Compare the following two translations:
1 "Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep. 2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; 3 but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed."Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft. 4 If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double. [Exodus 22:1-4, TNIV]
1 When someone steals an ox or a sheep, and slaughters it or sells it, the thief shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. The thief shall make restitution, but if unable to do so, shall be sold for the theft. 4 When the animal, whether ox or donkey or sheep, is found alive in the thief’s possession, the thief shall pay double. 2 If a thief is found breaking in, and is beaten to death, no bloodguilt is incurred; 3 but if it happens after sunrise, bloodguilt is incurred.[Exodus 22:1-4, NRSV]
Do you notice anything funny about the NRSV translation? They've transposed the order of the verses because verses 1 and 4 are about a similar subject matter, while verses 2 and 3 are about another subject matter. They've assumed that some copyist or editor was too stupid to notice that they'd moved the verses out of the original order and thus split up the original unit of verses 1 and 4. (Technically, they've also made what the NIV has as v.3b into part of v.1 as well, but it's more complicated to describe it if you factor that in.)
A more likely explanation for the only order we have in any Hebrew text (or any ancient translation) is that it's deliberately ordered the way it is as a chiasm, a common literary device in Hebrew literature. In this case, the chiastic structure is a simple ABA, with the A laws as bookends around the B law. Simple chiasms are common in this section of Exodus. Two of the more obvious examples include Exodus 21:12-14 and Exodus 21:15-17, both ABA structures. It seems, then, that the NRSV order is just a premature disordering of an already ordered text out of a complete lack of sensitivity to the kind of literary structure Hebrew literature regularly displays. It's an interesting example of cultural insensitivity leading to a sense of cultural superiority, i.e. the attitude a modern, western ordering would be superior.