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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Mezi'a
For Raba said: [If A says to B,] 'You owe me a maneh,' to which he replies, 'I [certainly] owe you fifty [zuz], and as for the rest, I do not know,' since he cannot swear,1 he must pay [all]. [On these lines,] the first clause [of our Mishnah] is conceivable when two, and the second, when three [cows are involved]. [Thus:] 'The first clause, when two [are involved].' A said to B, 'I gave you two cows, loaned for half a day and hired for half (or, [he says: they were] loaned for one day, and hired for another) and both died during the time they were borrowed.' To which B replied, 'One indeed did die then, but as for the other, I do not know whether it was during the time it was borrowed or the period of hire,' — since he cannot swear, he must pay.
'And the second clause, where three [cows are involved].' [Thus:] A said to B, 'I gave you three cows, two loaned and one hired, and the two loaned ones died.' To which the borrower replied, 'Tis true that one borrowed animal died; but as for the other, I do not know whether the borrowed one died and the one alive is the hired one, or the hired one died and the one alive is the borrowed;' since he cannot swear, he must pay.
And according to Rami b. Hama, who maintained that the four bailees must partially deny and partially admit [liability],2 the first clause is possible only when three, and the second when four [animals are involved]. 'The first clause when three [are involved]': A said to B, 'I gave you three cows, half a day on loan and half on hire, (or, [he says, I gave you them] one day, on loan and one on hire,) and the three died, all in the period when they were borrowed.' To which the borrower replied, 'As for one, the claim is entirely unfounded [I never received it]; the second did die in the period when it was borrowed; of the third, I do not know whether it died during the time it was borrowed or the period when it was hired.' Since he cannot swear, he must pay.
'And the second clause, where four [animals are involved].' A said to B, 'I gave you four cows, three loaned and one hired, and the three loaned ones died.' To which the borrower replied,
Baba Mezi'a 98b
'As for one, the claim is entirely unfounded; with respect to the second, it is true that a borrowed one died; and as to the others, I do not know whether it was the hired one that died and the one alive is the borrowed one, or whether it was the borrowed one that died and the one alive is the hired one;' and since he cannot swear he must pay.
BUT IF ONE ASSERTS THAT IT WAS THE LOANED ONE, AND THE OTHER THAT IT WAS THE HIRED ONE, THE HIRER MUST SWEAR THAT THE HIRED ONE DIED. But why so? What he claims from him he does not admit; and what he admits he does not claim?1 — Said 'Ulla: [He swears] through the superimposition [of an oath]. For he [the lender] can demand, 'You must at least swear that it died of natural causes; and since you must swear thus, swear also that the hired one died.'2
IF BOTH SAY, 'I DO NOT KNOW,' THEY MUST DIVIDE. Who is the author of this? — Symmachus, who ruled: When money lies in doubt, it is divided.3
R. Abba b. Mammel propounded: What [is the ruling] if the borrowing was made together with the owner's [service], but subsequently it [the bailment] was hired without the owner?4 Do we say, the borrowing stands alone, and the hiring stands alone? Or perhaps the hiring is a continuation of the loan, since he is responsible for theft and loss?5 And should you rule that hiring is a continuation of the loan, what if he hired it together with the owner's [service], and then borrowed it without the owner? Shall we say that borrowing is certainly not included in hiring?6 Or perhaps, being partly related thereto, it is wholly related thereto. And should you rule that we do maintain that partial relationship is regarded as complete relationship, what if one borrowed it with the owners [service], hired it without the owner's, and borrowed it again [without the owner]? Does the borrowing revert to its former status? Or perhaps, the hiring breaks the connection? [Likewise,] if it was hired with the owner's [service], then borrowed, and then hired again [the last two without] — do we Say, the hiring reverts to its former status? Or perhaps, the intermediate borrowing breaks the connection? These problems remain unsolved.
MISHNAH. IF A MAN BORROWS A COW, AND HE [THE LENDER] SENDS IT TO HIM BY HIS SON, SERVANT OR AGENT; OR BY THE SON, SERVANT OR AGENT OF THE BORROWER, AND IT DIES [ON THE ROAD], HE IS NOT LIABLE. BUT IF THE BORROWER SAID TO HIM, 'SEND IT TO ME BY MY SON, SERVANT, OR AGENT,' OR 'BY YOUR SON, SERVANT OR AGENT, OR IF THE LENDER SAID TO HIM, 'I AM SENDING IT TO YOU BY MY SON, SERVANT OR AGENT,' OR 'BY YOUR SON, SERVANT OR AGENT, AND THE BORROWER REPLIED, 'SEND IT,' AND HE SENT IT, AND IT DIED [ON THE ROAD], HE IS RESPONSIBLE. AND THE SAME HOLDS GOOD WHEN HE RETURNS IT.7
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