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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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COVETOUSNESS . In the Bible, covetousness is a crime. In the Ten Commandments it is put under the ban along with murder, adultery, theft, and slander ( Exodus 20:17 , Deuteronomy 5:21 ). Achan was guilty of this crime, and was stoned to death ( Joshua 7:16-26 ). Every occurrence of the word or the thing in the OT is connected with a prohibition or a curse ( Psalms 10:3 ; Psalms 119:36 , Proverbs 21:26 ; Proverbs 28:16 , Isaiah 57:17 , Habakkuk 2:9 ). In the NT adultery and covetousness are usually classed together ( 1 Corinthians 5:11 ; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 , Colossians 3:5 , 2 Peter 2:14 ). This conjunction of sensual sin and love of money probably rests upon the authority of Jesus ( Mark 7:21-22 ). Jesus and the Apostles declared that the worshipper of Bacchus and the worshipper of Venus and the worshipper of Mammon belong to one and the same class. Grasping avarice is as incompatible with the spirit of self-sacrifice taught in the NT as is the selfish indulgence in drink or the grosser indulgence in vice. The Bible puts the covetous man in the same category with the murderer and the thief. The Christian Church needs to study anew the Bible teaching concerning covetousness, as found in Jeremiah 22:17 , Micah 2:2 , Luke 12:15 , Romans 7:7 , Ephesians 5:3 ; Ephesians 5:6 , 1 Timothy 6:10 , Hebrews 13:5 , and other passages. No covetous man has any inheritance in the Kingdom of God.

D. A. Hayes.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Covetousness'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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