Proverbs 6:31
(31) But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold.--Rather, And if he be found, he may restore sevenfold, he may give up all the wealth of his house. The law only required a two--or four--or fivefold compensation (Exodus 22); he may do even more. "Sevenfold" signifies full restitution. (Comp. Genesis 4:24 : Leviticus 26:28.)

Verse 31. - But if he be taken, he shill restore sevenfold. Men do not despise the thief, but yet they apprehend him and insist on fullest restitution. Be found; i.e. seized (Delitzsch), or legally convicted (Gejerus). He shall restore; i.e. he must restore (Zockler). Delitzsch, however, understands the future, y'shalem, as potential, "he may restore." Sevenfold; Hebrew, siv'athayim; LXX., ἐπταπλάσια; Vulgate, septulum. On this word Geier remarks, "Haec vox nullibi in sacris ponitur pio numero definito;" i.e. "It is nowhere put in Scripture for a definite number." It is therefore to be understood indefinitely of complete restitution, or, as it is expressed in the second and parallel clauses, "all the substance of his house." The word is used in this sense in Genesis 4:24; Leviticus 26:28; Job 5:19 (Lapide). Theft under the Mosaic Law was punishable by a fivefold, fourfold, and twofold restitution (Exodus 22:1-4, 9), and, in the event of this not forthcoming, the delinquent was to be sold into slavery (Leviticus 25:89). In 2 Samuel 12:6 a fourfold restitution is mentioned, and in the New Testament Zacchaeus promises to restore fourfold if he could be convicted of fraud (Luke 19:8). In the attempts to reconcile the "sevenfold" of our passage with the requirements of the Mosaic Law, Aben Ezra says that the combined penalties for two cases of theft are contemplated, and others that in the time of the writer the penalties had been increased. But proof of this is wanting. Grotius's explanation is more curious than correct, viz. that if the theft be repeated seven times, and he be "taken" seven times, the thief should only be punished by being forced to make restitution with some addition. Both the Greek and Roman law demanded a twofold restitution. Selden maintains that theft would have been subjected to the usual punishment (Selden, 'De Jure Not. et Gent.,' 6, 100, 6). We may therefore come to the conclusion that "sevenfold" is used in the sense indicated above. As to any objection which may be raised on the seem of inconsistency in talking of a man malting restitution, and giving all his substance when he steals to satisfy his hunger, it may be remarked that he need not necessarily be without substance of some sort or other, and he could acquire subsequently sufficient to satisfy the demand. On the question whether a person is justified by extreme want in stealing, see Grotius, 'De Jure Belli et Pacis,' 2, 100, 2, § 6; Puffendorf, 'De Jure Not. et Gent,' 2, 100, 6, § 5; Blackstone, 'Commentary,' 4:2 § 4.

6:20-35 The word of God has something to say to us upon all occasions. Let not faithful reproofs ever make us uneasy. When we consider how much this sin abounds, how heinous adultery is in its own nature, of what evil consequence it is, and how certainly it destroys the spiritual life in the soul, we shall not wonder that the cautions against it are so often repeated. Let us notice the subjects of this chapter. Let us remember Him who willingly became our Surety, when we were strangers and enemies. And shall Christians, who have such prospects, motives, and examples, be slothful and careless? Shall we neglect what is pleasing to God, and what he will graciously reward? May we closely watch every sense by which poison can enter our minds or affections.But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold,.... According to the law in Exodus 22:1; in case of theft double was to be restored, if the theft was found alive in his hand; and in some cases fourfold and fivefold. Aben Ezra observing that double and fivefold being near together in the law, joins them, and so makes sevenfold. Some think Solomon has reference to a law in other nations, which obliged to a sevenfold restoration; or that the penalty was increased in his time, but neither appears; rather the meaning is, that a thief should make restoration according to law as often as he is found guilty, be it seven times, or seventy times seven, Matthew 18:21; or the sense is, that be should make perfect restoration, full restitution as the law requires: but then this finding: him is not to be understood of finding him in the fact, stealing to satisfy hunger, for then to insist upon a legal restitution, as it is incompatible with such a man's circumstances, so would contradict what is before said, that such an one is not usually reproached and found fault with; but the sense is, if it should be found otherwise, or it should be found that he has food to satisfy his soul, as Gersom observes, and has no need to steal; or if he is found in a man's house, then he shall make restitution as the law directs, even a full one, Exodus 22:2;

he shall give all the substance of his house: to pay the sevenfold, or to make full restitution; nay, if necessary, he himself may be sold, as the above law requires.

Proverbs 6:30
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