RE: Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life

From: Albert Collver, III (
Date: Mon Nov 04 1996 - 00:28:05 EST


        Jonathan Robie wrote:
>> This is especially interesting since I would expect most people in the NT
would be quite familiar with the 10 commandments, and the use of EPIQUMIA
probably remind them of this.

Incidentally, my English and German translations start with the neighbor's
listing the neighbor's wife second. I was getting ready to suggest that this
be another indication that the meaning of epiqumhseis is not primarily
sexual, but
then I noticed that the Septuagint lists them in the opposite order.

I wish I could read Hebrew--I assume that the Hebrew texts list the house

        The Hebrew does begin with house. The Hebrew literally reads: (from Exodus

"You shall not covet the house of your friend; You shall not covet the wife of
your friend, nor his slave, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor his he
asses, nor anything that belongs to your friend."

        "Friend" here can mean fellow-citizen, or "another." Presumably, "another of
your" is a circumlocution for neighbor.

Regarding the fact that in the LXX Exodus 20:17 has "covet neighbors wife"
first see Deut 5:21. In Deut 5:21, wife is listed first. It seems that the LXX
translators followed the order of Deuteronomy rather than Exodus. There is not
really any Hebrew manuscript support for inverting the order in Exodus. Anyway
this is Greek and not Hebrew.
        It seems that "lust" need not apply primarily to sexual desire, especially in
light of that the 6th commandment prohibits adultery, etc. The NT does not
lack words for sexual deviance. I think it is very sound and good to point out
that "lust / desire" probably refers directly to Exodus 20:17 and Deuteronomy
5:21. The NT writers are applying the 9th and 10th commandments - which
applied directly to Jews - to all Christians.

Albert B. Collver, III

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