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

התובע חבירו בממון שאם הודה בו יהיה חייב לשלם וכפר ונשבע, או שהשביעו התובע וכפר, הרי זה הנתבע הוא חייב בשבועת הפקדון אף על פי שלא ענה אמן, שבשבועת הפקדון אחד הנשבע מפי עצמו ואחד שהשביעו אחר וכפר אע"פ שלא ענה אמן חייב שכפירתו אחר שהשביעו התובע כעניית אמן.

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

תבעו בממון שאם יודה לו ויאמר כן הדבר לא יהיה חייב לשלם, כגון שתבעו בקנס שאין אדם משלם קנס ע"פ עצמו, וכפר ונשבע, הרי זה פטור משבועת הפקדון וחייב משום שבועת ביטוי.

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

וכן אם תבעו בקרקע או בעבד או בשטר וכפר ונשבע פטור משבועת הפקדון וחייב בשבועת ביטוי שהרי נשבע על שקר.

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

ולמה נפטר משום שבועת הפקדון והרי זה אילו הודה חייב היה ומשלם מה שכפר, לפי שנאמר בפקדון או בתשומת יד או בגזל או עשק את עמיתו או מצא אבדה הכל מטלטלין שאם יודה בהן יוציא ממון מתחת ידו, ויצאו קרקעות שאין מטלטלין והרי הן לפני בעליהן ובחזקתן, ויצאו עבדים שהוקשו לקרקעות, ויצאו שטרות שאין גופן ממון.

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

אחד הנשבע אחר שתבעו בעל הממון, או הנשבע מעצמו אע"פ שלא תבעו, כיצד כגון שקדם ואמר למה אתה הולך אחרי כלום יש לך בידי ממון שבועה שאין לך בידי ממון, הרי זה חייב בשבועת הפקדון הואיל וכפר ונשבע ואע"פ שלא תבעו זה.

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

אחד הנשבע לבעל הממון עצמו או לשלוחו הבא בהרשאתו ששלוחו של אדם כמותו.

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

ואינו חייב בשבועת הפקדון עד שישביעו בלשון שהוא מכירה.

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

הנשבע שבועת הפקדון במזיד אע"פ שנשבע לשקר והתרו בו עדים בשעת שבועתו אינו לוקה אלא מביא אשמו בלבד, שהרי הכתוב מוציאו מכלל חייבי מלקות וחייבו אשם בין בזדון בין בשגגה כמו שבארנו.

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

כפר ונשבע ארבע או חמש פעמים, או שהשביעו התובע ארבע וחמש פעמים והוא כופר על כל אחת ואחת בין בבית דין בין שלא בבית דין הרי זה חייב קרבן אשם על כל שבועה ושבועה, שאילו הודה אחר שכפר היה חייב לשלם אע"פ שכפר בבית דין ונמצא פוטר עצמו בכל כפירה וכפירה מן התשלומין לפיכך חייב על כל שבועה ושבועה.

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

היו חמשה תובעין אותו ואומרין לו תן לנו פקדון שיש לנו בידך, שבועה שאין לכם בידי אינו חייב אלא קרבן אחד, שבועה שאין לך בידי לא לך ולא לך ולא לך חייב על כל אחת ואחת.

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

אמר לו חבירו תן לי פקדון ותשומת יד גזל ואבדה שיש לי בידך, שבועה שאין לך בידי אינו חייב אלא אחת, ואפילו היה לו פרוטה אחת מכולן הרי אלו מצטרפין וחייב.

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

שבועה שאין לך בידי פקדון תשומת יד גזל ואבדה חייב על כל אחת ואחת.

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

תן לי חטים ושעורים וכוסמין שיש לי בידך, שבועה שאין לך בידי אינו חייב אלא אחת, שבועה שאין לך בידי חטים ושעורין וכוסמין חייב על כל אחת ואחת.

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

היו חמשה תובעין אותו ואומרין לו תן לנו פקדון גזל ואבדה ותשומת יד שיש לנו בידך, ואמר לאחד מהן שבועה שאין לך בידי פקדון וגזל ואבדה ותשומת יד ולא לך ולא לך ולא לך הרי זה חייב על כל טענה וטענה לכל אחד ואחד ונמצא זה חייב עשרים אשם.

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

טען שאבד הפקדון או כפר בו ונשבע ואחר כך הודה, וחזר וטען שאבד ונשבע וחזר והודה משלם הקרן הראשון וחומש אחד על כל שבועה ושבועה שנאמר וחמישיתיו, התורה רבתה חומשין הרבה על קרן אחד, כיצד היה הקרן ארבעה וכפר ונשבע והודה וחזר וטען שאבד ונשבע וחזר והודה וחזר וטען שאבד ונשבע והודה משלם שבעה וכל כיוצא בזה.

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

פחות מפרוטה אינו ממון לפיכך התובע חבירו בפחות מפרוטה או בפחות משוה פרוטה וכפר ונשבע פטור משבועת הפקדון וחייב בשבועת ביטוי.