The Nine Commandments and One Suggestion

Ok so last night I watched the Ten Commandments on TV starting Charlton Heston as Moses.

First of all, was “Charlton” a made up name by his parents when they couldn’t decide on Charles or Carlton? I haven’t heard of anybody ever named that.
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Secondly, let’s talk about the Commandments themselves. I can’t read that language on the tablets that  Chuck is holding, let’s get a more legible version.

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There,  that’s better.

Now as I read them,  they seem like pretty standard “good person” stuff. Don’t kill, don’t lie, don’t cheat on your spouse, be good to your parents.

Then there are also a few things pertinent to God. Seems fair. He wrote ’em, he’s allowed.

The one I could never get my head around is “Thou Shall Not Covet”.

First if all,  who says “covet”?

Secondly… uh what’s does covet mean?
Covet: yearn to possess or have (something).

(Ok I’ve known that since first learning the Commandments. Oh come, if we’re still using “Thou” and “shall” then fine,  I’ll allow “covet”)

So…We can’t want to have something? Seems counterproductive in a world filled with things.

But maybe it’s in the word “yearn”:
“Yearn: have an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from.”

I’m concerned. Society is clearly anti- killing/stealing/lying and if I do kill, steal or lie, there are clear consequences. And even if I miss church on Sunday, at least my mom will give me a firm “tsk tsk.”

But there’s no “HELLO, 911?! It’s my neighbor, he’s COVETING! COME QUICKLY!”

But if I want something REALLY REALLY badly, then I’m sinning.

Well that sucks.

There’s no quality control against coveting. We can’t call 911 when someone covets. We’re all out there coveting with reckless abandon every single day without concern for our immortal souls.

If thoughts are admissable as evidence to keep me out of the pearly gates then I am in TROUBLE

I say it should be 9 Commandments and 1 Suggestion.


  1. I’ve always found it leads to interesting discussions, in regards to the commandments, if it is considered a sin to think it in the mind or only if the act is physically committed.

    What say you?!


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