Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Tenth Commandment

Don't ask me why, but when I was knitting today I was trying to remember all the Ten Commandments. I remembered #10 as "Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's wife." I thought it was interesting that it didn't include "thy neighbor's husband". I guess even back then most women thought one husband to take care of was enough.

Here's the RSV version: "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's." (Exodus 20:17 RSV).

Hmm, interesting that I didn't remember that the commandment was about all of the neighbor's things, not just his wife. Wait a minute! Your neighbor's wife is just one item on the list of his "possessions"? Nice.

Of course the Bible wasn't written in English, and I don't know Hebrew. It would be interesting to see if it the commandment sounded more "unisex" in the original language. In the end, I think this commandment is less about "wronging" your neighbor and more about being happy with what you have.

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