Exodus 22:12 MEANING

Exodus 22:12
(12) 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.

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.

22; 1 - 31 Judicial laws. - The people of God should ever be ready to show mildness and mercy, according to the spirit of these laws. We must answer to God, not only for what we do maliciously, but for what we do heedlessly. Therefore, when we have done harm to our neighbour, we should make restitution, though not compelled by law. Let these scriptures lead our souls to remember, that if the grace of God has indeed appeared to us, then it has taught us, and enabled us so to conduct ourselves by its holy power, that denying ungodliness and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Titus 2:12. And the grace of God teaches us, that as the Lord is our portion, there is enough in him to satisfy all the desires of our souls.And if it be stolen from him,.... Or "but if" (x) it was taken away by theft; and that "from with him" (y), as it may be literally rendered, from among his own cattle, and they not taken; and he being present, pretending to have an eye upon them and keep them, but was careless and negligent, at least, if he did not connive at the theft:

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.''

(x) "si autem", Drusius. (y) "e cum eo", Montanus.

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