While using a Bible reading plan, a verse came to my attention about thieves that steal bread. The verse(s) may have had something to do with the thief trying to feed his or her family, but the judgement (if my memory is correct) would be that the thief would have to pay double if caught. The crime and judgment are mentioned in one of the first four books of the Old Testament (probably Exodus or Leviticus). After spending over thirty minutes searching for it with Bible software, in a physical book, and on the internet, the identity of the verse(s) have yet to be discovered. Any help trying to locate them would be appreciated.

Which verses in Exodus or Leviticus deal with a man stealing bread and having to pay double?


It's Exodus 22. There's nothing specifically about bread, but it covers theft and double restoration.

Exodus 22:4 (KJV):

If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

Exodus 22:7 (KJV):

If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

  • Those verses were found during my search but did not satisfy the criteria regarding someone stealing bread. Are you sure there are no better matches? Mar 3 '16 at 15:28
  • I'm pretty certain. What translation were you reading from?
    – Rob K
    Mar 3 '16 at 15:47
  • It was from the King James Version on the daily reading section of the Bible Hub Android application. Mar 3 '16 at 17:37

To my knowledge, there is no verse in the Bible that speaks specifically of a person who steals bread having to pay double.

However, it is good to keep in mind that the Hebrew word for "bread" (לֶחֶם) is commonly used to mean "food" in general. With that in mind, in addition to the verses from Exodus quoted in Rob K's answer, which deal with double restitution for theft, perhaps you are thinking of Proverbs 6:30-31 (NRSV):

Thieves are not despised who steal only
    to satisfy their appetite when they are hungry.
Yet if they are caught, they will pay sevenfold;
    they will forfeit all the goods of their house.

It's not in the first four books of the Bible, and it speaks of paying sevenfold rather than double, but it does deal with stealing to stave off hunger, and paying multiple restitution if caught. See also the various commentaries on Proverbs 6:31 here, which refer to double (and more) restitution for theft.

  • I wish it were possible to accept both answers, but hopefully voting the answer up will be enough. Thanks for your time and effort! Mar 4 '16 at 16:21
  • Works for me. I would have quoted the same verses @RobK did. Accepting his answer ensures that it will be read first, which is the order in which the two answers should be read. Mar 4 '16 at 16:37

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