Exodus 22-24 Bible in Basic English

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Laws concerning Restitution

22 1  If a man takes without right another man's ox or his sheep, and puts it to death or gets a price for it, he is to give five oxen for an ox, or four sheep for a sheep, in payment: the thief will have to make payment for what he has taken; if he has no money, he himself will have to be exchanged for money, so that payment may be made. 2  If a thief is taken in the act of forcing his way into a house, and his death is caused by a blow, the owner of the house is not responsible for his blood. 3  But if it is after dawn, he will be responsible. 4  If he still has what he had taken, whatever it is, ox or ass or sheep, he is to give twice its value. 5  If a man makes a fire in a field or a vine-garden, and lets the fire do damage to another man's field, he is to give of the best produce of his field or his vine-garden to make up for it. 6  If there is a fire and the flames get to the thorns at the edge of the field, causing destruction of the cut grain or of the living grain, or of the field, he who made the fire will have to make up for the damage.

7  If a man puts money or goods in the care of his neighbour to keep for him, and it is taken from the man's house, if they get the thief, he will have to make payment of twice the value. 8  If they do not get the thief, let the master of the house come before the judges and take an oath that he has not put his hand on his neighbour's goods. 9  In any question about an ox or an ass or a sheep or clothing, or about the loss of any property which anyone says is his, let the two sides put their cause before God; and he who is judged to be in the wrong is to make payment to his neighbour of twice the value. 10  If a man puts an ass or an ox or a sheep or any beast into the keeping of his neighbour, and it comes to death or is damaged or is taken away, without any person seeing it: 11  If he takes his oath before the Lord that he has not put his hand to his neighbour's goods, the owner is to take his word for it and he will not have to make payment for it. 12  But if it is taken from him by a thief, he is to make up for the loss of it to its owner. 13  But if it has been damaged by a beast, and he is able to make this clear, he will not have to make payment for what was damaged. 14  If a man gets from his neighbour the use of one of his beasts, and it is damaged or put to death when the owner is not with it, he will certainly have to make payment for the loss. 15  If the owner is with it, he will not have to make payment: if he gave money for the use of it, the loss is covered by the payment.

Laws of Human Relations

16  If a man takes a virgin, who has not given her word to another man, and has connection with her, he will have to give a bride-price for her to be his wife. 17  If her father will not give her to him on any account, he will have to give the regular payment for virgins. 18  Any woman using unnatural powers or secret arts is to be put to death. 19  Any man who has sex connection with a beast is to be put to death. 20  Complete destruction will come on any man who makes offerings to any other god but the Lord. 21  Do no wrong to a man from a strange country, and do not be hard on him; for you yourselves were living in a strange country, in the land of Egypt. 22  Do no wrong to a widow, or to a child whose father is dead. 23  If you are cruel to them in any way, and their cry comes up to me, I will certainly give ear; 24  And in the heat of my wrath I will put you to death with the sword, so that your wives will be widows and your children without fathers.

25  If you let any of the poor among my people have the use of your money, do not be a hard creditor to him, and do not take interest. 26  If ever you take your neighbour's clothing in exchange for the use of your money, let him have it back before the sun goes down: 27  For it is the only thing he has for covering his skin; what is he to go to sleep in? and when his cry comes up to me, I will give ear, for my mercy is great. 28  You may not say evil of the judges, or put a curse on the ruler of your people. 29  Do not keep back your offerings from the wealth of your grain and your vines. The first of your sons you are to give to me. 30  In the same way with your oxen and your sheep: for seven days let the young one be with its mother; on the eighth day give it to me. 31  You are to be holy men to me: the flesh of no animal whose death has been caused by the beasts of the field may be used for your food; it is to be given to the dogs.

23 1  Do not let a false statement go further; do not make an agreement with evil-doers to be a false witness. 2  Do not be moved to do wrong by the general opinion, or give the support of your words to a wrong decision: 3  But, on the other hand, do not be turned from what is right in order to give support to a poor man's cause. 4  If you come across the ox or the ass of one who is no friend to you wandering from its way, you are to take it back to him. 5  If you see the ass of one who has no love for you bent down to the earth under the weight which is put on it, you are to come to its help, even against your desire. 6  Let no wrong decisions be given in the poor man's cause. 7  Keep yourselves far from any false business; never let the upright or him who has done no wrong be put to death: for I will make the evil-doer responsible for his sin. 8  Take no rewards in a cause: for rewards make blind those who have eyes to see, and make the decisions of the upright false. 9  Do not be hard on the man from a strange country who is living among you; for you have had experience of the feelings of one who is far from the land of his birth, because you yourselves were living in Egypt, in a strange land.

10  For six years put seed into your fields and get in the increase; 11  But in the seventh year let the land have a rest and be unplanted; so that the poor may have food from it: and let the beasts of the field take the rest. Do the same with your vine-gardens and your olive-trees. 12  For six days do your work, and on the seventh day keep the Sabbath; so that your ox and your ass may have rest, together with the son of your servant and the man from a strange land living among you. 13  Take note of all these things which I have said to you, and let not the names of other gods come into your minds or from your lips.

The Three Appointed Feasts

14  Three times in the year you are to keep a feast to me. 15  You are to keep the feast of unleavened bread; for seven days let your bread be without leaven, as I gave you orders, at the regular time in the month Abib (for in it you came out of Egypt); and let no one come before me without an offering: 16  And the feast of the grain-cutting, the first-fruits of your planted fields: and the feast at the start of the year, when you have got in all the fruit from your fields. 17  Three times in the year let all your males come before the Lord God. 18  Do not give the blood of my offering with leavened bread; and do not let the fat of my feast be kept all night till the morning. 19  The best of the first-fruits of your land are to be taken into the house of the Lord your God. The young goat is not to be cooked in its mother's milk.

The LORD's Angel Sent to Lead Israel

20  See, I am sending an angel before you, to keep you on your way and to be your guide into the place which I have made ready for you. 21  Give attention to him and give ear to his voice; do not go against him; for your wrongdoing will not be overlooked by him, because my name is in him. 22  But if you truly give ear to his voice, and do whatever I say, then I will be against those who are against you, fighting those who are fighting you. 23  And my angel will go before you, guiding you into the land of the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Canaanite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, and they will be cut off by my hand. 24  Do not go down on your faces and give worship to their gods, or do as they do; but overcome them completely, and let their pillars be broken down. 25  And give worship to the Lord your God, who will send his blessing on your bread and on your water; and I will take all disease away from among you. 26  All your animals will give birth without loss, not one will be without young in all your land; I will give you a full measure of life. 27  I will send my fear before you, putting to flight all the people to whom you come; all those who are against you will go in flight, turning their backs before you. 28  I will send hornets before you, driving out the Hivite and the Canaanite and the Hittite before your face. 29  I will not send them all out in one year, for fear that their land may become waste, and the beasts of the field be increased overmuch against you. 30  Little by little I will send them away before you, till your numbers are increased and you take up your heritage in the land. 31  I will let the limits of your land be from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the waste land to the river Euphrates: for I will give the people of those lands into your power; and you will send them out before you. 32  Make no agreement with them or with their gods. 33  Let them not go on living in your land, or they will make you do evil against me: for if you give worship to their gods, it will certainly be a cause of sin to you.

Moses and the Elders on Mount Sinai

24 1  And he said to Moses, Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, and Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the chiefs of Israel; and give me worship from a distance. 2  And Moses only may come near to the Lord; but the others are not to come near, and the people may not come up with them. 3  Then Moses came and put before the people all the words of the Lord and his laws: and all the people, answering with one voice, said, Whatever the Lord has said we will do. 4  Then Moses put down in writing all the words of the Lord, and he got up early in the morning and made an altar at the foot of the mountain, with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5  And he sent some of the young men of the children of Israel to make burned offerings and peace-offerings of oxen to the Lord. 6  And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins; draining out half of the blood over the altar. 7  And he took the book of the agreement, reading it in the hearing of the people: and they said, Everything which the Lord has said we will do, and we will keep his laws. 8  Then Moses took the blood and let it come on the people, and said, This blood is the sign of the agreement which the Lord has made with you in these words.

9  Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the chiefs of Israel went up: 10  And they saw the God of Israel; and under his feet there was, as it seemed, a jewelled floor, clear as the heavens. 11  And he put not his hand on the chiefs of the children of Israel: they saw God, and took food and drink.

12  And the Lord said to Moses, Come up to me on the mountain, and take your place there: and I will give you the stones on which I have put in writing the law and the orders, so that you may give the people knowledge of them. 13  Then Moses and Joshua his servant got up; and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14  And he said to the chiefs, Keep your places here till we come back to you: Aaron and Hur are with you; if anyone has any cause let him go to them. 15  And Moses went up into the mountain, and it was covered by the cloud. 16  And the glory of the Lord was resting on Mount Sinai, and the cloud was over it for six days; and on the seventh day he said Moses' name out of the cloud. 17  And the glory of the Lord was like a flame on the top of the mountain before the eyes of the children of Israel. 18  And Moses went up the mountain, into the cloud, and was there for forty days and forty nights.

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