Some Notes:

The English language has no gender-neutral pronouns. So when the words man, he, him, etc are used, they mean "Generic human being" unless the context specifically says otherwise. Only women get words devoted just to them.

Thou, Thee, and Thine are singular pronouns. You and Your are plural in the 16th Century English the King James Bible was translated into. This actually makes the message clearer than our habit of using "you" as both a singular and a plural.

In many scriptures I have changed the King James (English) spelling to American spelling (labour=labor, for example. I understand those in England still spell it with a u). Also, in some scriptures I have changed the "-eth" to a simple "s." Spelling standards weren't set in English until the mid 1800's, well after the translating of the KJV. So I see no problem with making these simple changes that don't affect the meaning of the scripture but make it easier for our modern mouths and ears to deal with.

Exodus 20- Commandment #10: Don't Covet



17 Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.


Mark 7:20-23 ESV And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

James 1:14-15 ESV But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Ephesians 5:3 ESV But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.

Deuteronomy 5:21 ESV “‘And you shall not covet your neighbor's wife. And you shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his male servant, or his female servant, his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's.’

Colossians 3:1-25 ESV If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. ...

James 4:1-3 ESV What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Matthew 5:28-30 ESV But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.


This commandment prohibits what leads to the other sins. It is the only one that legislates thought; the others legislate actions. There are around 613 Mosaic laws, and almost none address thoughts. Coveting leads to violating other Laws and commands.

Perjury, even, is committed to cover up crimes done by coveting.


Coveting is more than just wanting. It is wanting to the point of taking away or owning other's property.

Just wanting may make you work harder, actually, a positive in life.

Wanting the specific property of your neighbor causes evil.

"That sure is a nice new car you have. Maybe some day I can have one like it." is not coveting.

"That sure is a nice new car you have. I deserve it more than you do. That car should be mine." is coveting.

Again, the New Testament reaffirms that we are still to obey this command. In fact, it says that coveting (wishing to do a think) is the same as doing the thing. Wanting to sleep with someone who is not your spouse is the same thing as sleeping with someone who is not your spouse.

We need to be content with whatever God has given us. He may give our neighbor something they need to accomplish His will that would hurt us if we had it. We need to trust Him to give us what we need and not what will bring us harm or to open the doors for us to work harder to get something like what our neighbor has.