Proverbs 6:31

But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
– Proverbs 6:31

Restoring sevenfold is an expression that refers to the law of restitution (Exodus 22:1-4). Sevenfold expresses a severe penalty paid. Theft was a breach between neighbors and restitution was a means of reconciling them. Jesus taught the law was summed up in love for God first and love for neighbor second (Matthew 22:37-40). Coveting and stealing from your neighbor violates that love and restitution is designed to restore it. So a thief who steals because he is hungry, does not incur the utmost condemnation from society and restitution provides a means for him to be reconciled to his neighbor.

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Proverbs 6:30

Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
– Proverbs 6:30

Verses 30-35 end this section with a comparison between an adulterer and a thief. Solomon qualifies the theft that it is in order to satisfy the soul of the hungry man. A destitute and hungry man is not despised and cast out of society when he has stolen something in order to eat. Solomon is certainly not excusing the theft, but rather observing the consequences. The thief may be looked upon as a poor man, but he is not condemned by society the way the adulterer is (Proverbs 6:33). Even in our day of marriage confusion and the advocacy of same-sex marriage, adultery, or cheating, is still looked down upon as wrong and despicable.

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