Covet. A word that has been mentioned in the Holy Bible for 25 times, repeatedly, from the Old Testament to the New Testament. It is also listed in the Ten Commandments that the Lord God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai after 40 days. For thousands of years, and for a number of biblical translations, the word “covet” remains unchanged. But for some reason, the true meaning of the word has become lost in modern times.
How does the Dictionary define the word Covet:
- Yearn to possess or have (something)
- wish, long, or crave for (something, especially the property of another person); “She covets her sister’s house”
- To wish for with eagerness; to desire possession of, notably enviously; — also used in a good sense; To long for inordinately or unlawfully; to hanker after (something forbidden); To yearn, have or indulge inordinate desire, notably for another’s possession
- an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.
So the word Covet simply means to desire, to want possession of, to long for a material object or anything of this world. So if modern languages and synonyms were used in modern translations of the Holy Bible, then the verse in Exodus 20:17 will have clear meaning:
“You shall not want your neighbor’s house; you shall not want 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.”
Now, if we put it that way, then it becomes much clear. Of course, during those times, those were the ONLY material possessions men had. But if we put in our era, then that should sound like this:
You shall not want or desire to have your friend’s condo, house, his wife, his car, his cellphone, his computer, his iPad, his job, his degree, his lifestyle, his money or anything that is your friends.
Even King David knew that covetousness leads to sin. His desire for a woman cost the Lord God to lose favor in him.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies,And not to covetousness. Psalm 119:36
King Solomon, in his wisdom also wrote about Covetousness in Proverbs:
The wicked covet the catch of evil men,But the root of the righteous yields fruit. Proverbs 12:12
He covets greedily all day long, But the righteous gives and does not spare. Proverbs 21:26
A ruler who lacks understanding is a great oppressor, But he who hates covetousness will prolong his days. Proverbs 28:16
The Lord Jesus said it clearly in Luke 12:15
And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Luke 12:15
The only way to prevent this, is by being contented and thankful for the life that God gave to us. Let us all be thankful for everything that we have in our lives. And since the Lord is a Lord of Abundance and Prosperity, you do not need to look to your neighbor nor to others, simply desire to abide in His commandments and teachings and blessings will enter your life.