BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 9, Day 3: Exodus 21:33-22:31

Summary of passage:  More laws on Animals and Property:  A man is responsible for digging pits and animals falling in.  He’s also responsible if his animal harms another animal and if it had harmed animals before, he is to pay compensation.

The rest of the laws govern restitution fitted to the crimes.

If a man steals another’s animal, he must pay back much more (five times for cattle and four times for oxen). If a thief is killed in your own home, the homeowner is not responsible for bloodshed unless it’s during the day.  The thief must pay for what he has taken.  Wandering livestock, fire, stealing silver or gold, lost property or livestock, or borrowed property or livestock all must be restituted.

If a man seduces a virgin, he must compensate her.  Death penalty for those who has sex with an animal.  Don’t mistreat aliens.  Don’t take advantage of others especially widows or children or others you lend money to.  Don’t curse God or hold back offerings.  Give up your firstborn to God and the firstborn livestock.


5a)  Harm to personal property or loss of personal property

b)  Restitution means “an act of restoring or a condition of being restored as a restoration of something to its rightful owner or making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury”

c)  Exodus 21:33-36:  Dog bites or deaths

Exodus 22:1-4:  Stealing any thing will fall under this.

Exodus 22:5-6:  Wildfires today

Exodus 22:7-15:  Watching someone’s pets and they die.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Any in this passage.  If you harm other’s property, you pay for it.  From a broken toy to a pet to a wildfire.

6a) Pre-marital sex (verses 16-17).  Sorcery (verse 18).  Sex with an animal (verse 19).  Sacrifice to other gods (verse 20).  Mistreat a foreigner (verse 21).  Mistreat an orphan or widow (verses 22-4).  Money-lending (verse 25-7).  Cursing God (verse 28).  Not offering to God (verse 29).  Give firstborn (verse 29-30).  Not eating dead meat (verse 31).

b)  “You are to be my holy people.”

Conclusions:  Did not like this lesson like I did last lesson especially question 5.  All of the examples and laws listed here are current examples that do happen today and to any of us from livestock to stealing property to looking after others’ property.  Question 6a was merely a listing of the passage.  No depth here, in my opinion.

End Notes:  Rest of Exodus 21 is negligence and restitution.  Personal responsibility for your actions.  Period.

We must remember that the unlikely death of an oxen or a cow may result in poverty and death for a poor farmer. Hence, the gravity of these laws God institutes.

For us, it’s not a cow or sheep but our words or actions which we must restitute.  Do we do this enough?

We can harm others by what we fail to do as exhibited by the livestock grazing on others property and by carelessness or indifference on our part.

No law of “finders keepers” here.  If found, property must be returned.  If you claim it’s yours and it’s not, then you pay double.  Wish we instituted that nowadays.

One must swear by the Lord in the dispute and one must accept the other’s version of the story if there were no witnesses.  Proof must be given of guilt.

If you had pre-marital sex, you were to marry her and/or pay a bride-price.  Period.  This made many men think before taking advantage of girls.

God has no toleration of anything of the devil and of the spirit world.  Hence, death for sorceresses.

Bestiality was common in the ancient world and is legal in some areas of the world today.

The least (widows, orphans, foreigners, poor) must be treated compassionately and taken care of.

Money could also be substituted for the firstborn.

These laws were meant for living in Canaan.  Little did the Israelites know it was a long wait.

We must act differently than animals.