Exodus 22: Rules for trespasses and dealing with people fairly


This chapter contains rules for stealing or causing harm to the property of another person, either by accident or on purpose. It also includes rules for witches, bestiality, dealing with strangers, loans, and what is owed to God.

In other words:

We are provided clarification on what exactly is meant by “thou shall not steal” and also given a few more rules besides.

Stealing rules in a nutshell:

If you steal and are caught, you have to pay back 5 times what you stole. If you can’t pay, you will be sold into slavery to pay for restitution. If you do any harm to anyone else’s property, you will have to pay restitution, unless you can prove it was an accident or that someone else did it.

Other rules:

  1. Witchcraft is punished by death
  2. Bestiality is punished by death
  3. Sacrificing to a god other than this God  is something God will take care of
  4. Be nice to strangers (or God will kill you)
  5. Be nice to widows and orphans (or God will kill you)
  6. Don’t eat road kill (any animal not slaughtered by you)

God specific rules

There are also a few rules on what belongs to God and offerings.

Favorite rule:

Don’t eat roadkill (Exodus 22:31)

Moral Lesson:

Stealing is wrong (Exodus 22: 1-4)
Be nice to strangers, widows, orphans and the poor (Exodus 22: 21,  22, 25)