and of Rome, permitted nocturnal robbers to be slain, at least when they came armed. Plato de leg. ix. &c. To defend our goods or honour, by killing the aggressor, is contrary to justice and reason. C.

Ver. 4. Double. This is an exception from the general law, v. 1, (C.) because he can more easily make restitution, as he has not sold or destroyed the thing. D.

Ver. 8. Gods. “In the presence of the Lord.” Sept.

Ver. 9. Damage. Heb. “thing lost, which another challengeth.…and whom the judges condemn, he,” &c. If the person who had deposited a thing, pretended that the one produced was not the same, or not equally good, and failed in proving the charge, he was liable to pay double its value. C.

Ver. 12. Stealth, of the person to whom it was entrusted, or by his connivance, as the Hebrew mamu, (de cum eo) “from with him,” intimates. M.

Ver. 13. Slain. Or any part of its mangled remains, in proof of his assertion. Syr.

Ver. 14. Restitution. It is to be presumed he was guilty of some negligence. C.

Ver. 15. Especially, &c. This is a third case, in which the person who lends, suffers all the loss, in consideration of the money which he had received. Others explain, “If he be a hired servant, he shall pay out of his wages.” Syr. Grotius.

Ver. 17. Money. Fifty sicles, as it is expressed, Deut. xxi. 29. If the maid were of high birth, the magistrates might inflict other punishments on the seducer.

Ver. 18. Wizards. Heb. “a witch.” Women are more given to such delusions, which imply an apostacy from God to serve the devil, and disturb the republic.

Ver. 20. Death. Heb. “shall be anathema,” (erom) which denotes utter destruction both of the person and of his goods. Jonat. 1 K. xv. 3.

Ver. 21. Were strangers. The Celtes punished with death the murderer of a stranger, which they only banished him who murdered a citizen. C.

Ver. 24. Fatherless. Thus God will retaliate upon the oppressors of the poor. H.

Ver. 25. Poor. Such are often most in want. Usury is not lawful, even with respect to the rich. The Heb. terms it a bite. M. — “What is usury, said Cato, but to kill a man.” The Romans required thieves to restore double, but usurers were to render four times as much as they had taken. Varro Rustic. i. — Restitution is prescribed, 2 Esd. v. 11. Some Calvinists have stood up in its defence, in opposition to the Scriptures, fathers, and Councils of the Catholic Church. Lend, hoping to gain nothing by it. Lu. vi. 35. “Let him who loves money,…lend (in the persons of the poor) to Him who says, Give, and it shall be given to you.“ S. Leo ser. The Jews themselves have reprobated usury in any use. C.

Ver. 28. Gods. Judges, priests, &c. Josephus and Philo say, we must not speak ill of strange gods, lest the Gentiles should take occasion to blaspheme the true God, and that we may be farther removed from the danger of taking the name of God in vain, and losing that respect which we owe to it.

Ver. 29. Tithes. Heb. “thy plentitude, (first-fruits and tithes) and thy tears;” (or liquors distilled from odoriferous trees) in a word, all that is most excellent. Censorinus (de die nat.) says, excellently well: “They who acknowledged that they had received food, a country, light, and even their very persons, from the bounty of the gods, failed not to consecrate a part of all to the gods,…to the temples and chapels, where they worshipped them.” C.

Ver. 31. Beasts. “Wild beasts.” Sept. — This was to encourage humanity. Theodoret.