ABC:Exodus 3

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Verse 22, Should We Steal?[edit]

Dan Barker of FFRF claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):[1]

Should We Steal?

Exodus 20:15 Thou shalt not steal.

Leviticus 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning.


Exodus 3:22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.

Exodus 12:35-36 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

Luke 19:29-34 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him.

FFRF omits the context of both Exodus 3:22 and Exodus 12:35-36, quoting only a small part of the verses, the phrases about spoiling the Egyptians. If reading the entire verses (as quoted here), it is apparent that the spoiling was done through the Israelites asking the Egyptians to give them things, rather than any form of theft. Indeed, Exodus 3:21 shows that the Egyptians did so willingly because God "will give these people favour in the sight of the Egyptians."

The Egyptians gave willingly to the Israelites whom they had enslaved for centuries, eager to get rid of the plagues God was sending. (Exodus 12:33) The Egyptians willingly loaned to the Israelites. (Exodus 12:36). There was no theft involved.

As for Luke 19:29-34, the owners of the colt were clearly followers of Jesus; or they would not have accepted an explanation that "the Lord hath need of him." Jesus knew they would ask, and thus told the disciples what to say. It may be that Jesus had already arranged with the colt's owners ahead of time that he would one day have need of the colt. Whatever the reason, the owners accepted the explanation and allowed the disciples to take the colt for the Lord's use. (cp. Mark 11:3,6) More than that we are not told, but the owners willingly relinquished the colt; there was no theft involved.


  1. Barker, D. (2019). "Bible Contradictions." FFRF.