Not coveting is another biggie in the Ten Commandments, presumably equal to not murdering, not stealing, not working on Sunday, etc. But coveting is really a plus in the commercial field, keeping the machines of industry humming; the business trades flowing.
When looked at in Biblical context when the Ten Commandments were created, there was not much to covet. The Israelites were just a step or two out of the Stone Age, nomadic wanderers of the mid-East, early purveyors of that new funny religion of Judaism.
Almost everyone had the same things, although some may have had more primitive items than others. Today, there is much to covet, need and want, if you have the money and ability to honestly get it.
The Bible in this section is also very specific, mentioning not only general coveting, but also specifically your neighbor’s house, wife, manservant, maidservant, ox, ass or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Translated to today, a house still means a house, a wife still means a wife and that ox and ass can be translated into your Hummer, Honda or Hyundai. Everything else still means everything else.
Taken to an extreme, coveting can be wrong. If I covet your new huge flat screen TV and am so envious about it that I break into your house to steal it, that is wrong. It suddenly jumped from coveting to stealing, something big not only in the Ten Commandments, but in laws everywhere. Coveting and then stealing your big TV can – and should – lead to my arrest in this hypothetical case.
Coveting per se to buy or honestly acquire something is not wrong. If we never aspire to something new or better, we would never advance and gain the benefits of new inventions and ideas. Satisfied with no insulation in your house? No need for new fiberglass insulation to keep warm in winter. Satisfied with a wood stove and the necessity of splitting wood all year? No need for a gas or electric range. Satisfied with a quill pen? No need to buy a new ball-point. Satisfied with a horse? No need for a car. It goes on and on.
The Ten Commandments rule about coveting is another of those foolish rules along the lines of excessively respecting your parents, or the foolish rules about honoring God with those first four Commandments. These, from a narcissist God with serious self esteem and insecurity issues are ridiculous.
You can break down all the important stuff in this Biblical section to the Golden Rule, as espoused by Confucius and a few hundred years later by Jesus.
The big question is whether or not Jesus stole this from Confucius’ earlier writings. That of course, would be a violation of one of the Ten Commandments.