Exodus 22

1“How should you punish a man who steals a bull or a sheep? If the man kills the animal or sells it, then he can’t give it back. So he must pay five bulls for the one he stole. Or, he must pay four sheep for the one he stole. He must pay for stealing. 2- 4If he owns nothing, then he will be sold as a slave. But if the man still has the animal and you find it, then that man must give the owner two animals for every animal he stole. It doesn’t matter if the animal was a bull or a donkey or a sheep. “If a thief is killed while trying to break into a house ˻at night˼, then no one will be guilty for killing him. But if this happens during the day, then the person who killed him will be guilty ˻of murder˼. 5“A man might start a fire in his field or vineyard. If he lets the fire spread and it burns his neighbor’s field or vineyard, then he must use his best crops to pay his neighbor for his loss. 6“A man might start a fire to burn thorn bushes on his field. But if the fire grows and burns his neighbor’s crops or the grain growing on the neighbor’s field, then the man that started the fire must pay for the things he burned. 7“A man might ask a neighbor to keep some money or other things for him in his neighbor’s house. What should you do if that money or those things are stolen from the neighbor’s house? You should try to find the thief. If you find the thief, then he must pay twice as much as the things are worth. 8But if you can’t find the thief, then God will judge if the owner of the house is guilty. The owner of the house must go before God, and God will decide if the person stole something. 9“What should you do if two men disagree about a bull or a donkey or sheep or clothing or something that is lost. One man says, 'This is mine,’ and the other says, 'No, it is mine.’ Both men should go before God. God will decide who is guilty. The person who was wrong must pay the other man twice as much as the thing is worth. 10“A person might ask his neighbor to take care of an animal for a short time. It might be a donkey or a bull or a sheep. But what should you do if that animal is hurt or dies or someone takes the animal while no one is looking? 11That neighbor must explain that he did not steal the animal. If this is true, then the neighbor will promise to the Lord that he did not steal it. The owner of the animal must accept this promise. The neighbor does not have to pay the owner for the animal. 12But if the neighbor stole the animal, then he must pay the owner for the animal. 13If wild animals killed the animal, then the neighbor should bring the body as proof. The neighbor will not have to pay the owner for the animal that was killed. 14“If a man borrows anything from his neighbor, he is responsible for that thing. If an animal is hurt, or if the animal dies, then the neighbor must pay the owner for the animal. The neighbor is responsible, because the owner was not there himself. 15But if the owner was there with the animal, then the neighbor does not have to pay. Or, if the neighbor was paying money to use the animal for work, then he will not have to pay if the animal dies or is hurt. The money he paid to use the animal will be enough payment. 16“If a man has sexual relations with a pure young woman who is not married, then he must marry her. And he must pay her father the full dowry. 17If the father refuses to allow his daughter to marry him, then the man must still pay the money. He must pay the full amount for her. 18“You must not allow any woman to do evil magic. If she does magic, then you must not let her live. 19“You must not allow any person to have sexual relations with an animal. If this happens, then that person must be killed. 20“If any person makes a sacrifice to a false god, then that person should be destroyed. The Lord God is the only one you should make sacrifices to. 21“Remember, in the past you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. So you should not cheat or hurt any person who is a foreigner in your land. 22“You must never do anything bad to women whose husbands are dead or to children without parents. 23If you do anything wrong to those widows or orphans, then I will know it. I will hear about their suffering. 24And I will be very angry. I will kill you with a sword. Then your wives will become widows. And your children will become orphans. 25“If one of my people is poor, and you lend him money, then you must not charge him for that money. And you must not force him to pay you quickly. 26Someone might give you his coat as a promise that he will pay you the money he owes you. But you must give that coat back to him before the sun goes down. 27If that person doesn’t have his coat, then he will have nothing to cover his body. He will get cold in his sleep. And if he cries to me, I will hear him. I will listen, because I am kind. 28“You must not curse God or the leaders of your people. 29“At harvest time you should give me the first grain and the first juice from your fruit. Don’t wait until late in the year. “Give me your firstborn sons. 30Also, give me your firstborn cattle and sheep. Let the firstborn stay with its mother for seven days. Then on the eighth day, give him to me. 31“You are my special people. So don’t eat the meat from something that was killed by wild animals. Let the dogs eat that dead animal.

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