And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution to the owner thereof.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)If it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution.—It seems to have been considered that theft could have been prevented by proper care, but that hurts from wild beasts or accidents were not preventible.Exodus 22:12, it was presumed either that the herdsman might have prevented it, or that he could find the thief and bring him to justice (see Exodus 22:4). When an animal was killed by a wild beast, the keeper had to produce the mangled carcass, not only in proof of the fact, but to show that he had, by his vigilance and courage, deprived the wild beast of its prey.
stacks—or as it is rendered "shocks" (Jud 15:5; Job 5:26), means simply a bundle of loose sheaves.From him, Heb. from with him, which is an emphatical expression, and notes that this was taken away, either,
1. From those things which were with him, or which were his, i.e. from the midst of his own goods, which supposeth fraud in him. Or,
2. From under his eye, when he either did know of it, or with common care and diligence it might have been known and prevented, and this argues gross neglect in him. And this is one reason why this man is bound to make restitution, when the other, Exodus 22:7, is not: another reason of the difference is, because those things, Exodus 22:7, were only or principally dead things, and such things as required no great care; or if they did, (for in that case also were included oxen, asses, &c., Exodus 22:9) yet he with whom they were left received no recompence for them, and therefore was not obliged to any singular care about them; but here the things were such as needed great care and diligence, which also this man was obliged to perform by the hire which he received upon that account, which was Jacob’s case, Genesis 31:39.
he shall make restitution to the owner thereof; for in such a case there was ground for suspicion of fraud; however, there was apparent carelessness, and it was but just he should make restitution, since he had hire or wages for keeping it; which is the reason Aben Ezra gives for it, and is suggested by the Targum of Jonathan; which adds to the former clause, by way of explanation,"that which was with him to be kept for a reward.''And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. If, however, the animal be stolen, this might have been guarded against by greater care, and compensation must be made.Verse 12. - If it be stolen. - If, however, the case was not an ambiguous one, but certainly known to he one of theft, restitution had to be made, since it was supposed that with proper care the theft might have been prevented. Exodus 22:6 also relates to unintentional injury, arising from want of proper care: "If fire break out and catch thorns (thorn-hedges surrounding a corn-field, Isaiah 5:5; Sir. 28:24), and sheaves, or the standing seed (הקּמה the corn standing in the straw), or the field be consumed, he that kindleth the fire shall make compensation (for the damage done)."
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