Exodus 20:15 You are not to steal
“THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT”
Against stealing and dishonesty.
All rapine and theft are forbidden by this precept;
- as well national and commercial wrongs as petty larceny,
- highway robberies,
- and private stealing: even the taking advantage of a seller’s or buyer’s ignorance,
- to give the one _less_ and make the other pay _more_ for a commodity than its worth,
is a breach of this sacred law.
All withholding of rights and doing of wrongs are against the spirit of it.
But the word is principally applicable to:
- clandestine stealing
- though it may undoubtedly include all political injustice and private wrongs.
- all kidnapping,
- and slave-dealing
are prohibited here, whether practised by individuals or by the state.
Crimes are not lessened in their demerit by the number or political importance of those who commit them.
A state that enacts bad laws is as criminal before God as the individual who breaks good ones.
It has been supposed that under the eighth commandment, injuries done to character, the depriving a man of his reputation or good name, are included, hence those words of one of our poets:
Good name in man or woman
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash,-
But he that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
Thoughts from Clark’s notes on Exodus 20:15
Ref. Verses on Verse 15