Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 10:43:39 +0100 Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: Catechism, 13 Q: Which is the eighth commandment? A: The eighth commandment is, "Thou shalt not steal". In the two previous commandments is cared for the life and the chastity of the people, and in this eighth commandment is cared for the livelihood through the outward goods, by which the men must be maintained in this life. Therefore, in this commandment is commanded that men may not do injustice towards each other, but they must righteously obtain them, and expend them properly. Also this commandment is put in the form of a prohibition, so we must pay attention to 1. what is required, and 2. what is forbidden here. This is done in the next two questions and answers. Q: What is required in the eighth commandment? A: The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others. The answer says that we ought to procure and further the wealth and outward estate of both ourselves and others. Now, most of the people try to procure wealth for themselves, but we ought this to do also for the others. Doing this for others, we see it seldom. And when we help the others, we hope to have also some advantage for ourselves. Several virtues are required in us. - Righteousness. We must be fair in our business. Even when we think that nobody notices it when we favour ourselves at the expense of others, in an unrighteous way. Even in the darkness, so to speak, when nobody sees us, we must be righteous. "Provide things honest in the sight of all men." (Romans 12:17) - Contentment. We must be content with the estate of life, which we have gotten of God. Let we be content with that what we now have in goods, and avoid being greedy to unnecessary things. "Be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." (Hebrews 13:5) - Allegiance. Being faithful means that we try to prevent the harm of other's goods, that we fulfill our job as it is fitting, and other the like things. "His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." (Matthew 25:21) - Mildness, in order that we give to the needy, as is reasonable. That we do so, even when it is not our duty. "Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto." (Deuteronomy 15:10) - Hospitality. This is a sort of mildness, whereby we receive the guests, and give them what they need. "Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? (Isaiah 58:7) - Thrift. We ought to avoid unnecessary expenses, so that we can help the people when the need is there. "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16) "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9) - Moderation. We will expend our goods well and usefully for the things which are necessary and useful. "Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded." (Titus 2:6) Q: What is forbidden in the eighth commandment? A: The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbour's wealth or outward estate. This commandment forbids every unjust hinder of the prosperity of ourselves and the other people. We, of course, will care that nothing hinders our own well-being, but it happens seldom that we care for that of our neighbour's. Several crimes are contained in this ban on stealing. - Stealing itself. This is the unjustly taking away of things which belong to another. Other forms are to robbery of the sanctuary, which we do when we give too little to the service of God. Stealing of people. "And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:16) - Unjust dealing. Some rob the other under the appearance of right, or any other deceiving appearance. "That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified." (1 Thessalonians 4:6) The government can sin in this, when they oppress the innocent: "Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them." (Isaiah 1:23) We can also deceive and rob our neighbour using false money and measures. Some sell materials of bad quality for a good price, which is also stealing. Another sort is when we ask too much interest, when we lend some money. - Abuse. We can be thieves of our own property, namely when we abuse it. Two forms can be mentioned here. First miserliness, and secondly waste. The miserliness is the root of all evil, like the apostle said: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10) The miser robs himself and the others of the use of the goods, which God has given them to employ for the benefit of himself and his neighbour. The waster also robs himself and his neighbour of the use of the good. For he never has any, and what he has, he dissipates. "Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; That chant to the sound of the viol, [and] invent to themselves instruments of music, like David; That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed." (Amos 6:3-7) The prophet punishes the waste of the chiefs of the nation. They lie at rest, but are not grieved for the affliction of the citizens. Therefore now shall they go captive. When we read this eighth commandment cursorily, maybe, we feel ourselves not a transgressor. But when we study it more, and also read the explanation of this commandment in the Scriptures. we get a better idea of the requirements of it. When we then the required and forbidden things lay beside our lives, and we compere these, we become the greatest sinners; I mean, when we are not utterly blind. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament Editor: Teus Benschop - firstname.lastname@example.org No copyrights on this publication Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands End of Catechism, 13 -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-013.txt .