The Tenth Commandment Rabbi Michael Weiner
The Tenth Commandment – Do Not Covet
Exodus 20:13(17) Lo Tach’mod, bayt Rayecha; Lo-Tach’mod Ayshet Rayecha, V’Av’do Va’amato V’Shoro VaChamoro, V’Kol, Asher L’rayecha.
Exodus 20:17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s wife, his manservant, his maidservant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
Each of the last 5 Commandments starts with the same Hebrew word, Lo, meaning “No.” So another suitable translation would be, “No Coveting.” Yet this commandment crosses a line. Each of the other four “Thou shalt nots” has to do with actually doing something. “Thou shalt not murder, commit adultery, steal or bear false witness,” are all real actions. “Thou shalt not covet,” stands alone as a prohibition against a thought.
Yeshua made this distinction even clearer. Matthew 5:21-22 You have heard it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be subject to judgment. In other words, you don’t have to kill someone to be guilty, just wanting to kill a person is guilt enough. A few verses later, this point is reinforced … Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So, doing something unlawful is sin. Of course, there are plenty of sins connected to what we only speak, but do not “do.” So speaking and doing are connected biblically. This last of the Ten Commandments adds to sin that only thinking or desiring is also unlawful. Therefore: Romans 3:23 … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The rabbis have a label for a righteous man. They call such a person a “Tzadik.” The rabbinic definition of a Tzadik is one who can (and does) control every thought. They believe there is one Tzadik in every generation. We (followers of Yeshua) do not believe that. We believe there has only ever been One Tzadik, and we know His name. Yeshua HaNitzrati (Yeshua from Nazareth) is His name.
Yeshua is the only person to ever control every thought. The rest of us have been born in Adam. We inherited a sin nature. That is why our born again experience is so important. John 3:3 Yeshua answered him, “Amen, amen I tell you, unless one is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” And this … 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. +The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Before being born again, we were all sinners. Now, in Yeshua, we are the only people in history to fulfill this call, which was first given to Father Abraham … Genesis 17:1 When Abram was 99 years old , Adonai appeared to Abram, and He said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Continually walk before Me and you will be blameless.” This is all consistent with the last verse of Psalm 19, a Psalm of David … Psalm 19:15 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable before You, Adonai, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Tomorrow is another day (to write). This is not really a good stopping point, but I’m going to stop here anyway. The Daily Bread scriptures for today have some great nuggets, especially Psalm 133. Acts 2 tells us what kind of car the Apostles drove, but how did they all get in it, and how did they get it in the upper room? (I like corny jokes.) Blessings my friends.