Exodus 22:8 MEANING

Exodus 22:8
(8) To see whether he have put his hand.--Kalisch translates, to swear that he has not put his hand, and so the LXX. (??? ???????) and Vulg. (et jurabit quod non extenderit manum).

Verse 8. - If the thief be not found. - It is not clear what was to be done in this case. Kalisch supposes that it came under the law of the oath (ver. 10), and that if the man entrusted with the deposit swore that he had not embezzled it, he was let go free. But as stolen cattle were to be compensated for to the owner (ver. 12), it would seem to be more consistent that stolen money or chattels should also have been made good.

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.If the thief be not found,.... And so no account can be given of the goods deposited, what is become of them, and it becomes a doubtful case whether they have been stolen or embezzled, and there is suspicion of the latter:

then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges: here called Elohim, gods, because they were God's vicegerents, and represented him, and acted under his power and authority; and who at this present were Moses, and those that judged the people under him, and afterwards the seventy elders, and all such who in succeeding times were judges in Israel, and bore the office of civil magistrates; before these the master of the house, or the person who had any goods committed to his care, and they were lost, was to be brought and put to his oath, and upon it examined, in order to find out what was become of the goods committed to him: to see whether he has put his hand to his neighbour's goods: took them to himself, made use of them, or disposed of them to his own advantage, and which was no other than a kind of theft.

Courtesy of Open Bible