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Old 10-23-2007, 10:40 AM
 
264 posts, read 437,043 times
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Default "Thou shalt not covet"

The Decalogue ends with these words:

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." (Exodus 20:17, KJV)

This is perhaps the most perplexing part of the Ten Commandments. When I looked up the word "covet" in the dictionary, I found that it is synonymous with the verb "desire." This is what I expected, and it leaves me with a question.

This passage about not coveting is the only part of the Decalogue that refers to a feeling, rather than an action. Logically, it can't be meant to refer to the actions motivated by the feeling, since those are already forbidden by the commandments preceding it that forbid adultery and theft. Since our feelings aren't really something we choose, it makes no sense to tell someone to feel something or not feel it.

What is anyone to do with such a command?
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Rural Central Texas
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Not all synonyms are equal. I would define covet as extreme desire or lust rather than just a wish or like.

We are warned not to allow ourselves to want something so bad that we might cheat, steal or harm another for it. Like most of our commandments, moderation seems to be key to this commandment as well. We can hope for and wish for things, but we should not put ourselves in situations where our desires can do us harm.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Plano, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrex62 View Post
Not all synonyms are equal. I would define covet as extreme desire or lust rather than just a wish or like.

We are warned not to allow ourselves to want something so bad that we might cheat, steal or harm another for it. Like most of our commandments, moderation seems to be key to this commandment as well. We can hope for and wish for things, but we should not put ourselves in situations where our desires can do us harm.
Yeah, I think the original word in the Greek infers a stronger meaning than simple "desire" if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:48 AM
 
264 posts, read 437,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrex62 View Post
Not all synonyms are equal. I would define covet as extreme desire or lust rather than just a wish or like.

We are warned not to allow ourselves to want something so bad that we might cheat, steal or harm another for it. Like most of our commandments, moderation seems to be key to this commandment as well. We can hope for and wish for things, but we should not put ourselves in situations where our desires can do us harm.
So the commandment is about suppressing one's desires?
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Between Here and There
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Personally I always thought that to mean that you should not be jealous. To desire better things for youself is different than having ill feelings toward someone that has better or more things than you do.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:50 AM
 
Location: ARK-KIN-SAW
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Originally Posted by irishmom View Post
Personally I always thought that to mean that you should not be jealous. To desire better things for youself is different than having ill feelings toward someone that has better or more things than you do.
as usual i cant rep ya! but thats what I think too.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:52 AM
 
3,086 posts, read 3,832,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellinghamite View Post
"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." (Exodus 20:17, KJV)
If you study these verses, they were mentioning things that were "thy neighbour's"... not something that is meant for you to have. IMO, coveting or lusting would be desiring things that are contrary to the Lord's will... and it would be beyond just a desire, but rather a "hunger". In effect, saying, "Lord, I know I'm not supposed to have this, but I want it so badly... no matter what it costs me." We are putting our desires above our walk with the Lord.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:04 AM
 
Location: All around the world.....
2,895 posts, read 5,226,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellinghamite View Post
The Decalogue ends with these words:

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." (Exodus 20:17, KJV)

This is perhaps the most perplexing part of the Ten Commandments. When I looked up the word "covet" in the dictionary, I found that it is synonymous with the verb "desire." This is what I expected, and it leaves me with a question.

This passage about not coveting is the only part of the Decalogue that refers to a feeling, rather than an action. Logically, it can't be meant to refer to the actions motivated by the feeling, since those are already forbidden by the commandments preceding it that forbid adultery and theft. Since our feelings aren't really something we choose, it makes no sense to tell someone to feel something or not feel it.

What is anyone to do with such a command?
Obey it for one thing:
Since it is a command and not a multiple choice; we should not go by our feelings. When i was in the military when i received a command, they didn't give me a choice, and ask me how i felt about it. They expected obedience or consequences this was the only choice and God is the same way.
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:06 AM
 
Location: All around the world.....
2,895 posts, read 5,226,732 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrex62 View Post
Not all synonyms are equal. I would define covet as extreme desire or lust rather than just a wish or like.

We are warned not to allow ourselves to want something so bad that we might cheat, steal or harm another for it. Like most of our commandments, moderation seems to be key to this commandment as well.
Quote:
We can hope for and wish for things, but we should not put ourselves in situations where our desires can do us harm.


I agree and the end result to this produces jealousy/envy; it's all entertwined
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Old 10-23-2007, 11:20 AM
 
264 posts, read 437,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yhwhshalomjr View Post
Obey it for one thing:
Since it is a command and not a multiple choice; we should not go by our feelings. When i was in the military when i received a command, they didn't give me a choice, and ask me how i felt about it. They expected obedience or consequences this was the only choice and God is the same way.
Well, that goes to my point. If your CO in the military had told you not to feel any desire for something you really did desire, could you have obeyed him?
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