Mishneh Torah, Theft
Chapter 1א׳
1 א

כָּל הַגּוֹנֵב מָמוֹן מִשְּׁוֵה פְּרוּטָה וּלְמַעְלָה עוֹבֵר עַל לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט יא) "לֹא תִגְנֹב". וְאֵין לוֹקִין עַל לָאו זֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי נִתָּן לְתַשְׁלוּמִין שֶׁהַגַּנָּב חִיְּבַתּוּ תּוֹרָה לְשַׁלֵּם. וְאֶחָד הַגּוֹנֵב מָמוֹן יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ הַגּוֹנֵב מָמוֹן עַכּוּ''ם וְאֶחָד הַגּוֹנֵב אֶת הַגָּדוֹל אוֹ אֶת הַקָּטָן:

Anyone who steals property worth a penny or more transgresses the prohibition: "You shall not steal" (Exodus 20:15). One does not incur the penalty of lashes by breaking this prohibition, since the atonement for stealing is obtained by payment of the principal and the fine; the Torah requires the thief to repay. It makes no difference whether one steals the property of a Jew or a non-Jew, or whether one steals from an adult or from a minor.

2 ב

אָסוּר לִגְנֹב כָּל שֶׁהוּא דִּין תּוֹרָה. וְאָסוּר לִגְנֹב דֶּרֶךְ שְׂחוֹק אוֹ לִגְנֹב עַל מְנָת לְהַחְזִיר אוֹ עַל מְנָת לְשַׁלֵּם הַכּל אָסוּר שֶׁלֹּא יַרְגִּיל עַצְמוֹ בְּכָךְ:

According to the law of the Torah, it is forbidden to steal the smallest amount. It is likewise forbidden to steal in jest, or to steal with the intention of returning the object or paying for it. All this is forbidden, lest one may become addicted to it.

3 ג

אֵיזֶה הוּא גַּנָּב זֶה הַלּוֹקֵחַ מָמוֹן אָדָם בַּסֵּתֶר וְאֵין הַבְּעָלִים יוֹדְעִים. כְּגוֹן הַפּוֹשֵׁט יָדוֹ לְתוֹךְ כִּיס חֲבֵרוֹ וְלָקַח מְעוֹתָיו וְאֵין הַבְּעָלִים רוֹאִין. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. אֲבָל אִם לָקַח בְּגָלוּי וּבְפַרְהֶסְיָא בְּחֹזֶק יָד אֵין זֶה גַּנָּב אֶלָּא גַּזְלָן. לְפִיכָךְ לִסְטִים מְזֻיָּן שֶׁגָּנַב אֵינוֹ גַּזְלָן אֶלָּא גַּנָּב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַבְּעָלִים יוֹדְעִים בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁגָּנַב:

Who is a thief? One who takes a person's property secretly without the owner's knowledge, as when he puts his hand into someone's pocket and takes money out without the awareness of the owner, and so on. If, however, one took something openly, publicly, forcibly, he is not deemed a thief but a robber. Hence, if an armed robber stole something, he is not considered a robber but a thief, even though the owner was aware of the action at the time the robber was stealing.

4 ד

גַּנָּב שֶׁהֵעִידוּ עָלָיו עֵדִים כְּשֵׁרִים שֶׁגָּנַב חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם לְבַעַל הַגְּנֵבָה. אִם גָּנַב דִּינָר מְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם. גָּנַב חֲמוֹר אוֹ כְּסוּת אוֹ גָּמָל מְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם בְּדָמֶיהָ. נִמְצָא מַפְסִיד כַּשִּׁעוּר שֶׁבִּקֵּשׁ לְחַסֵּר אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ:

If eligible witnesses testified that an individual committed a theft, he must pay the owner of the stolen property twice its value. If he stole one denar, he must pay two; if he stole a donkey or a garment or a camel, he must pay twice its value. Thus he loses in proportion to what he intended to despoil another.

5 ה

גַּנָּב שֶׁהוֹדָה מֵעַצְמוֹ שֶׁגָּנַב מְשַׁלֵּם אֶת הַקֶּרֶן וּפָטוּר מִן הַכֶּפֶל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב ח) "אֲשֶׁר יַרְשִׁיעֻן אֱלֹהִים יְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם" וְלֹא הַמַּרְשִׁיעַ אֶת עַצְמוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם שְׁנַיִם. וְהוּא הַדִּין לְכָל הַקְּנָסוֹת שֶׁהַמּוֹדֶה בָּהֶן פָּטוּר:

If a thief has confessed of his own accord that he has stolen, he has to repay the capital value and is exempt from paying a double amount, as it is written: "He whom the judges condemn shall pay double" (Exodus 22:8), implying that a man who condemns himself does not have to pay double. The same rule applies to all fines: if a person admits his guilt, he is exempt [from paying fines].

6 ו

תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל נוֹהֲגִין בַּכּל חוּץ מִשֶּׂה וְשׁוֹר שֶׁהַגּוֹנֵב אֶת הַשּׁוֹר אוֹ אֶת הַשֶּׂה וְטָבַח אוֹ מָכַר מְשַׁלֵּם עַל הַשֶּׂה תַּשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וְעַל הַשּׁוֹר תַּשְׁלוּמֵי חֲמִשָּׁה:

The fine of double payment applies to everything except a sheep or an ox. If one stole an ox or a sheep and slaughtered it or sold it, he has to pay fourfold for the sheep and fivefold for the ox.

7 ז

אֶחָד הָאִישׁ וְאֶחָד הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁגָּנְבוּ חַיָּבִין לְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל וְתַשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה. הָיְתָה אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ שֶׁאֵין לָהּ לְשַׁלֵּם הֲרֵי הַכֶּפֶל עָלֶיהָ חוֹב עַד שֶׁתִּתְגָּרֵשׁ אוֹ יָמוּת בַּעְלָהּ וּבֵית דִּין נִפְרָעִים מִמֶּנָּה:

There is no difference between man and woman who stole; they must each pay double, or fourfold, or fivefold. If the thief was a married woman without money of her own to pay, the double amount of the theft becomes a debt which the court collects from her when she is divorced or her husband dies.

8 ח

קָטָן שֶׁגָּנַב פָּטוּר מִן הַכֶּפֶל וּמַחְזִירִין לוֹ דָּבָר הַגָּנוּב מִמֶּנּוּ. וְאִם אָבְדוּ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם אַף הַקֶּרֶן וַאֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר שֶׁהִגְדִּיל:

If a minor committed theft, he is exempt from paying double, but the stolen object must be returned to the owner. If the minor lost it, he is not liable to repay even its capital value, not even after he has reached full age.

9 ט

הָעֶבֶד שֶׁגָּנַב פָּטוּר מִן הַכֶּפֶל וּבְעָלָיו פְּטוּרִין שֶׁאֵין אָדָם חַיָּב עַל נִזְקֵי עֲבָדָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מָמוֹנוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן דַּעַת וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְשָׁמְרָן שֶׁאִם יַכְעִיסֶנּוּ רַבּוֹ יֵלֵךְ וְיַדְלִיק גָּדִישׁ בְּאֶלֶף דִּינָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה מִשְּׁאָר נְזָקִין. נִשְׁתַּחְרֵר הָעֶבֶד חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם אֶת הַכֶּפֶל:

If a slave committed theft, both he and his master are exempt from paying double: a man is not liable for damage done by his slaves although they are his chattels, because they have minds of their own and he cannot keep watch over them. A slave angered by his master might go and set fire to a grain stack worth a thousand denars or do similar damage [in order to cause his master to pay a large fine]. Should the slave become free, he must make the double payment [for what he had stolen].

10 י

רָאוּי לְבֵית דִּין לְהַכּוֹת אֶת הַקְּטַנִּים כְּפִי כֹּחַ הַקָּטָן עַל הַגְּנֵבָה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ רְגִילִין בָּהּ. וְכֵן אִם הִזִּיקוּ שְׁאָר נְזָקִין. וְכֵן מַכִּין אֶת הָעֲבָדִים שֶׁגָּנְבוּ אוֹ שֶׁהִזִּיקוּ מַכָּה רַבָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ רְגִילִין לְהַזִּיק:

The court should impose physical punishment upon minors, in proportion to their strength, for committing theft, so that they should not become addicted to stealing. So too, if they occasion other damage. If slaves steal or do damage, they too should be severely punished in order that they should not grow accustomed to cause injury.

11 יא

הָיְתָה הַגְּנֵבָה בְּיַד הַגַּנָּב וְהִשְׁבִּיחָה מֵאֵלֶיהָ כְּגוֹן כִּבְשָׂה שֶׁיָּלְדָה וּגְזָזָהּ מְשַׁלֵּם אוֹתָהּ וְאֶת גִּזּוֹתֶיהָ וְאֶת וַלְדוֹתֶיהָ. וְאִם אַחַר יֵאוּשׁ יָלְדָה וּגְזָזָהּ מְשַׁלֵּם כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּנֵבָה. הוֹצִיא עָלֶיהָ הוֹצָאָה וְהִשְׁבִּיחָהּ כְּגוֹן שֶׁפִּטְּמָהּ הֲרֵי הַשֶּׁבַח שֶׁל גַּנָּב אֲפִלּוּ לִפְנֵי יֵאוּשׁ. וּכְשֶׁמַּחְזִיר הַגְּנֵבָה עִם הַכֶּפֶל נוֹטֵל הַשֶּׁבַח מִן הַבְּעָלִים אוֹ מְחַשְּׁבִין לוֹ מִן הַכֶּפֶל:

When the stolen article increased in value while it was in the thief's possession - e.g., a sheep bore a lamb and it was shorn - the thief must restore the sheep, its shearings and its offspring. If the owner already despaired of the sheep's return, and it gave birth or was shorn, the thief must pay only the value at the time of the theft. If the thief invested in the stolen property, causing its value to increase - e.g., he force fed livestock - the thief is entitled to the increase in value even when the owner does not despair of the article's return. When the thief restores the stolen article and the double payment, he should be repaid for the increase in value by the owner, or that amount should be deducted from the double payment.

12 יב

הַגְּנֵבָה עַצְמָהּ שֶׁהִיא בְּיַד הַגַּנָּב וְלֹא נִשְׁתַּנֵּית חוֹזֶרֶת לִבְעָלֶיהָ בֵּין לִפְנֵי יֵאוּשׁ בֵּין לְאַחַר יֵאוּשׁ אֶלָּא שֶׁאַחַר יֵאוּשׁ הַשֶּׁבַח לַגַּנָּב כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. נִשְׁתַּנֵּית הַגְּנֵבָה בְּיַד הַגַּנָּב קְנָאָהּ וְקָנָה שִׁבְחָהּ אֲפִלּוּ לִפְנֵי יֵאוּשׁ וְאֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם אֶלָּא דָּמִים:

When the stolen article remains unchanged in the possession of the thief, it should be returned to its owner regardless of whether or not he despaired of its return. If, however, it increased in value after the owner despaired of its return, the thief is entitled to that increase, as we have explained above. If, however, the stolen article underwent a fundamental change while in the thief's possession, the thief acquires it and any increase in its value, even before the owner despairs of the article's return. All that is required of him is to return the value of the stolen article at the time of the theft.

13 יג

גָּנַב כְּחוּשָׁה וְהִשְׁמִינָה אוֹ שְׁמֵנָה וְהִכְחִישָׁה מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל אוֹ תַּשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּנֵבָה. גָּנַב טָלֶה וְנַעֲשָׂה אַיִל עֵגֶל וְנַעֲשָׂה שׁוֹר מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּנֵבָה. טְבָחוֹ אוֹ מְכָרוֹ אַחַר שֶׁהִגְדִּיל נַעֲשָׂה שִׁנּוּי בְּיָדוֹ וְקָנָהוּ וְשֶׁלּוֹ הוּא טוֹבֵחַ וְשֶׁלּוֹ הוּא מוֹכֵר וְאֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה:

If a man stole a lean animal and it grew fat, or a fat animal and it got lean, he must pay double or fourfold or fivefold the value it had at the time of the theft. If a man stole a lamb and it grew into a ram, or a calf and it grew into an ox, he must pay double the value it had at the time of the theft. If he slaughtered or sold it after it had grown, he acquired title to it on account of the change which occurred while the animal was in his possession and it is his own property that he has slaughtered or sold; hence, he is exempt from the fourfold or fivefold fine.

14 יד

גָּנַב בְּהֵמָה אוֹ כְּלִי וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וּבִשְׁעַת הַגְּנֵבָה הָיָה שָׁוֶה אַרְבָּעָה וְעַכְשָׁו בִּשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין שָׁוֶה שְׁנַיִם מְשַׁלֵּם קֶרֶן כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּנֵבָה וְתַשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה כִּשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין. הָיָה שָׁוֶה בִּשְׁעַת הַגְּנֵבָה שְׁנַיִם וּבִשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין אַרְבָּעָה אִם שָׁחַט אוֹ מָכַר אוֹ שָׁבַר הַכְּלִי אוֹ אִבְּדוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה כִּשְׁעַת הַעֲמָדָה בַּדִּין. וְאִם מֵתָה הַבְּהֵמָה אוֹ אָבַד הַכְּלִי מֵאֵלָיו מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל כִּשְׁעַת הַגְּנֵבָה:

When a person steals an animal, a utensil or the like that was worth four zuz at the time of the theft, but at the time the case is brought to court, it depreciated and is worth only two, the thief must pay the worth of the principal at the time of the theft, and pay the double - or quadruple or quintuple - amount as evaluated at the time the case is brought to court. The following rules apply if an animal or a utensil was worth two zuz at the time of the theft, but at the time the case is brought to court, it appreciated and is worth four. If the person slaughtered or sold the animal or destroyed or lost the utensil, he must pay double - or four or five times - the worth of the stolen article at the time the case is brought to court. If the animal died or the utensil was lost as a matter of course, he must pay double the worth of the stolen article at the time of the theft.

15 טו

מִי שֶׁגָּנַב כְּלִי וּשְׁבָרוֹ אוֹ פִּחֲתוֹ אוֹ נִשְׁבַּר אוֹ נִפְחַת מֵאֵלָיו אֵין שָׁמִין לוֹ הַפְּחָת אֶלָּא רוֹאִין כַּמָּה הָיָה שָׁוֶה אוֹתוֹ הַכְּלִי וּמְשַׁלֵּם לַבְּעָלִים שְׁנַיִם בְּדָמָיו וְהַכְּלִי הַשָּׁבוּר יִהְיֶה לַגַּנָּב. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְאִם רָצוּ הַבְּעָלִים לִטּל הַכְּלִי הַשָּׁבוּר וִישַׁלֵּם לָהֶם הַפְּחָת וְהַכֶּפֶל שׁוֹמְעִין לָהֶן:

When a person steals a utensil and destroys it or causes it to decrease in value - or it is destroyed or it decreases in value as a matter of course - the amount of the decrease is not evaluated. Instead, we evaluate the original worth of this utensil, and the thief is obligated to pay the owner twice this amount. The broken utensil becomes the property of the thief. The same laws apply in all similar instances. If the owner desires to take the broken utensil and be compensated for the damage done to it and receive the double payment, his wishes are respected.

16 טז

הַגַּנָּב שֶׁגָּנַב וְטָבַח אוֹ מָכַר לִפְנֵי יֵאוּשׁ בְּעָלִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא קָנָה לוֹקֵחַ וַהֲרֵי הַגְּנֵבָה חוֹזֶרֶת בְּעַצְמָהּ מִיַּד הַלּוֹקֵחַ הֲרֵי זֶה מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם טָבַח אוֹ מָכַר לְאַחַר יֵאוּשׁ שֶׁהוּא מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה שֶׁהֲרֵי הוֹעִיל בְּמַעֲשָׂיו וְקָנָה הַלּוֹקֵחַ:

When a thief slaughters or sells a sheep or an ox before the owner despairs of its return, he is required to pay four or five times its amount, despite the fact that the sale is nullified and the purchaser does not acquire the article, but instead must return it intact to its original owner. Needless to say, the above applies if he slaughters or sells the animal after the owner despairs of its return. For his deed is effective, and the purchaser is considered to have acquired the article.

17 יז

הַגּוֹנֵב מִגַּנָּב אַחֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל וְאִם טָבַח וּמָכַר אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה לַגַּנָּב הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי דִּין הַבְּהֵמָה הַזֹּאת לַחֲזֹר בְּעֵינֶיהָ לַבְּעָלִים וְלֹא קְנָאָהּ הַגַּנָּב וְלַבְּעָלִים אֵינוֹ מְשַׁלֵּם הַכֶּפֶל אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא גְּנָבָהּ מֵרְשׁוּתָן:

When a thief steals from another thief, he is not required to pay twice its amount. This applies even if the original owner despaired of the stolen article's return. If the second thief slaughters or sells a stolen animal, he is not required to pay the first thief four or five times its worth. The rationale is that the law is that this animal must be returned to its owner; it was never acquired by the thief. Nor must the second thief pay twice, four or five times the amount to the original owner, because he did not steal the property from the original owner's domain.

18 יח

גָּנַב וְטָבַח וּבָא גַּנָּב אַחֵר וְגָנַב. הַגַּנָּב הָאַחֲרוֹן מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל לַגַּנָּב הָרִאשׁוֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי קָנָה בְּשִׁנּוּי מַעֲשֶׂה וְגַנָּב הָרִאשׁוֹן מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה. גָּנַב וּמָכַר וּבָא אַחֵר וְגָנַב מִן הַלּוֹקֵחַ. אִם נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים הֲרֵי הָרִאשׁוֹן מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי אַרְבָּעָה וַחֲמִשָּׁה וְהַגַּנָּב הַשֵּׁנִי מְשַׁלֵּם תַּשְׁלוּמֵי כֶּפֶל וְאִם לֹא נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים אֵין הָאַחֲרוֹן מְשַׁלֵּם אֶלָּא קֶרֶן בִּלְבַד:

If a man stole an animal and slaughtered it, and then another thief stole it from him, the second thief must pay him double, because he had acquired title by a change brought about by human action; the first thief must pay the original owner fourfold or fivefold.— —