Saturday, February 07, 2015

Borrowing Has Its Risks -- Exodus 22:14-15


“And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it is injured or dies while its owner is not with it, he shall make full restitution.  If its owner is with it, he shall not make restitution; if it is hired, it came for its hire.”
 
Two verses dedicated to borrowing rules.  You borrow it, use it, and if you break it or harm it (or kill it if it is an animal), you do so at your own expense and you will be responsible to compensate the owner for it. Unless of course, the owner was with you when this happened.
Here’s an example of how this may work out today:  “Yes, you can borrow my extra pair of skis while we ski together this weekend, and if they break, no problem.  But if you borrow them again to go skiing with your friends when I can’t and they break, you have to replace them.”
Chuck Smith suggests that the last two phrases of this passage, namely “if it is hired, it came for its hire,” are, because they are part of the whole last sentence implying that if someone borrowed or hired you and your equipment or animal (to till the ground or for any other purpose) and the equipment or the animal is damaged or ruined (or killed), then that was a known inherent possibility in the deal and since the owner was present, the borrower or the one that hired you and your equipment or animal is not responsible.  Again, if I borrowed your pick-up truck to move some furniture, and it broke down – I have to fix it.  But if I asked you (or hired you) to bring your truck and help me move some furniture, and it broke down, I am not responsible morally to pay the costs of fixing it.  (Unless, of course, I go over and above what the law says.)  When the owner is present, the user is not as responsible.
Bottom lines continue to be: Lender, be aware of the risks.  Borrower, be responsible when the risks occur.
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