“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15 New King James Version
The 8th commandment deals with differing aspects of stealing. The Old Testament has extensive laws to regulate the buying and selling of property. These laws reveal the nature of the commandment, "You shall not steal." These laws taught the Hebrews how to deal honestly with their brothers.
Both public and private sins are included in this prohibition. The 8th commandment condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade and requires the payment of just debts or wages. Solomon stated this truth when he wrote, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so” (Proverbs 3:27).
The 8th Commandment meaning declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another is registered as fraud in the books of heaven. It requires us to practice the golden rule, always treating others the way we desire them to treat us.
The 8th Commandment requires honesty and fairness in all of our dealings.
The 8th commandment forbids unjustly taking or keeping the goods of one's neighbor and wronging him in any way with respect to his goods. It commands justice and charity in the care of earthly goods and the fruits of men's labor. For the sake of the common good, it requires respect for the universal destination of goods and respect for the right to private property. Christian life strives to order this world's goods to God and to fraternal charity.
8th Commandment - Thou Shalt Not Steal
Eighth Commandment of the Bible - Do Not Steal
20:15 Thou shalt not steal - This 5th commandment forbids us to rob ourselves of what we have, by sinful spending, or of the use and comfort of it by sinful sparing; and to rob others by invading our neighbour's rights, taking his goods, or house, or field, forcibly or clandestinely, over - reaching in bargains, not restoring what is borrowed or found, with - holding just debts, rents or wages; and, which is worst of all, to rob the public in the coin or revenue,
or that which is dedicated to the service of religion.
Thou Shalt Not Steal
The commandment of Thou Shalt Not Steal, can been applied to many situations. People today regard it as a prohibition against any theft of any sort of real property.
Does it, however, also include theft of non-real property, like
intellectual or creative properties? Does this commandment even allow
for the possibility of someone “owning” a creative work and having
copyrights over it? Most religious scholars today probably agree that
it does, though in doing so they are accepting modern understandings of the nature of property. There were no copyrights or patents among the ancient Hebrews and such oral cultures
probably would not have understood the concepts.
There is no such thing as "petty theft" in God's sight - the character of those who steal a little is the same as those who steal much:
All stealing violates the 6th Commandment, Thos Shalt Not Steal.
"He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" (Luke 16:10-11 KJV)
The only recorded incident in which Jesus Christ resorted to violence is when He was driving out "white collar" thieves from the Temple:
"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves." (Matthew 21:12-13 KJV)
"Will man rob God?"
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith The Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:8-10 KJV)
Respect For All That Belongs To Another
While the 8th Commandment specifically prohibits stealing, all of the last 6 Commandments are based on not stealing - not stealing the honor away from parents (the Fifth Commandment), not stealing someone's life from them (the Sixth Commandment), not stealing someone's spouse (the Seventh Commandment), not stealing the truth from someone (the Ninth Commandment) and not planning to steal a possession from someone (the Tenth Commandment).
The Eighth Commandment is found three times in the Old Testament and five times in the New Testament: Exodus 20:15, Leviticus 19:11, Deuteronomy 5:19, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, and Ephesians 4:28.
Stealing is taking by force, threat, intimidation, coercion, or deception what belongs to someone else. At least forty different synonyms for stealing exist in the English language, but even these varied and descriptive terms do not comprise everything the Eighth Commandment and its statutes cover.
Stealing, arguably the most transgressed of the Commandments, is often at the root of the more serious crimes of violence and murder. It is also one of today's most overlooked crimes. The United States government not only winks at this sin, it is guilty of legislating and participating in theft in numerous ways.
The Eighth Commandment is one of the building blocks of a viable and productive free society. When theft is not condemned and punished at every level of society, it becomes one of the chief contributors to the collapse of any nation.