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Exodus 20:17

Exodus 20:17

Thou shall not covet thy neighbour's house
This is the tenth and last commandment, and is an explanation of several of the past; showing that the law of God not only forbids external acts of sin, but the inward and first motions of the mind to it, which are not known, and would not be thought to be sinful, were it not for this law; nor are they known by this law until the Spirit of God by it convinces men of them, in whose light they see them to be sinful; even not only the schemes and contrivances of sin in the mind, the imaginations of it, thoughts dwelling upon it with pleasure, but even the first risings of sin in the heart; and such motions of it which are not assented unto, and unawares spring up from the corruption of nature, and are sudden craving desires after unlawful things, even these are forbidden by this law; which shows the spirituality of the law of God, and the impossibility of its being perfectly kept by fallen men. The apostle has reference to it, ( Romans 7:7 ) . Several particulars are here mentioned not to be coveted, as instances and examples instead of others. Thus, for instance, "a neighbour's house" is not to be coveted; "nor his field", as the Septuagint version here adds, agreeably to ( Deuteronomy 5:21 ) , a man is not secretly to wish and desire that such a man's house or land were his, since this arises from a discontent of mind with respect to his own habitation and possessions; and a man should be content with such things as he has, and not covet another's, which is not without sin:

thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife:
and wish she was thine, and lust after her; this is a breach of the seventh command, and serves to explain and illustrate that. This clause stands first in the Septuagint version, as it does in ( Deuteronomy 5:21 ) ,

nor his manservant, nor maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any
thing that is thy neighbours';
which, with the first clause, serve to explain the eighth command, showing that we are not only forbid to take away what is another man's property, any of the goods here mentioned, or any other, but we are not secretly to desire them, and wish they were in our possession; since it discovers uneasiness and dissatisfaction with our own lot and portion, and is coveting another man's property, which is coveting an evil covetousness.

Read Exodus 20:17