Stealing

"Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal..."   
 (Exodus 20:13-15)

The Ten Commandments, given by God to the Israelites through Moses, form the basis of law and order, as we know it today. People generally accept that it is 'wrong' to steal and young children are taught from an early age that they must not take what does not belong to them. Asked 'Why?' however, and few will give the correct answer:

"God spake all these words, saying ... thou shalt not steal" (Exodus 20:15)

It may be argued by some that the commandments are irrelevant today as they are to be found in the Old Testament and times and society have changed significantly since then. However, for those who profess a belief in, and obedience to, God this does not hold true, as we shall see.

"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.  He saith unto him, which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal." (Matthew 19:16-18)

The commandments were as relevant in Jesus' day as they had been when first given hundreds of years before. The passage of time had changed nothing.

But what about today? Jesus said:

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."   (Mark 16:15)

"...teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I command you..." (Matthew 28:20)

" ... these things I command you, that ye love one another." (John 15:17)

Jesus' words are as relevant today as they were 2000 years ago. Time has changed nothing. But what does Jesus expect of those who follow him - what does he mean when he says to 'love one another'?

The apostle Paul, in his letter to the believers in Rome, picks up on this:

"Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal ? if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." (Romans 3:8-10)

Love is the fulfilling of the law - when asked by a lawyer "which is the greatest commandment in the law?" Jesus replied:

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40)

Jesus recites only 2 commandments here yet 10 commandments were given on Mount Sinai.
Is there a discrepancy?   
No.

"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" is a direct quotation taken, by Jesus, from Leviticus 19:18 and is a statement summarising what has gone before:

"...Ye shall not steal  ... thou shalt not defraud ... thou shalt not curse the deaf ... ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgement ... thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer ... thou shalt not hate ... thou shalt not avenge ... thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."    (Leviticus 19:11-18)

Jesus has condensed the 10 commandments into 2:

Exodus 20: 1-17 Matthew 22:37-40
  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me [God]
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
  4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother
  6. Thou shalt not kill
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  8. Thou shalt not steal
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness
  10. Thou shalt not covet
  1. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind



  1. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself

It follows, therefore, that when one professes love for a neighbour, one will not steal, or kill, or commit adultery, but will endeavour to treat others as one would like to be treated.

"Therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." (Matthew 7:12)

"Love the Lord thy God ... love thy neighbour ... on these [2] commandments hang all the law and the prophets."  (Matthew 22:39-40)


Thou shalt not steal.

Please Read the Bible for yourself - it is the only way.

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