|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both,.... Either by the one, the keeper, for the satisfaction of the owner, or by them both; by the owner, that he delivered such and such cattle to the keeper; and by the keeper, that he was no ways concerned in the death, hurt, or carrying off of the same: and this is called "the oath of the Lord", not only because in this law required by him, but because sworn by him, or in his name, and made before him, in his presence, who is hereby appealed unto; and who is called upon to take vengeance on the person that takes the oath of perjury; and such an oath only is a lawful one, men are to swear only by the Lord. But this oath was not tendered to anyone:"if a man was suspected of an oath (i.e. of perjury) they might not give him his oath, neither the oath of the law, nor the oath from their words (the scribes), nor the oath of imposition (imposed by the wise wen); and even though he that brought the action would have it, they might not hearken unto him: if a man has swore falsely a rash oath, or an oath of testimony, or an oath concerning anything deposited, or a vain oath, lo, he is suspected of an oath, and so everyone that is rejected for witness on account of any transgression (w).''The oath to be taken by the keeper, and who indeed seems to be the only person that was to take one, was, "that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods"; so as either to kill or maim, or drive away, or suffer to be driven away, any of the cattle committed to his care, or that he had not disposed of them to his own use and profit:
and the owner of it shall accept thereof; of the oath, as the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi, and so be satisfied, and give no further trouble, such an oath being for the confirmation of the thing, and to put an end to strife; or he shall take the ass, ox, or sheep, as it was, and be content; but then, though he might take the dead or maimed one, he could not take that which was driven or carried away, wherefore the first sense, is best:
and he shall not make it good; or pay for it to the owner what it was worth.
(w) Maimon. Hilchot Toan Venitan, c. 2. sect. 1, 2.
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