Rev. Dan Speckhard, pastor at Faith Lutheran Church in Godfrey, IL, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Exodus 21:33-22:15.
After the very familiar text of the Decalogue in Exodus 20, the Book of the Covenant that follows can seem very unfamiliar. How many 21st century Americans have daily dealings with oxen and donkeys anymore? Yet God’s Word always speaks truth to us, no matter when or where we live. The Law given here by the LORD concerning various cases of restitution invites us to see the LORD’s care for the weak and marginalized, who otherwise might be overrun by the rich and powerful. His concern for the mundane aspects of life provides great comfort. If He shows concern for our possessions, then how much more will He show concern for us, His treasured possession in Christ? Finally, this text clearly teaches the seriousness of sin and God’s desire for justice, which is met with God’s mercy for us in the cross of Christ.
“The Saga of Salvation” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that takes a step-by-step walk through the book of Exodus. This premier account of salvation in the Old Testament proclaims that the LORD is the one true God, the Creator and Redeemer, who alone is worthy of our worship and faith, all the while pointing us forward to the ultimate deliverance He gives through the exodus accomplished by Christ.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Laws About Restitution
33 “When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his.
35 “When one man’s ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. 36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.
22 [a] “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. 2 [b] If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, 3 but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He[c] shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. 4 If the stolen beast is found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, he shall pay double.
5 “If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.
6 “If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.
7 “If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, he shall pay double. 8 If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. 9 For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, ‘This is it,’ the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.
10 “If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it, 11 an oath by the Lord shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution. 12 But if it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. 13 If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn.
14 “If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution. 15 If the owner was with it, he shall not make restitution; if it was hired, it came for its hiring fee.[d]
- Exodus 22:1 Ch 21:37 in Hebrew
- Exodus 22:2 Ch 22:1 in Hebrew
- Exodus 22:3 That is, the thief
- Exodus 22:15 Or it is reckoned in (Hebrew comes into) its hiring fee
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.