THOU SHALL NOT COVET
According to Halachah - Jewish law - a sin is not a sin as long as it remains in the mind and never materializes into action.
Now, if sin, by definition, is a transgression of the Law, and to covet is not a sin, how can we harmonize the apparent contradiction that "thou shall not covet" is present in the Decalogue as a commandment?
IMHO, the only way out is to refer to "thou shall not covet" as an explanation or extension to the commandment
"thou shall not steal." But, then again, how to harmonize another apparent contradiction of Decalogue with nine and not ten commandments, if we cancel out "Thou shall not covet" as a commandment?
It happens that, once, Jesus was asked which was the first of all the commandments. That's in Mark 12:28,29. Jesus
answered with the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4. "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One." Hence, comes the first commandment: Thou shall have no other gods before Me, which would explain the Shema.
The second commandment would be about idolatry: Thou shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth.
Now, as an exeption, so to speak, as if for the sake of Art, one were to engrave as a sculptor by profession, the third commandment would be thou shall not bow down to graven images with the intent to serve them in terms of prayers, sacrifices and worship.
From then on, we have the one not to take the name of God in vain as the 4th, the Shabbat as a day of rest for the 5th, to honor one's parents as the 6th, not to kill as the 7th, not to commit adultery as the 8th, not to steal as the 9th, and not to bear false witness as the 10th commandment.
This way, we have the Decalogue without having "Thou shall not covet" as a commandment but a fence around the Torah to prevent stealing anything that belongs to another. Therefore, Halachah is thus, harmonized with the Decalogue.
The sense of "covet", that I get from the English version of the list, is perhaps clarified as "envy" - which will cause one to seek to obtain what another has (not necessarily the owned object itself, but also one of equal standing - "keeping up with the Jonses").
Lucifer's fall to the position "Satan" is rooted in his "envy" over the praise/adoration which God receives. It caused his Pride to surface, which represents the placing of self ahead of God. He sought what God had.
I find the positions of the two commandments interesting:
First = "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me"
Last = "Thou shalt not covet..."
They occupy the extreme positions, God first and Satan last. Satan is, after all, a denial of that for which God stands (Truth). Satan is called the "father of Lies" (Falsehood).
You are right. Envy is included in the sense of "covet." However, not as a commandment, as neither is envy. It is not a sin to covet or to envy. "Thou shall not covet" was given as a fence to protect the commandment not to take possession of what does not belong to us. That's a sin.
I hope that when you talk about Lucifer or Satan, you have
symbols in mind, as there is no such a thing as a being called Lucifer or Satan. They are only concepts to illustrate the evil inclination in man.
"Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" yes, it is a commandment but "Thou shalt not covet" is not. It was inserted into the Decalogue as a fence.
"God first and God last" is intended to mean man's priorities in life and not as a reference to God. Literally,
God is neither the first nor the last; God is Unique. IOW, God simply is. Absolutely One. When Moses asked, "What should I say when they ask about your name?" God told him to say "I AM has sent me to you." (Exo. 3:14)
God stands for truth all right but man, not Satan stands for lies.
Ben007Masada wrote: "However, not as a commandment, as neither is envy."
The original ten commandments, which God wrote in stone with His own finger (Exodus), were COMMANDMENTS - it says so, in entirety.
Ben007Masada wrote: "It is not a sin to covet or to envy."
The thought, the word, or the deed are all seats of sin. Entertaining the thought (giving in to the feelings and exploring the possibilities) is sin. Every aspect of the human being encompases sin - there is no refuge within a person where sin does not exist. TEMPTATION can exist without sin occuring, but ONLY if the recipient ignores it or seeks refuge from it in God.
The Ten Commandments are reflective of two relationships. The first three describe the relationship between God and man. The remaining describe the relationship between man and man.
These rules were set by God. They are immutable. God, Himself, tells us that He is unchanging - His rules are constant and unchangable. Truth demands it [see His commentary on guilt from one transgression meaning guilt of all being transgressed (that's Boolean AND truth table logic)].
The "Alpha and Omega" reference speaks to Him being the beginning of everything and the end of everything - His qualities, not our viewpoint or attitude. His existence from eternity past to eternity future is *independent* of man's existence or outlook.
Ben007Masada wrote: "God told him to say 'I AM has sent me to you.' (Exo. 3:14)"
The phrase "I am" encompasses infinite past to infinite future - existence without source or end. TIME means nothing to Him, as the concept (infinity to infinity) makes measuring it immaterial and senseless. Everything else (i.e. creation) had a beginning [and maybe will have an end]. What distinguishes Him from man is the continuous existence - that's what He was conveying in two words - He existed before creation of this universe.