Don’t Steal

Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15 KJV

This is the eighth commandment. It implies that no one should take what does not belong to him in a way that is wrong or illegal. It covers when people may take what belongs to another without asking permission like ideas, words or artistic creations( Webster ). Adam Clarke is very detailed and poetic in his description of this verse. ” All rapine and theft are forbidden by this precept, as well as national and commercial wrongs as petty larceny, highway robberies and private stealing: even taking advantage of a seller or a buyers ignorance, to give one less and make the other pay more for a commodity than its worth…” If we were to pick the contents of a single days newspaper in most countries, you would have thought Clarke wrote that for immediate publication. Then he says: ” all kidnapping, crimping and slave- dealing are prohibited, whether they are practiced by individuals or the state. This command covers the taking of another’s thing either by force or fraud. John Gill says that thefts are if various kinds. They range from individuals, to corporate and ecclesiastical frauds. It includes when a government hires charlatans to dress in priestly robes to steal a whole nation. Zaccheus understood this and was willing to restitute for it ( Luke 19:8 ). Paul told the Corinthians that to disobey this command is enough to take you out of Gods kingdom( 1 Cor.6:10 ). For this command, it takes a person of character to obey especially when no one else is looking.

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