Exo 22:1-15  Laws Regarding Protection of Property

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

 

Exo 22:1-15  Laws Regarding Protection of Property

[Study Aired August 29, 2022]

Exo 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.
Exo 22:2  If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. 
Exo 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.
Exo 22:4  If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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:
Exo 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.
Exo 22:12  And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.
Exo 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.

Today’s study is about the laws of Moses regarding protection of property. Specifically, it deals with stealing and the need to take care of what had been entrusted to us. Our Lord describes believers as stewards which means that we are to oversee His possession and His affairs in this life as the Lord has given us His spiritual riches to take care of in this life.

Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Exo 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.

We have already explained in the previous study that an ox or sheep represents us. In the Bible, the thief that we know is the devil. This is what the Lord has to say about the devil as thief:

Joh 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The old man or the flesh receives its power from the devil, the thief and this collaboration means that our old man is also a thief.

Rev 13:4  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

False teachers and apostles are also described as thieves as they enter not through the door which is Christ.

Joe 2:9  They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief.

Joh 10:1  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

At a certain period of our walk with Christ, we were also thieves just like the house of Israel as we did not offer our bodies to the Lord as living offerings. We also tried to serve the Lord by not entering through the door of Christ.

Mal 3:8  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Jer 2:26  As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets,

As stated in verse 1, since we are all thieves as we have robbed God, we all deserve to restore five oxen for an ox and four sheep for a sheep. Remember that the number five means ‘grace through faith’. It is the coming of the Lord that brought grace through faith. So, Christ represents the five oxen. The number four signifies the whole of the matter under consideration. In this case, it is the whole of the elect represented by the four sheep. The whole of the elect also signifies Christ since it is His body. Verse 1 therefore means that Christ atoned for our sins as thieves.

Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Joh 1:16  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
Joh 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

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

We indicated in verse 1 that the thief represents our old man or the flesh. Seeing our old man as a thief, is the same as finding a thief breaking up as shown in verse 2.  It is when we come to see our old man as he is that the Lord comes to smite it to death with the spirit of His mouth and the brightness of His coming. In this case, there is no blood guilt for us. That means that we shall not be condemned with the world.

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Exo 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.

Those of us whom the Sun of Righteousness has risen within us in this life are equally guilty of stealing from the Lord as we sought to desecrate our bodies and therefore could not offer our bodies as living sacrifice to the Lord. We are therefore guilty and deserve to make full restitution for our sins. As a result, we are sold as slaves to the Lord in this life as He purchased us with His blood. We have nothing to offer to redeem ourselves.

Mal 4:2  But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Rom 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

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

Catching the thief with a live ox, ass or sheep means he shall restore double. This means that we are still stealing in this life and therefore are not given to know Christ in this life. As a result, we shall face a second death in the lake of fire (restore double).

Rev 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Rev 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Rev 20:6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

Exo 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.

We are the beast that has grazed over the field or vineyard. The man that causes us to graze over the field is our Lord Jesus. We are also the ones who were feeding in another man’s field. Another man here signifies another Jesus as we fed on false doctrines during our sojourn in Babylon. Since God is responsible for all that takes place in this world, He takes responsibility for our sins by offering the best of His field and His own vineyard as restitution. The best of our God’s field and vineyard is Christ.

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

2Co 11:4  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Psa 49:7  None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
Psa 49:8  (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever)

Psa 49:15  But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.

Exo 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.

It is the fire of the word of the Lord that consumes thorns and spreads to destroy our stacks of corn or the standing corn in the field. ‘Thorns’ in the scriptures represents false doctrines as shown in the following verse below:

Eze 2:6  And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

It is the truth of the word of the Lord which is this fire which burns down our false doctrines and destroys our food supply. The food supply here is our false doctrines in our heavens. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lights up this fire, has already paid with His life to make restitution on our behalf.

Luk 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?
Luk 12:50  But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Exo 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.

The Lord has delivered to us His spiritual resources to help us to be able to live for Him.

Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

The devil comes into our lives to steal these resources.

Joh 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The statement “If the thief be found” means that if we are blessed to realize that the thief is the wicked one within us, or our old man within us working with the devil, then the Lord will come in with His judgment to destroy the wicked one or our old man. This means we are paying double for our theft as prescribed in verse 7.

Exo 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.
Exo 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.

When we are not given in this life to know that the enemy (the thief) is within, then we shall be brought to the judges to determine our faith at another age. Being brought before the judges means we shall be judged in the lake of fire. The elect being the judges. This is the judgment that we shall face:

1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Rev 21:8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Exo 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:
Exo 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.

We are the neighbor that our Lord has delivered his ox or ass or sheep to keep. In the scriptures, cattle, asses, horses, camels, oxen and sheep are symbols of worldly riches as shown in the following examples of Abraham and Job:

Gen 24:35  And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.

Job 1:3  His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

Verse 10 therefore refers to the spiritual riches the Lord has given to us.

2Pe 1:3  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
2Pe 1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Our time in Babylon is the time of our ignorance. Verse 10 and 11 state that if the beast dies, or be hurt or driven away without anyone seeing, then we are not to pay any retribution for the lost beast by swearing an oath. In our time of ignorance, we did not see that we are not good stewards of those spiritual riches the Lord has given to us as they drifted away because of the false doctrines that we had imbibed in our heavens.

Eze 16:17  Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,

Those times of ignorance, the Lord had overlooked. In other words, we are not to pay any retribution for losing those spiritual riches through our ignorance.

Act 17:30  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 
Act 17:31  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Regarding the swearing of an oath to set us free from paying retribution as stated in verse 11, the Lord has done it on our behalf since we are incapable of keeping an oath.

Heb 6:16  For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.
Heb 6:17  So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,
Heb 6:18  so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. (ESV)

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

The fact that the caretaker can identify that his beast is stolen in contrast with verse 10 where he did not know who took the beast means that in verse 12 here, the caretaker is enlightened. When we become enlightened by the Lord and we allow these spiritual riches the Lord has delivered to us to be stolen by the enemy, the devil, through willful sins, pride, insensitivity to the body, etc., then we shall pay retribution which amounts to facing judgment during the second death in the lake of fire.

Heb 10:26  For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Heb 10:27  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 
Heb 10:28  He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 
Heb 10:29  Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 
Heb 10:30  For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 
Heb 10:31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. 
Heb 10:32  But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
Heb 10:33  Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
Heb 10:34  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
Heb 10:35  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
Heb 10:36  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. 

Heb 12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17  For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

Exo 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. 

In the scriptures being torn in pieces by beasts is part of the judgement of the Lord as shown in the following verses:

Eze 14:15  If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts:

Jer 15:3  And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy.

Eze 5:17  So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee; and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it.

Lev 26:22  I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.

We are all aware that in our carnal state we are beasts. In a negative sense, the beast that the Lord has put in our care to control is our old man or the flesh. Through the Lord’s judgment of this beast within us, the beast is torn in pieces resulting in our being able to walk in righteousness which is the witness in verse 13. As a result, we become free from any retribution or the second death of the lake of fire.

Rev 2:11  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Exo 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.

As we receive the blessings of the Lord, we are admonished not to borrow. The fact that the man has borrowed means that Christ has not been formed in his heart. This is affirmed in verse 14 as the owner, who is Christ, is not present with the borrower. In our state of carnality, we cannot be good custodians of the Lord’s riches. As a result, we shall pay retribution as we shall end up in the lake of fire.

Deu 15:6  For the LORD thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.

Deu 28:12  The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

Exo 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.

We all start our walk in Christ being carnal and therefore without the blessing of the Lord. We therefore end up borrowing. In the final analysis, we lose the spiritual riches the Lord has lent to us. Fortunately, because the Lord is with us and His coming to us means judgment, we shall not be part of the second death. In other words, we shall not pay retribution as stated in verse 15.

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Joh 5:22  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

Joh 5:23  That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Joh 5:25  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
Joh 5:26  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
Joh 5:27  And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
Joh 5:28  Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 
Joh 5:29  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

Conclusion

As you can see, today’s study is about being a good steward of the Lord’s riches. The study today therefore will not be complete if we do not know what it takes to become a good steward of the Lord’s riches which are His words. The following scriptures will help us to know how to be good stewards:

1Ti 6:17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
1Ti 6:18  That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 
1Ti 6:19  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1Ti 6:20  O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
1Ti 6:21  Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

Verse 17 here says that those who are rich in this world should not be high-minded. The spiritual implication here is that those who have been given spiritual riches in this life should not be proud. That refers to you and me. Pride is what has caused many to desert us thinking they have the spiritual riches more than anybody else in the fellowship. To be good stewards of Christ’s wealth, we must be humble.

1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Verse 17 also means that we must put our hope in Christ and not in physical riches. We must be content with what we have and know that the Lord will take care of us irrespective of our financial situation.

Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

1Ti 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1Ti 6:8  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1Ti 6:9  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1Ti 6:10  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

In verse 18, we are admonished that to be a good steward of the Lord’s spiritual wealth, we must be rich in good deeds and sacrificial giving. Verse 19 admonishes us to pursue the Lord’s reward if we want to be good stewards. Our Lord showed us His example of being a good steward by focusing on the reward or the joy that was set before Him.

Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In verse 20 and 21 of Timothy chapter 6, we are told to be good stewards of the Lord’s word by studying to show ourselves approved and guard the word against infiltration of false doctrines. We have been given an example of this in Genesis where the Cherubims (the elect) were guarding the tree of life in the garden of Eden.

2Ti 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Finally, in verse 21, we are encouraged to rely on the Lord’s grace if we are to be good stewards of the Lord’s riches, which are His words. The grace here is His presence within us and His judgment. We will end the study today with the following words of the Lord’s:

Luk 16:10  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
Luk 16:11  If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Luk 16:12  And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?

May the Lord grant us the grace to be good stewards of His riches as we wait for His appearing. Amen!!

Other related posts