Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife

There is an argument going around that the 10th commandment implies, among other things, that we are not allowed to have "dirty" sexual thoughts. Let's take a look at what commandment really says:
CLV Ex 20:17 You shall not covet the house of your associate. You shall not covet the wife of your associate, his field, his servant or his maidservant, his bull, his donkey or anything which is your associate's. 
CLV Dt 5:21 You shall not covet the wife of your associate. You shall not lust after the house of your associate, his field, his servant or his maidservant, his bull, his donkey or anything which is your associate's.
CLV Dt 7:25 You shall burn the carvings of their elohim with fire. You shall not covet the silver and gold on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be trapped by it, for it is an abhorrence to Yahweh your Elohim.
These three verses are the only places in the Written Torah where the word תחמד - tachmod - "to covet" is used. 

As you can see from the above quote, only in two places the word in question can be interpreted to have a sexual connotation. In all other places the meaning of the word "covet" is NON-SEXUAL and refers only to goods or property, i.e silver and gold.

So the question here is if we can interpret "You shall not covet the wife of your associate," in a sexual context? The answer seems to be yes. Plain meaning of this part of the passage appears to mean sexual thoughts about your associate's wife. Can this logic be further extended to mean that ALL dirty sexual thoughts are prohibited? NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

First of all, the word "covet" means something that you are OBSESSED about. It most certainly does not mean that we can't briefly fantasize about our neighbours wifes! I am most certainly against these kinds of thoughts but people do have these thoughts and it simply would be absolutely unrealistic to expect the majority of people of not having such thoughts. 

This means that in this particular case, we are only prohibited from obsessing over our associate's wife for long periods of time and for sexual purposes. Brief thoughts that happen without your consent (your instinct thoughts) are perfectly fine. This is normal to fantasize and the Torah most certainly DOES NOT PROHIBIT FREEDOM OF THOUGHT !!!

So, what does "You shall not covet the wife of your associate" really mean? It simply talks about coveting your associate's wife for non-sexual purposes. For example, you might want to desire this woman because she has a lot of money, or because she has property, or because she cooks good. It is not always sexual, you know! The only thing that is indeed prohibited is SEXUAL OBSESSION with your associate's wife! Once again, all incidental dirty sexual thoughts are OK !!!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts

Blog Archive