Property Laws

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I.   Deals with civil violations concerning thieves (vv. 1-4).

1. If a man stole an animal and got caught he was to pay back four or five times the amount stolen. No doubt this heavy compensation effectively deterred animal theft.
2. If the thief burglarized in the night and was killed by the owner, then the defendant was not guilty of murder.

3. But if the thief came in the daytime and was killed the owner of the house was guilty of homicide.

II.   Deals with civil violations concerning property damage (vv. 5-6).

If a farmer’s livestock invaded another man’s property or a fire destroyed his crops, the offender had to make restitution. These regulations very strongly affirmed the right of life and property.


These same basic regulations that are in effect during this Mosaic time period are still a vital part of our society today. If I or one of my children breaks something in a store where I am shopping I am obligated to either replace it or pay for it. I should never dismiss it as just an accident and walk away with out making restitution.

Exodus 22:1-6 (English Standard Version)

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