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Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary


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Among the Hebrews theft was not punished with death: "Men do not despise a thief if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry. But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house," Proverbs 6:30-31 . The law allowed the killing of a night- robber, because it was supposed his intention was to murder as well as to rob, Exodus 22:2 . It condemned a common thief to make double restitution, Exodus 22:4 . If he stole an ox he was to restore it fivefold; if a sheep, only fourfold, Exodus 22:1 ; 2 Samuel 12:6 . But if the animal that was stolen was found alive in his house he only rendered the double of it. If he did not make restitution, they seized what was in his house, put it up to sale, and even sold the person himself if he had not wherewithal to make satisfaction, Exodus 22:3 .

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Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Thief'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. 1831-2.

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