Exodus 23:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"If you come across your enemy's ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it.

New Living Translation
"If you come upon your enemy's ox or donkey that has strayed away, take it back to its owner.

English Standard Version
“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him.

New American Standard Bible
"If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him.

King James Bible
If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If you come across your enemy's stray ox or donkey, you must return it to him."

International Standard Version
"If you come across your enemy's ox or donkey wandering off, you are to certainly return it to him.

NET Bible
"If you encounter your enemy's ox or donkey wandering off, you must by all means return it to him.

New Heart English Bible
"If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Whenever you come across your enemy's ox or donkey wandering loose, be sure to take it back to him.

JPS Tanakh 1917
If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

New American Standard 1977
“If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If thou should encounter thine enemy's ox or his ass astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

King James 2000 Bible
If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.

American King James Version
If you meet your enemy's ox or his ass going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.

American Standard Version
If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If thou meet thy enemy's ox or ass going astray, bring it back to him.

Darby Bible Translation
-- If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt certainly bring it back to him.

English Revised Version
If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

Webster's Bible Translation
If thou shalt meet thy enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

World English Bible
"If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.

Young's Literal Translation
'When thou meetest thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou dost certainly turn it back to him;
Study Bible
Justice and Mercy
3nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his dispute. 4"If you meet your enemy's ox or his donkey wandering away, you shall surely return it to him. 5"If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying helpless under its load, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall surely release it with him.…
Cross References
Leviticus 6:3
or has found what was lost and lied about it and sworn falsely, so that he sins in regard to any one of the things a man may do;

Deuteronomy 22:1
"You shall not see your countryman's ox or his sheep straying away, and pay no attention to them; you shall certainly bring them back to your countryman.

Proverbs 25:21
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
Treasury of Scripture

If you meet your enemy's ox or his ass going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again.

Deuteronomy 22:1-4 You shall not see your brother's ox or his sheep go astray, and hide …

Job 31:29,30 If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up …

Proverbs 24:17,18 Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad …

Proverbs 25:21 If your enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, …

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do …

Luke 6:27,28 But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which …

Romans 12:17-21 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the …

1 Thessalonians 5:15 See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that …

(4) Thine enemy's ox.--The general duty of stopping stray animals and restoring them to friendly owners, expressly taught in Deuteronomy 22:1-3, is here implied as if admitted on all hands. The legislator extends this duty to cases where the owner is our personal enemy. It was not generally recognised in antiquity that men's enemies had any claims upon them. Cicero, indeed, says--"Sunt autem qudam officia etiam adversus eos servanda, a quibus injuriam aceeperis" (De Off. i. 11); but he stops short of enjoining active benevolence. Here and in Exodus 23:5 we have a sort of anticipation of Christianity--active kindness to an enemy being required, even when it costs us some trouble. The principle of friendliness is involved--the germ which in Christianity blossoms out into the precept, "Love your enemies."

Verse 4. - Thine enemy's ox. A private enemy is here spoken of, not a public one, as in Deuteronomy 23:6. It is remarkable that the law should have so far anticipated Christianity as to have laid it down that men have duties of friendliness even towards their enemies, and are bound under certain circumstances to render them a service. "Hate thine enemies" (Matthew 5:43) was no injunction of the Mosaic taw, but a conclusion which Rabbinical teachers unwarrantably drew from it. Christianity, however, goes far beyond Mosaism in laying down the broad precept - "Love your enemies." If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray,.... Or any other beast, as the Samaritan version adds; for these are only mentioned for instances, as being more common, and creatures subject to go astray; now when such as these are met going astray, so as to be in danger of being lost to the owner, though he is an enemy; or as the Targum of Jonathan,"whom thou hatest because of a sin, which thou alone knowest in him;''yet this was not so far to prejudice the finder of his beasts against him, as to be careless about them, to suffer them to go on without acquainting him with them, or returning them to him, as follows:

thou shalt surely bring it back to him again; whether it be an ox, or an ass, or any other beast, the law is very strong and binding upon the finder to return it to his neighbour, though an enemy, and bring it either to his field or to his farm. 23:1-9 In the law of Moses are very plain marks of sound moral feeling, and of true political wisdom. Every thing in it is suited to the desired and avowed object, the worship of one only God, and the separation of Israel from the pagan world. Neither parties, friends, witnesses, nor common opinions, must move us to lessen great faults, to aggravate small ones, excuse offenders, accuse the innocent, or misrepresent any thing.
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