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Romans 7:7 – You shall not be coveting…?

29-03-2021 - Posted by Hans

… For besides, I had not been aware of coveting except the law said, “You shall not be coveting.”

Paul focuses the argument from here to the end of the chapter on the last commandment about non-covetousness. A command that goes much deeper than all previous commandments as it is not just about conduct (theft, fornication, etc.) but affects the heart and mind. Hence the I-form – it affects people personally.

Incidentally, Paul is quoting incomplete. For not covetousness in itself is the subject of this precept (Ex. 20:17), but the covetousness of the woman or anything else that is the neighbor’s. But someone who is weighed down by the burden of the law, does not experience this nuance. Because he struggles and all attention is focused on trying not to covet.

But the main thing that escapes the person who is “under the law” is that this precept is not an order at all, not even a request. “You shall not covet …” is a promise! It does not put the Israelite to work but it points to GOD Who fulfills! Because if He promises, He will do it! Where that light breaks through, all worries disappear like snow in the sun!