Coveting the property of one's neighbour

At the time of the Mosaic Law, a man's house, field, and livestock represented his possessions–as did his wife, male servant, and female servant. The commandment forbids coveting the property of one's neighbour. Such covetousness can lead to avarice and stems mostly from envy.


Covetousness drives the greedy to take possession of the property of others without any regard for them. The poor were often exploited by the unbridled greed of the powerful. Countless wars have also come into being in this way.


According to Ecclesiastes 5: 10, greed, like the love of money, is boundless, and cannot be satisfied. Apostle Paul calls the covetous "idolaters" (Ephesians 5: 5) and describes the love of money as "a root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6: 10-11).