Exodus 20: 16-17 -Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

If the Bible prohibits coveting the neighbor’s possession, does that mean one can covet foreigner’s possession? 


Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

"Thou shalt bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shall not cover thy neighbor's house, thu shalt not covet thy neighbors wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's." (20:16, 17.)

C. ~ Bravo! No wonder that the Christians covet the wealth and possessions of the foreigners as assiduously as a thirst man thirsts for water or a hungry man hungers after food. The Christian God would be as selfish and partial as is the author of this (so-called) commandment. If a Christian were to say that the word neighbor here includes all men, it cannot be true because none will be left out whose wife and servants one could covet. Hence these are the inventions of selfish men and not the commandments of God.


Answer: In the various Constitutions of this world, the words used in the constitution are defined by the authors of the constitution. We are supposed to understand the law as per the authors’ definition.

 Similarly, when the Holy Bible uses the word ‘neighbor,’ we must seek for the meaning within the Holy Bible. Our LORD Jesus Christ, maker of heavens and earth, has unambiguously defined the word neighbor.

Let us see it if it excludes the foreigners as Maharishi attempts to portray.

Luke 10:25-37 – What is the definition of a Neighbor?

 Luke 10:25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 

Luke 10:26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? What is your reading [of it]?"  

Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'" 

Luke 10:28 And He said to him, "You have answered rightly; do this and you will live." 

Luke 10:29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?" 

Luke 10:30 Then Jesus answered and said: "A certain [man] went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded [him], and departed, leaving [him] half dead.

 Luke 10:31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 

Luke 10:32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 

Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 

Luke 10:34 So he went to [him] and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 

Luke 10:35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave [them] to the innkeeper, and said to him, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.' 

Luke 10:36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?" 

Luke 10:37 And he said, "He who showed mercy on him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."

Of course Samaritans were foreigners to the Jews.

God who gave the commandment has also defined the words used in the commandment. It is not the arbitrary meaning imposed by Christians. Further, we do not need a Vedic guru to define the terms for us.

Who is this Vedic Maharishi to define the term as he like it and impose it upon the Holy Bible?  Now Maharishi’s argument “If a Christian were to say that the word neighbor here includes all men, it cannot be true because none will be left out whose wife and servants one could covet” might be true within the Vedic value system.

Let us see how the Vedic writers really prayed:

Rig Veda 3: 34: 1-11

1. FORT-RENDER, Lord of Wealth, dispelling foemen, Indra with lightnings hath overcome the Dāsa. Impelled by prayer and waxen great in body, he hath filled earth and heaven, the Bounteous Giver.

2. I stimulate thy zeal, the Strong, the Hero decking my song of praise forth; Immortal. O Indra, thou art equally the Leader of heavenly hosts and human generations.

3. Leading, his band Indra encompassed Vtra; weak grew the wily leader of enchanters. He who burns fierce in forests slaughtered Vyasa, and made the Milch-kine of the nights apparent.

4. Indra, light-winner, days' Creator, conquered, victorious, hostile bands with those who loved him. For man the days' bright ensign he illumined, and found the light for his joy and gladness.

5. Forward to fiercely falling blows pressed Indra, herolike doing many hero exploits.These holy songs he taught the bard who gaised him, and widely spread these Dawns' resplendent colour.

6. They laud the mighty acts of him the Mighty, the many glorious deeds performed by Indra. He in his strength, with all-surpassing prowess, through wondrous arts crushed the malignant Dasyus.

7. Lord of the brave, Indra who rules the people gave freedom to the Gods by might and battle. Wise singers glorify with chanted praises these his achievements in Vivasvān's dwelling.

8. Excellent, Conqueror, the victory-giver, the winner of the light and Godlike Waters, He who hath won this broad earth and this heaven, -in Indra they rejoice who love devotions.

9. He gained possession of the Sun and Horses, Indra obtained the Cow who feedeth many. Treasure of gold he won; he smote the Dasyus, and gave protection to the Āryan colour.

10 He took the plants and days for his possession; he gained the forest trees and air's mid-region. Vala he cleft, and chased away opponents: thus was he tamer of the overweening.

11 Call we on Maghavan, auspicious Indra, best Hero in the fight where spo

il is gathered, the Strong, who listens, who gives aid in battles, who slays the Vtras, wins and gathers treasures.

Using Maharishi’s method and adopting his language we can say that not only the Vedic believers but also their chief deity was gaining everything to coveting and waging wars with others. Surely, the Vedas cannot be from God but can only be from some selfish men who pretended to be sages.

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