1

When a person issues a financial claim against a colleague which would require the latter to pay were he to admit [liability]1 and [the colleague] denies [his obligation] and takes an oath or the plaintiff administers an oath to him and he denies [any obligation]. [If he is lying,] the defendant is liable for an oath concerning a sh'vuat hapikadon.2

[The above applies] even if [the defendant] does not respond Amen.3 For with regard to a sh'vuat hapikadon, one is liable whether he took the oath on his own initiative or another person administered the oath to him and he denied [any obligation], even though he did not respond Amen. For denying the claim after the plaintiff administered the oath is equivalent to responding Amen.4

א

הַתּוֹבֵעַ חֲבֵרוֹ בְּמָמוֹן שֶׁאִם הוֹדָה בּוֹ יִהְיֶה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם וְכָפַר וְנִשְׁבַּע. אוֹ שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיעוֹ הַתּוֹבֵעַ וְכָפַר. הֲרֵי זֶה הַנִּתְבָּע הוּא חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא עָנָה אָמֵן. שֶּׁבִּשְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן אֶחָד הַנִּשְׁבָּע מִפִּי עַצְמוֹ וְאֶחָד שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיעוֹ אַחֵר וְכָפַר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא עָנָה אָמֵן חַיָּב. שֶׁכְּפִירָתוֹ אַחַר שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיעוֹ הַתּוֹבֵעַ כַּעֲנִיַּת אָמֵן:

2

[This does not apply] when [the plaintiff] lodges a claim which if acknowledged by the defendant, i.e., if he would admit that it is true, would not require him to make payment, e.g., he lodged a claim concerning a k'nas.5 For a person is not required to pay a k'nas based on his own admission.6 [In such an instance,] if a person denied [an obligation], he is exempt from a sh'vuat hapikadon, but liable for a sh'vuat bitui.7

ב

תְּבָעוֹ בְּמָמוֹן שֶׁאִם יוֹדֶה לוֹ וְיֹאמַר כֵּן הַדָּבָר לֹא יִהְיֶה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. כְּגוֹן שֶׁתְּבָעוֹ בִּקְנָס שֶׁאֵין אָדָם מְשַׁלֵּם קְנָס עַל פִּי עַצְמוֹ. וְכָפַר וְנִשְׁבַּע. הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן וְחַיָּב מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי:

3

Similarly, if [the plaintiff] lodged a claim concerning landed property, a servant, or a promissory note, and [the defendant] denied [the claim] and took an oath, he is exempt from a sh'vuat hapikadon, but liable for a sh'vuat bitui, for he took a false oath.

ג

וְכֵן אִם תְּבָעוֹ בְּקַרְקַע אוֹ בְּעֶבֶד אוֹ בִּשְׁטָר וְכָפַר וְנִשְׁבַּע פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן וְחַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי שֶׁהֲרֵי נִשְׁבַּע עַל שֶׁקֶר:

4

Why is one [who took an oath concerning such claims] exempt from [the obligations of a false] sh'vuat hapikadon? Behold, were he to have acknowledged [his obligation], he would have been held liable and [required] to pay what he denied. Because [Leviticus 5:21-22] states: "Concerning an entrusted object, a [financial] deposit, a robbery; he oppressed his colleague, or discovered a lost object." All of this concerns movable property which if he would admit his liability he would have to make financial restitution from his own domain.

This excludes landed property for it is not movable property. For landed property is always revealed before its owner8 and is always in their possession.9[Similarly,] it excludes servants, for an equation is established between servants and landed property.10 And it excludes promissory notes, for their actual substance is not of financial value.11

ד

וְלָמָּה נִפְטָר מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן וַהֲרֵי זֶה אִלּוּ הוֹדָה חַיָּב הָיָה וּמְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁכָּפַר. לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ה כא) "בְּפִקָּדוֹן אוֹ בִתְשׂוּמֶת יָד אוֹ בְּגֵזֶל אוֹ עָשַׁק אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ" (ויקרא ה כב) "אוֹ מָצָא אֲבֵדָה" הַכּל מִטַּלְטְלִין שֶׁאִם יוֹדֶה בָּהֶן יוֹצִיא מָמוֹן מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ. וְיָצְאוּ קַרְקָעוֹת שֶׁאֵין מִטַּלְטְלִין וַהֲרֵי הֵן לִפְנֵי בַּעֲלֵיהֶן וּבְחֶזְקָתָן. וְיָצְאוּ עֲבָדִים שֶׁהֻקְּשׁוּ לְקַרְקָעוֹת. וְיָצְאוּ שְׁטָרוֹת שֶׁאֵין גּוּפָן מָמוֹן:

5

[The above laws apply] whether one took an oath after the plaintiff lodged a claim against him or whether he took it on his own initiative even though a claim was not lodged against him.12

What his implied? He took the initiative and said: "Why are you following me? Do I have any money belonging to you? I am taking an oath that I am not in possession of any of your money." Since he denied [an obligation] and took an oath, [he is liable,] even though [the plaintiff] did not lodge a claim against him.

ה

אֶחָד הַנִּשְׁבָּע אַחַר שֶׁתְּבָעוֹ בַּעַל הַמָּמוֹן. אוֹ הַנִּשְׁבָּע מֵעַצְמוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא תְּבָעוֹ. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁקָּדַם וְאָמַר לָמָּה אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ אַחֲרַי כְּלוּם יֵשׁ לְךָ בְּיָדִי מָמוֹן שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי מָמוֹן. הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן הוֹאִיל וְכָפַר וְנִשְׁבַּע וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא תְּבָעוֹ זֶה:

6

[One is liable] whether he took an oath to the person to whom he owes the money or to his agent who was given power of attorney. For a person's agent is equivalent to his own self.13

ו

אֶחָד הַנִּשְׁבָּע לְבַעַל הַמָּמוֹן עַצְמוֹ אוֹ לִשְׁלוּחוֹ הַבָּא בְּהַרְשָׁאָתוֹ. שֶׁשְּׁלוּחוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם כְּמוֹתוֹ:

7

One is not liable for a sh'vuat hapikadon unless he requires him to take an oath in a language that he understands.14

ז

וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן עַד שֶׁיַּשְׁבִּיעוֹ בְּלָשׁוֹן שֶׁהוּא מַכִּירָהּ:

8

When a person consciously takes a sh'vuat hapikadon, even though he takes a false oath and is warned by witnesses at the time he takes the oath, he is not liable for lashes, but instead must merely bring a guilt offering. For the Torah excluded him from those who are liable for lashes15 and obligated him to bring a guilt offering whether he transgressed willfully or inadvertently, as we explained.16

ח

הַנִּשְׁבָּע שְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן בְּמֵזִיד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁבַּע לַשֶּׁקֶר וְהִתְרוּ בּוֹ עֵדִים בִּשְׁעַת שְׁבוּעָתוֹ אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אֶלָּא מֵבִיא אֲשָׁמוֹ בִּלְבַד. שֶׁהֲרֵי הַכָּתוּב מוֹצִיאוֹ מִכְּלַל חַיָּבֵי מַלְקוֹת וְחִיְּבוֹ אָשָׁם בֵּין בְּזָדוֹן בֵּין בִּשְׁגָגָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

9

If one denied [an obligation] and took an oath [concerning it] four or five times or the plaintiff administered an oath to him four or fives times and he denied each one of them, he is liable for a guilt offering for each individual oath.17 [This applies] whether this took place in a court or outside the court.

[The rationale is that] were he to have admitted his obligation after making his denial, he would be liable to make restitution even though he made the denial in a court. Thus with each denial, he is making himself exempt from payment. Hence, he is liable for each individual oath.

ט

כָּפַר וְנִשְׁבַּע אַרְבַּע אוֹ חָמֵשׁ פְּעָמִים. אוֹ שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיעוֹ הַתּוֹבֵעַ אַרְבַּע וְחָמֵשׁ פְּעָמִים וְהוּא כּוֹפֵר עַל כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת בֵּין בְּבֵית דִּין בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בְּבֵית דִּין הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב קָרְבַּן אָשָׁם עַל כָּל שְׁבוּעָה וּשְׁבוּעָה. שֶׁאִלּוּ הוֹדָה אַחַר שֶׁכָּפַר הָיָה חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּפַר בְּבֵית דִּין וְנִמְצָא פּוֹטֵר עַצְמוֹ בְּכָל כְּפִירָה וּכְפִירָה מִן הַתַּשְׁלוּמִין. לְפִיכָךְ חַיָּב עַל כָּל שְׁבוּעָה וּשְׁבוּעָה:

10

If five different people were lodging claims against him and telling him: "Give us the entrusted article of ours that you have in your possession," and he responds: "[I am taking] an oath that I do not have anything of yours in my possession," [should his oath be false,] he is liable for only one sacrifice.18

[If he answers: "I am taking] an oath that I don't have anything of yours, or of yours,... or of yours, in my possession," he is liable for each [statement].19

י

הָיוּ חֲמִשָּׁה תּוֹבְעִין אוֹתוֹ וְאוֹמְרִין לוֹ תֵּן לָנוּ פִּקָּדוֹן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָנוּ בְּיָדְךָ. שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין לָכֶם בְּיָדִי אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא קָרְבָּן אֶחָד. שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי לֹא לְךָ וְלֹא לְךָ וְלֹא לְךָ חַיָּב עַל כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת:

11

If his colleague told him: "Give me the entrusted object, [financial] deposit, stolen object, and lost object [of mine], that you have in your possession," and he responds: "[I am taking] an oath that I do not have anything of yours in my possession," [should his oath be false,] he is liable for only one [sacrifice].20 Even if the total of all the claims is [merely] a p'rutah, they are all included together and he is liable.21

יא

אָמַר לוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ תֵּן לִי פִּקָּדוֹן וּתְשׂוּמֶת יָד גֵּזֶל וַאֲבֵדָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ. שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא אַחַת. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה לוֹ פְּרוּטָה אַחַת מִכֻּלָּן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מִצְטָרְפִין וְחַיָּב:

12

[If he answers: "I am taking] an oath that I don't have an entrusted object, [financial] deposit, stolen object, and lost object of yours in my possession," he is liable for each [statement].22

יב

שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי פִּקָּדוֹן תְּשׂוּמֶת יָד גֵּזֶל וַאֲבֵדָה חַיָּב עַל כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת:

13

[If the plaintiff says:] "Give me the wheat, barley, and buckwheat of mine that you have in your possession," and [the defendant responds]: "[I am taking] an oath that I do not have anything of yours in my possession," [should his oath be false,] he is liable for only one [sacrifice].23 [If he answers: "I am taking] an oath that I don't have any wheat, barley, and buckwheat of yours in my possession," he is liable for each [statement].

יג

תֵּן לִי חִטִּים וּשְׂעוֹרִים וְכֻסְּמִין שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי בְּיָדְךָ. שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי אֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא אַחַת. שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי חִטִּים וּשְׂעוֹרִין וְכֻסְּמִין חַיָּב עַל כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת:

14

If five different people were lodging claims against him and telling him: "Give us the entrusted article, [financial] deposit, stolen object, and lost object [of mine], that you have in your possession," and he responds to one of them: "[I am taking] an oath that I don't have an entrusted object, stolen object, lost object, and [financial] deposit of yours, or of yours,... or of yours in my possession," he is liable for each claim [made] by each individual. Thus he is liable for 20 guilt offerings.24

יד

הָיוּ חֲמִשָּׁה תּוֹבְעִין אוֹתוֹ וְאוֹמְרִין לוֹ תֵּן לָנוּ פִּקָּדוֹן גֵּזֶל וַאֲבֵדָה וּתְשׂוּמֶת יָד שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָנוּ בְּיָדְךָ. וְאָמַר לָאֶחָד מֵהֶן שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁאֵין לְךָ בְּיָדִי פִּקָּדוֹן וְגֵזֶל וַאֲבֵדָה וּתְשׂוּמֶת יָד וְלֹא לְךָ וְלֹא לְךָ וְלֹא לְךָ הֲרֵי זֶה חַיָּב עַל כָּל טַעֲנָה וְטַעֲנָה לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד וְנִמְצָא זֶה חַיָּב עֶשְׂרִים אָשָׁם:

15

If [the defendant] claims that he lost an entrusted object or denies [receiving it], he took an oath, and afterwards admitted [that it was in his possession], and then claimed that it was lost, took an oath, and then admitted [that it was in his possession], he must pay the principal and an additional fifth for each oath that he took.25 [This is derived from Leviticus 5:24 which literally translates as] "its fifths,"26 [implying that] the Torah took into account several fifths for [one sum of] principal.

What is implied? The principal was [worth] four [zuz]. One denied [receiving an entrusted article], took an oath, and then admitted [that he possessed it]. Afterwards, he claimed that it was lost, took an oath and then made a second admission, and then claimed that it was lost, took an oath and then made an admission another time. He is required to pay seven [zuz].27 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

טו

טָעַן שֶׁאָבַד הַפִּקָּדוֹן אוֹ כָּפַר בּוֹ וְנִשְׁבַּע וְאַחַר כָּךְ הוֹדָה. וְחָזַר וְטָעַן שֶׁאָבַד וְנִשְׁבַּע וְחָזַר וְהוֹדָה. מְשַׁלֵּם הַקֶּרֶן הָרִאשׁוֹן וְחֹמֶשׁ אֶחָד עַל כָּל שְׁבוּעָה וּשְׁבוּעָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ה כד) "וַחֲמִשִׁתָיו". הַתּוֹרָה רִבְּתָה חֳמָשִׁין הַרְבֵּה עַל קֶרֶן אֶחָד. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה הַקֶּרֶן אַרְבָּעָה וְכָפַר וְנִשְׁבַּע וְהוֹדָה וְחָזַר וְטָעַן שֶׁאָבַד וְנִשְׁבַּע וְחָזַר וְהוֹדָה וְחָזַר וְטָעַן שֶׁאָבַד וְנִשְׁבַּע וְהוֹדָה מְשַׁלֵּם שִׁבְעָה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

16

A value less than a p'rutah is not considered as financially significant.28 Hence, if a person lodges a claim against a colleague for less than a p'rutah or for articles worth less than a p'rutah and [the defendant] denied the obligation and took an oath, he is exempt with regard to a sh'vuat hapikadon29 and liable for a sh'vuat bitui.30

טז

פָּחוֹת מִפְּרוּטָה אֵינוֹ מָמוֹן לְפִיכָךְ הַתּוֹבֵעַ חֲבֵרוֹ בְּפָחוֹת מִפְּרוּטָה אוֹ בְּפָחוֹת מִשְּׁוֵה פְּרוּטָה וְכָפַר וְנִשְׁבַּע פָּטוּר מִשְּׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן וְחַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעַת בִּטּוּי: