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Exodus 22:5-23:19 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

‘If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in someone else’s field, the offender must make restitution from the best of their own field or vineyard.

‘If a fire breaks out and spreads into thorn-bushes so that it burns sheaves of corn or standing corn or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution.

‘If anyone gives a neighbour silver or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbour’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double. But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges, and they must[a] determine whether the owner of the house has laid hands on the other person’s property. In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, “This is mine,” both parties are to bring their cases before the judges.[b] The one whom the judges declare[c] guilty must pay back double to the other.

10 ‘If anyone gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to their neighbour for safekeeping and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking, 11 the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath before the Lord that the neighbour did not lay hands on the other person’s property. The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required. 12 But if the animal was stolen from the neighbour, restitution must be made to the owner. 13 If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the neighbour shall bring in the remains as evidence and shall not be required to pay for the torn animal.

14 ‘If anyone borrows an animal from their neighbour and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution. 15 But if the owner is with the animal, the borrower will not have to pay. If the animal was hired, the money paid for the hire covers the loss.

Social responsibility

16 ‘If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. 17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

18 ‘Do not allow a sorceress to live.

19 ‘Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal is to be put to death.

20 ‘Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.[d]

21 ‘Do not ill-treat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.

22 ‘Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

25 ‘If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest. 26 If you take your neighbour’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset, 27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbour has. What else can they sleep in? When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.

28 ‘Do not blaspheme God[e] or curse the ruler of your people.

29 ‘Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.[f]

‘You must give me the firstborn of your sons. 30 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.

31 ‘You are to be my holy people. So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts; throw it to the dogs.

Laws of justice and mercy

23 ‘Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.

‘Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favouritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.

‘If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

‘Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.

‘Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.

‘Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

Sabbath laws

10 ‘For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unploughed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

12 ‘Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.

13 ‘Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips.

The three annual festivals

14 ‘Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me.

15 ‘Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt.

‘No one is to appear before me empty-handed.

16 ‘Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.

‘Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.

17 ‘Three times a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord.

18 ‘Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast.

‘The fat of my festival offerings must not be kept until morning.

19 ‘Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.

‘Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 22:8 Or before God, and he will
  2. Exodus 22:9 Or before God
  3. Exodus 22:9 Or whom God declares
  4. Exodus 22:20 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
  5. Exodus 22:28 Or Do not revile the judges
  6. Exodus 22:29 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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