Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Exodus 22

Verse 1

Exodus 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

Ver. 1. If a man shall steal, &c.] The Persians at this day punish theft and manslaughter so severely, that in an age a man shall hardly hear either of the one or the other. The Turk’s justice will rather cut off two innocent men than let one thief escape. (a)

Verse 2

Exodus 22:2 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, [there shall] no blood [be shed] for him.

Ver. 2. If a thief be found.] So, if an adulteress be taken, - as she was in John 8:4, - επαυτοφωρω, in the very act.

Verse 3

Exodus 22:3 If the sun be risen upon him, [there shall be] blood [shed] for him; [for] he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

Ver. 3. If the sun be risen.] Chaldee hath it, If the eye of witnesses: if he can raise the town, and call in aid.

Verse 4

Exodus 22:4 If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

Ver. 4. He shall restore double.] In Solomon’s time it was sevenfold. [Proverbs 6:31]

Verse 5

Exodus 22:5 If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

Ver. 5. To be eaten.] By unadvised turning in of his cattle, through mistake or neglect.

Verse 6

Exodus 22:6 If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed [therewith]; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

Ver. 6. Or the field.] The stubble.

Verse 7

Exodus 22:7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man’s house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

Ver. 7. Or stuff.] Heb., Vessels, instruments, ornaments, apparel, furniture, weapons, &c.

Verse 8

Exodus 22:8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, [to see] whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods.

Ver. 8. To see whether,] sc., By putting him to his oath. [Exodus 22:11] Some think that a private oath may be in such a case as this lawfully taken for the satisfaction of another, if he will not otherwise be satisfied.

Verse 9

Exodus 22:9 For all manner of trespass, [whether it be] for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, [or] for any manner of lost thing, which [another] challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; [and] whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

Ver. 9. Before the judges.] Heb., The gods: so judges are called, if good especially. [Psalms 82:6] And the seat of judicature is called the holy place. [Ecclesiastes 8:10]

Verse 10

Exodus 22:10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing [it]:

Ver. 10. Or any beast, to keep.] As Jacob kept Laban’s cattle. [Genesis 31:39]

Verse 11

Exodus 22:11 [Then] shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour’s goods; and the owner of it shall accept [thereof], and he shall not make [it] good.

Ver. 11. An oath of the Lord.] Who is called in as a witness and as an avenger. How hateful, then, is that Popish proverb and practice, Mercatorum est, non regum, stare iuramentis.

Verse 12

Exodus 22:12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.

Ver. 12. If it be stolen,] sc., Through his carelessness. Poor Jacob had hard law. [Genesis 31:39]

Verse 13

Exodus 22:13 If it be torn in pieces, [then] let him bring it [for] witness, [and] he shall not make good that which was torn.

Ver. 13. Let him bring it.] A leg, or a limb of it, as Amos 3:12.

Verse 14

Exodus 22:14 And if a man borrow [ought] of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof [being] not with it, he shall surely make [it] good.

Ver. 14. And if a man borrow.] God hath so ordered human condition, that one man must be beholden to another.

Verse 15

Exodus 22:15 [But] if the owner thereof [be] with it, he shall not make [it] good: if it [be] an hired [thing], it came for his hire.

Ver. 15. It came for his hire,] q.d., He shall pay the hire only, and no more, though the owner be not by when it miscarrieth.

Verse 16

Exodus 22:16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

Ver. 16. Entice a maid.] Heb., persuade with her by fair words, which make fools fain.

Verse 17

Exodus 22:17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

Ver. 17. He shall pay.] No fine is laid upon her, because she had nothing of her own; and she had lost her honour in losing her virginity. [1 Thessalonians 4:4] {See Trapp on "1 Thessalonians 4:4"}

Verse 18

Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Ver. 18. A witch.] An enchantress, sorceress, whose help was sometimes sought in enticing young maids to folly. (a) The wizzard also is here meant, but the woman witch mentioned; both because women are more inclinable to that sin; and also because the weaker sex is not to be spared for this fault. (b)

Verse 19

Exodus 22:19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

Ver. 19. Be put to death.] Heb., Put him to die. Gr., Kill him with death; as God threateneth to do Jezebel’s children. [Revelation 2:23]

Verse 20

Exodus 22:20 He that sacrificeth unto [any] god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

Ver. 20. He shall be utterly destroyed.] As an execrable and accursed creature.

Verse 21

Exodus 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Ver. 21. Theft shalt not vex a stranger.] The right of strangers is so holy, saith one, that there was never nation so barbarous that would violate the same. When Stephen Gardner had in his power the renowned divine Peter Martyr, then teaching at Oxford, he would not keep him to punish him; but when he should go his way, gave him wherewith to bear his charges. (a)

Verse 22

Exodus 22:22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

Ver. 22. Or fatherless child.] With God "the fatherless findeth mercy." [Hosea 14:3] Widows and orphans are God’s clients, taken into his protection.

Verse 23

Exodus 22:23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry;

Ver. 23. And they cry at all unto me.] A vine whose root is uncovered thrives not: so a widow, whose covering of eyes is taken away, joys not. In Hebrew she is called Almanach, from Alam, to be dumb; because she hath none to speak for her, (a) But if she call and cry to God, he will speak for her in the hearts of her oppressors.

Verse 24

Exodus 22:24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

Ver. 24. Your wives shall be widows.] God delights to punish cruelty in kind, as he did in Agag. [1 Samuel 15:33]

Verse 25

Exodus 22:25 If thou lend money to [any of] my people [that is] poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

Ver. 25. Thou shalt not be to him as a usurer.] Heb., As an exacting creditor, Qui nullum diem gratis occidere creditori permittit. The usurer’s money is to necessity, like cold water to a hot ague, that for a time refresheth, but prolongeth the disease.

Lay upon him usury.] Heb., Biting usury. Usurer’s are men eaters. [Psalms 14:4] Like pickrels in a pond, or sharks in the sea, that devour the lesser fishes. These ostriches can digest any metal, especially money. Aristotle in one page condemneth the usurer and the dicer; (a) and yet some Christians blush at neither.

Verse 26

Exodus 22:26 If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:

Ver. 26, 27. Thy neighbour’s raiment.] Meant only of his bedclothes, tegumentum nocturnum; without which he cannot comfortably rest in the night.

Verse 27

Exodus 22:27 For that [is] his covering only, it [is] his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I [am] gracious.

Ver. 27. {See Trapp on "Exodus 22:26"}

Verse 28

Exodus 22:28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

Ver. 28. Thou shalt not revile the gods.] Blaspheme dignities. [ 1:8] This is blasphemy is the second table.

Verse 29

Exodus 22:29 Thou shalt not delay [to offer] the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

Ver. 29. Theft shalt not delay.] True obedience is prompt and present, ready and speedy, without demurs and consults. "Wings, and wind in their wings." [Zechariah 5:9]

Verse 30

Exodus 22:30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, [and] with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

Ver. 30. On the eighth day.] When a Sabbath had once gone over it, say the Hebrews.

Verse 31

Exodus 22:31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat [any] flesh [that is] torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.

Ver. 31. Holy men.] Heb., Men of holiness, which should run through our whole lives, as the woof doth through the web.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Exodus 22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/exodus-22.html. 1865-1868.