What Is Covet In The Bible

Essence of Covet in the Bible

The Bible is a compilation of the Judeo-Christian sacred scripture, featuring in the New and Old Testaments. It is a guide to how God chooses to communicate to people. Biblical covet appears 410 times in the Bible, either directly or indirectly. Covet is a strong and powerful emotion that involves wanting something that is not ours and wishing we could have it. But what does covet mean in the Bible?
The biblical definition of coveting is usually linked to the Ten Commandments, in which God sharply tells us not to covet and why. The scripture states “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” (Deuteronomy 5:21). Covet in the Bible, then, quite obviously implies desiring something, anything, that is owned by someone else.
In biblical terms, coveting is considered as a sin. According to renowned theologians and experts, coveting can be seen as a graver sin because, unlike other sins that are performed outwardly, it is a sin that is carried out within the heart. This means that it cannot be seen by us, or by God, and yet it is still, ultimately, considered to be wrong and punished.
The book of Proverbs in the Bible describes coveting as something that could be potentially destructive for a person. It reads “the desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.” (Proverbs 21:25-26). Here it explains how an individual’s cravings and wants can lead to undesired consequences.
From an analytical point of view, coveting can be seen as a combination of both greed and selfishness. It’s not just wanting something, it’s a desire that can drive a person to do something out of desperation. Coveting, if carried out in the wrong way, can cause the individual to do destructive things in the pursuit of the desired object. It teleports a person onto an endless cycle of wanting something more and more, even if it goes against God’s teachings, and so it can become a detrimental and absorbing state.

Analysis of Covet in the Bible

The Bible does not just discuss the notion of coveting but also offers advice for overcoming it. The book of Hebrews in the Bible tells us to “consider the matter of coveting and longing to possess things and to abandon them as an abomination in the sight of God” (Hebrews 13:5). This can be interpreted as a warning to not be overcome by the longing to possess something.
What’s more, when people covet after someone else’s possessions, they may be led to do things that go against their moral code. Coveting can also give rise to bitterness, envy and wrath. This can lead people to act in completely unexpected and undesired ways.
Ultimately, as Christian believers, we must strive to honor the Ten Commandments and live our lives according to God’s laws and teachings. We must focus our energy and attention on loving God and honoring his rules. Doing so can help us to be aware of our thoughts and what we think of when we see someone else’s possessions.

Spirituality of Covet

Having an understanding of the spiritual meaning of coveting can be helpful in stopping it from happening. Coveting, fundamentally, can be seen as an infringement on someone’s personal property.
Coveting also can take the form of stealing or lying in order to get what someone else has. It can be seen as attempting to take God’s place in someone’s life and possessions, trying to control and manipulate them to get what they want.
Ultimately, it’s important to view coveting as seen in the Bible in spiritual terms and in the context of a relationship with God. Coveting becomes more constructive and useful if it is seen as being focused on loving God and our neighbors rather than on acquiring and obtaining things.


In conclusion, covet in the Bible is presented as a sin and it provides us with a warning not to desire something that is not ours and also a reminder that what we think and feel matters. Coveting has its negative implications, potentially driving us to do things that go against our moral code, but it can also be seen as an opportunity for spiritual growth. Instead of coveting, it’s important for us to focus our energy and attention on loving God and honoring his rules.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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