Matt. 5:21 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’
Matt. 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matt. 5:27 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
Matt. 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matt. 5:33 Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’
Matt. 5:34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
Matt. 5:38 You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’
Matt. 5:39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Matt. 5:43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
Matt. 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
You have heard, via incessant preaching, it was said that, in the above verses, Yeshua was providing a new way to look at the law, and that he was raframing the Law of Moses differently. But, consider the following.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his maile servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
Coveting, in Monday Morning syntax, is desiring something G-d did not design for you to have. Granted, there are a number of more flowery ways to stylize this concept, but overall, it’s about desires for things that Father did not want.
Yeshua was not reframing the Law of Moses. Rather, He was reminding those people who believed and lived as though there were Nine Commandments that a Tenth One Existed.
Lust is sexually coveting the wife that is not yours. That is EVERY woman that is not yours, or man if you are a woman.
Murder is coveting the life that is not yours to end.
Taking oaths is coveting to perform those things that are not yours to perform. You are only duty-bound to perform those things that are yours from Father. And if G-d didn’t give it to you to perform, do not even have the desire to perform it.
“Eye for an eye”, which was meant as a form of justice, in this case, is coveting to damage someone when it is not your job to injur them. The “second mile” is about a better response than harboring the desire (covetousness) to harm wicked authority.
“Love your neighbors and hate your enemies” is the same form of cevtousness as in 5:21-22.
The Son is not offering a new way to look at the law. Rather, he is offering to remind his hearers of the full extent of the Torah: it covers desire also.
Let me say that again: the TORAH covers the heart attitudes in addition to the acts, and the Tenth Commandment is what Yeshua is bringing out in this passage.
Craig Keener writes:
Jesus offers an implicity argument from Scripture, not just a cultural critique. The seventh of the Ten Commandments declares, “You shoall not commit adultery” ( Ex 20:14), while the tenth commandment delcares, “You shall not covet [that is, desire]…anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Ex 20:17). In the popular Greek version of Jesus’ day the teth commandment began, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, ” and used the same word for “covet” that Jesus uses here for lust.” In other words, Jesus reads the humanely unenforceable tenth commandment as if it matters as much as the other, more humanely enforceable commandments. If you do not break the letter of the other commandments, but you WANT to do so in your heart, you are guilty. G-d judges a sinful heart, and hearts that desire what belong to others are guilty.
Craig Keener, The IVP New Testament Commentary, vol. 1, Matthew (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1997), 116.
Regardless of whether Jesus went beyond his contemporary listeners’ interpretation of the Torah, he did not go beyond what was written in the Torah. He perfectly aligns with it.
You can cover all of the bases morally and socially by not only eradicating the wrong action, but also the wrong desires. And I do not laugh at that sentiment, treating it as impossible. Rather, it is part of the great adventure that awaits us. What G-d commands of us, G-d enables us, empowers us, or equips us to get the resources to do.
While the first nine commandments deal with wrong action, the tenth deals with the heart, the reins, and the mind.
That is, the tenth commandment shows us a whole host of applications where we might be framing the wrong problem.
And desiring something G-d has not given you is definitely wasting your energy attempting to define and frame a problem that is not yours to solve.
If you want constant adrenal fatigue and destruction to your kidneys, develop a habit of violating the Tenth Commandment by trying to solve the problems G-d has not given you to solve.
Those reins (King James language for Kidneys and Adrenals) were designed to help you solve problems that G-d has for you to solve (see the Hebrew of Psalm 16:7).
They were not designed to help you solve problems such as how you can fornicate, hate, or desire what G-d did not say you could have and still find a way to be okay with Him.
For those who want to work on the spiritual health and vitality of their reins, go here.
And for the rest of you, be blessed.