Thou shalt not covet

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The 10th commandment (of the so-called Ten Commandments in the Bible) prohibits coveting of a neighbors property. Property is said to include ones house, wife, slaves, oxen, asses, and "anything" else.

Exodus 20:17 Bible-icon.png:

17 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.

Deuteronomy 5:21 Bible-icon.png:

21 Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.

A very different 10th commandment from Exodus 34 Bible-icon.png doesn't correspond with any commandments from the Exodus 20 Bible-icon.png and Deuteronomy 5 Bible-icon.png versions:

Exodus 34:26 Bible-icon.png:

26 Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.


  • Wife is listed among property. Modern societies tend not to accept this view anymore.
  • There is no prohibition against coveting a husband. Thus men and women are viewed unequally.
  • Slaves are listed among property. Slavery is no longer officially sanctioned anywhere in the world.
  • Coveting is a thought crime.

In United States law

  • The 10th commandment is possibly the commandment that is most firmly not a part of U.S. law. Capitalism is the basis for the U.S. economy. The idea that "I shouldn't want the nice things my neighbor has," if actually followed, would probably cause the collapse of the entire U.S. economy. It is absurd to pretend that this commandment even remotely applies to the U.S. system of laws. (See America is a Christian nation and United States Constitution.)
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