Thou Shalt Not Steal - The Eighth Commandment


Exodus 20:15

King James Version (KJV)

15 Thou shalt not steal.

The eighth commandment of the Bible requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others. The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth, or may, unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbor’s wealth or outward estate.

The duties required in the eighth commandment of the Bible are, truth, faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man; rendering to everyone his due; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof; giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others; moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly goods; a provident care and study to get, keep, use, and dispose these things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition; a lawful calling, and diligence in it; frugality; avoiding unnecessary lawsuits and suretyship, or other like engagements; and an endeavor, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own.

Unjustly taking or keeping a neighbor's goods (or wronging a neighbor concerning his goods) violates the seventh commandment. This commandment also requires justice and charity concerning man's labors. There must be an understanding that all goods are destined for the good of all, and, at the same time, a respect for private property.
Property is inherent to both the Fourth and Eighth Commandments. The Fourth Commandment's stipulation concerning six days of labor provides a means of acquiring property, and the Eighth Commandment is predicated upon the right of ownership.

Defense of property is implicit in the Eighth Commandment:

If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him. (Exodus 22:2)
When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. (Luke 11:21)
And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. (Luke 12:39)
Property implies ownership, and ownership entitles the owner to do with his property whatever he wishes, provided it does not violate the rights of others:
Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? (Matthew 20:15)

Robert Ingram author of "The World Under God's Law" expounded upon ownership, "the power of ownership must be absolute. It is black and white; I own a thing or I don't. I may own a part of it, but there is no such thing as a part of ownership. Christians have a commonplace saying that every man's home is his castle. He is king in his own residence; he may go to any lengths to stop a trespass; soldiers, in the United States, may not be quartered in his home without his consent; and not even a policeman may enter without a proper warrant issued under careful safeguards. If a man really owns his property, he may refuse to sell it, even to a king, as Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to King Ahab. He may dispose of it at his death by will; he may develop it or not as he sees fit, and within the limits of it there isn't much he can't do. The same conditions apply to personal property and money."

Exodus 22:1 is case law that provides precedent against much more than just the theft of livestock. For example, a farmer's tractor is of greater value to him than the family automobile. This is true not only because the tractor costs more, but because the tractor is his means of livelihood, while the car is only a means of transportation. Therefore, an apprehended tractor thief should be required to pay the equivalent of five tractors, whereas a car thief should pay the equivalent of four cars. If, instead, the victim is a traveling salesman who owns and uses a tractor only for property maintenance, the judgment would be transposed. Purpose, not price, determines an object's worth and the rate of restitution.

Whether the rate of restitution is four or five times, Yahweh's judgment for stealing is a deterrent to potential thieves, whereas current American jurisprudence provides little deterrence whatsoever. Under Yahweh's laws, only the victim is compensated. The State should not receive any remuneration whatsoever. Under man's laws, however, the victim receives little or no compensation and is further victimized by the very system that is supposed to protect him. After the State slaps the thief's hand and collects its fines two or three times, the repeat offender may finally be thrown into a prison funded by the victim's tax-dollars. The offended party is preyed upon first by a low-class thief and then by a high-class thief.

The superiority of Yahweh's laws is easily seen when contrasting the America's criminal justice system with Yahweh's equitable justice system.

Eighth Commandment of the Bible bring you these Bible verses

2 Corinthians 12:1
[The Vision of Paradise] It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord:

2 Corinthians 12:7
[The Thorn in the Flesh] And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

Galatians 1:12
For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:2
And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain.

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