The Bible’s Tenth Commandment

The Bible’s Tenth Commandment says “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s (Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21). Do you know what’s the last of the Ten Commandments aimed at? What is covetousness according to the Scripture? How can we conquer or combat covetousness? Why is selfishness a universal plague to our human nature? Is covetousness a form of idolatry? Today, we are going to share with you the full essence and the true meaning of covetousness. Let’s open our heart and mind to the truth. As always, we will let the Bible interpret itself as we ask the holy spirit of Yahweh for the wisdom in sharing this Commandment to all of you. May you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear for this true and faithful heavenly message.

What is covetousness? Covet means to crave or desire, especially in excessive or improper ways. The Tenth Commandment does not tell us that all of our desires are immoral. It tells us that some desires are wrong. Coveting is an immoral longing for something that is not rightfully ours. That is usually because the object of our desire already belongs to someone. Covetousness is much more serious than just a social malady. When we put greed, lust and self above Yahweh, coveting becomes idolatry. Apostle Paul warns us: “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of Elohim is coming upon the sons of disobedience” (Colossians 3:5-6). But bear in mind that coveting can also include our wanting far more than we would legitimately deserve or that would be our rightful share.

The main focus of the Tenth Commandment is that we are not to illicitly desire anything that already belongs to others. We should rejoice when other people are blessed. Our desire should be to contribute to the well-being of others, to make our presence in their lives a blessing to them. Very sadly, our natural inclination is always to think of ourselves first. We are far more interested in what we can get rather than what we can give. Yes, selfishness is a universal plague to human nature. Our loving Father in heaven Yahweh does not want that in us. That is the essence of what Elohim is denouncing in the Tenth Commandment. He tells us to stop thinking only of ourselves, to quit seeking only our interests. Coveting is the selfish approach to life, and selfishness is the root of our transgression of Elohim’s laws.

Let’s read from three of Yahshua’s disciples on the matter. The apostle James said: “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). James notes how dangerous out of control desires can be: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:1-2).

The apostle Paul’s description of covetous people in the last days is instructive: “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Elohim, having a form of holiness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5) Notice that this is a vividly accurate description of this world and its peoples!

The apostle John also precisely identifies the components of this world, saying: “Do not love the world or the things in the world, If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of Yahweh abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17). Yes, inordinate and unlawful desires—covetousness, lust—are at the root of every deliberate sin, every wanton act of violence, every act of idolatry, adultery, and theft. Every deliberate act of sin involves some form of covetousness. Even pride itself is a form of covetousness; it is nothing more than the inordinate desire for possessions, power, or prestige.

Overcoming covetousness may prove to be difficult, but with Yahweh’s help it can be done. There are several steps you can take to bring your unlawful and misdirected desires under control. First, confess the sin of covetousness. To overcome any problem, a person has to admit that he has the problem. It’s easy to enter into denial and redefine our motives; it may be tough to honestly admit our innermost motives and desires. But anyone really serious about following Messiah Yahshua must do it. Truthful confession is the key to genuine repentance. Second, ask for Yahweh’s help. Ask every morning upon arising. Ask each time a wrong desire begins to arise. Ask before going to bed each evening. Remember, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Third, avoid evil influences as much as possible. This may mean staying away from certain clubs, limiting social involvement with certain people, or resolving to avoid certain types of entertainment.

The moral categories set forth in the Ten Commandments are foundational to the health and well being of a society. They reflect the holy character of Yahweh Himself and are an everlasting code of moral law designed to serve human beings, who bear the image of their Creator. It is indeed very sad that some, misguided in their interpretation of a few difficult passages of Scripture, have concluded that the Decalogue was set aside with the advent of the New Covenant. But do you know the Ten Commandments are also written in the New Covenant? In fact, the apostles and Savior Yahshua Himself taught about them in the New Covenant! Yes, read them all here. Far from being a curse that was nailed to the stake of Messiah, the Dacalogue is a precious gift Yahweh has given to all mankind. Savior Yahshua, the model of perfection, kept Yahweh’s commandments and instructed His followers to do the same. The law went forth from Jerusalem to the nations through the teachings of the apostles and early disciples and has since made its way into the hands of millions around the world. This would not have happened had it not been for Yahshua the Messiah and the commission He gave to His true followers.

In closing, the Bible’s Tenth Commandment—against coveting—is aimed directly at the heart and mind of every human being. In prohibiting coveting, it defines not so much what we must do but how we should think. It asks us to look deep within ourselves to see what we are on the inside. As with each of the previous nine Commandments, it is directed toward our relationships. It specifically deals with the thoughts that threaten those relationships and that can potentially hurt ourselves and our neighbors. The righteous standards set forth in Yahweh’s law are timeless. For the redeemed, they are light to the path of life and reminder of what the blood of Yahshua the Messiah is all about! We hope that you’re enlightened by this true and faithful heavenly message. May Almighty Yahweh bless you for keeping His laws unto your heart. Let’s continue to spread love, hope, faith, and truth to all of mankind. We pray these things to Yahweh through Yahshua, the Messiah, Master and King, amen. Halleluyah and Shalom!



11 thoughts on “The Bible’s Tenth Commandment

  1. It is not right to desire something (or someone) when you have knowledge that they are treasured by someone else. This is not usually discussed openly but we can see it, and observe it happening. Thank you for enlightening us. This was a good read today.

  2. Every sin begins with the seed of a thought and it’s important to realize this. We are accountable for our thoughts not just our actions. Thanks for sharing!

  3. This is amazing!!! What a thorough and deep explanation of the tenth commandment…I think it comes down to being happy and content of what we have.

  4. Coveting is definitely an easy trap to fall into. Especially without even knowing it. Bringing our subconscious thoughts into our conscious mind, is so important especially in the case of coveting. Thanks for a great explanation!

  5. Won’t it be wonderful if people would follow the commandments, especially the 10th one. Excellent breakdown, we need to spread more love, hope, faith and truth for sure!

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