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17 “You shall not covet[a] your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbor.”[b]

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Footnotes

  1. Exodus 20:17 tn The verb חָמַד (khamad) focuses not on an external act but on an internal mental activity behind the act, the motivation for it. The word can be used in a very good sense (Pss 19:10; 68:16), but it has a bad connotation in contexts where the object desired is off limits. This command is aimed at curtailing the greedy desire for something belonging to a neighbor, a desire that leads to the taking of it or the attempt to take it. It was used in the story of the Garden of Eden for the tree that was desired.
  2. Exodus 20:17 sn See further G. Wittenburg, “The Tenth Commandment in the Old Testament,” Journal for Theology in South Africa 21 (1978): 3-17: and E. W. Nicholson, “The Decalogue as the Direct Address of God,” VT 27 (1977): 422-33.

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