Exodus 22:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

New Living Translation
"If someone steals an ox or sheep and then kills or sells it, the thief must pay back five oxen for each ox stolen, and four sheep for each sheep stolen.

English Standard Version
“If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

New American Standard Bible
"If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When a man steals an ox or a sheep and butchers it or sells it, he must repay five cattle for the ox or four sheep for the sheep.

International Standard Version
"If a man steals an ox or sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he is to repay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

NET Bible
"If a man steals an ox or a sheep and kills it or sells it, he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox, and four sheep for the one sheep.

New Heart English Bible
"If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it, or sells it; he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[The LORD continued,] "Whenever someone steals a bull or a sheep and butchers it or sells it, he must make up for the loss with five head of cattle to replace the bull or four sheep to replace the sheep.

JPS Tanakh 1917
If a man steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

New American Standard 1977
“If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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.

King James 2000 Bible
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.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If any man steal an ox or a sheep, and kill or sell it: he shall restore five oxen for one ox, and four sheep for one sheep.

Darby Bible Translation
If a man steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it, he shall restore five oxen for the ox, and four sheep for the sheep.

English Revised Version
If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

World English Bible
"If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it, or sells it; he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

Young's Literal Translation
'When a man doth steal an ox or sheep, and hath slaughtered it or sold it, five of the herd he doth repay for the ox, and four of the flock for the sheep.
Study Bible
Property Laws
1"If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep. 2"If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.…
Cross References
Luke 19:8
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, half of my possessions I give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will repay it fourfold."

Exodus 21:36
"Or if it is known that the ox was previously in the habit of goring, yet its owner has not confined it, he shall surely pay ox for ox, and the dead animal shall become his.

2 Samuel 12:6
"He must make restitution for the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion."

Proverbs 6:31
But when he is found, he must repay sevenfold; He must give all the substance of his house.

Ezekiel 33:15
if a wicked man restores a pledge, pays back what he has taken by robbery, walks by the statutes which ensure life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

sheep. or, goat. He shall. There is a smaller compensation required in other things and also a disproportion between an ox and a sheep. The reason of the former is, as Maimonides explains it, because money, goods, etc., are better guarded in houses and cities, than cattle in a field; which consequently can be more easily stolen. The reason of the latter seems to be, as it is explained by Bishop Patrick, that an ox was of greater value, and more useful for the purposes of husbandry.

Leviticus 6:1-6 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying…

Numbers 5:7 Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall …

2 Samuel 12:6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, …

Proverbs 6:31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all …

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half …

five oxen

Proverbs 14:4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the …

XXII.

(1-4) Theft is here treated of with great brevity, only three kinds being distinguished--(1) Housebreaking; (2) stealing without conversion of the property; (3) stealing with conversion. The main principle of punishment laid down is the exaction from the offender o! Double (Exodus 22:4). When, however, there has been conversion of the property, the penalty is heavier, the return of four-fold in the case of a sheep, of five-fold in that of an ox (Exodus 22:1). Incidentally it is enacted that the burglar may be resisted by force (Exodus 22:2), and that to kill him shall be justifiable homicide; and further, it is laid down that a thief unable to make the legal restitution shall become a slave in order to pay his debt (Exodus 22:3).

(1) If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep.--The flocks and herds of the Israelites constituted their principal property, and hence cattle-stealing is taken as the representative of theft in general.

And kill it, or sell it.--Plainly showing persistence and determination.

Five oxen . . . four sheep.--The principle of the variation is not clear. Perhaps the theft of an ox was regarded as involving more audacity, and so more guilt, in the thief.

Verse 1. - If a man shall steal an ox. The principal property possessed by the Israelites in the wilderness was their cattle; whence this occurs to the legislator as the thing most likely to be stolen. It required more boldness in a thief to carry off an ox than a sheep or goat; and so the crime was visited with a heavier penalty. If a man shall steal an ox or a sheep,.... In which the substance of men chiefly lay in those times, and particularly the people of Israel, who were now come out of Egypt, with their flocks and herds, and these lying near together, were the more liable to be stolen; and hence also the laws in the preceding chapter concerning oxen and damages done by them, and oxen and sheep are only mentioned; perhaps chiefly because used in sacrifice, as well as serviceable for other things; not but that stealing other cattle and other things were criminal and forbidden, and to be punished in proportion:

and kill it, or sell it; either of which cases would plainly show that he took it away with an intention to deprive the owner of it, and to convert it to his own use:

he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep; the reason of this difference, five being obliged to be given for the one, and but four for the other, is, because the one was more valuable than the other, as well as more useful, and also more easily stolen, and therefore the greater mulct or fine was laid upon the theft of it, to deter from it: the Targum of Jonathan expresses the reason of the law thus; five for oxen, because the theft of them hindered from ploughing, or made to cease from it; and for sheep but four, because there was trouble in the theft of them, and there was no tillage or agriculture by them: and Saadiah Gaon observes, that the damage that comes to the owner of the ox is more than that by a lamb, because with it, the ox, he ploughs, which is a creature that was used in those countries to be employed in that service, as well as in treading out the corn: Maimonides (u) accounts for it thus,"the restitution of the theft of oxen is increased by one, because the theft of them is easy; sheep are fed in flocks, and are easily kept and watched, and can scarcely be taken away by theft but in the night; but oxen are fed scattered here and there, and therefore cannot be so easily kept by the herdsmen; hence also their theft used to be more common:''four fold restitution was in use with the ancient Persians, with whom it was a rule,"whoever took any substance of another, in retaliation they took fourfold from him, and if he restored it, he gave fourfold of the same (w).''

(u) Moreh Nevochim, par. 3. c. 41. (w) Lib. Shed-dar, apud Hyde Relig. Vet. Pers. p. 472. CHAPTER 22

Ex 22:1-31. Laws concerning Theft.

1-4. If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep—The law respects the theft of cattle which constituted the chief part of their property. The penalty for the theft of a sheep which was slain or sold, was fourfold; for an ox fivefold, because of its greater utility in labor; but, should the stolen animal have been recovered alive, a double compensation was all that was required, because it was presumable he (the thief) was not a practised adept in dishonesty. A robber breaking into a house at midnight might, in self-defense, be slain with impunity; but if he was slain after sunrise, it would be considered murder, for it was not thought likely an assault would then be made upon the lives of the occupants. In every case where a thief could not make restitution, he was sold as a slave for the usual term.22; 1 - 31 Judicial laws. - The people of God should ever be ready to show mildness and mercy, according to the spirit of these laws. We must answer to God, not only for what we do maliciously, but for what we do heedlessly. Therefore, when we have done harm to our neighbour, we should make restitution, though not compelled by law. Let these scriptures lead our souls to remember, that if the grace of God has indeed appeared to us, then it has taught us, and enabled us so to conduct ourselves by its holy power, that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Titus 2:12. And the grace of God teaches us, that as the Lord is our portion, there is enough in him to satisfy all the desires of our souls.
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