The word covet is found many times in the bible, including in the 10 commandments. Yet, it’s a word that is barely used in today’s society. Even so, it’s an important word and one that a Christian must understand. That’s why I wanted to look at what the word covet means in Hebrew and Greek.

All scriptures are taken from NKJV unless otherwise marked.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

– Exodus 20:17

What Does The Word ‘Covet’ Mean In Hebrew?

avah- to wish for, desire.

chamad- to delight in, lust for

“You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

– Deuteronomy 7:25

What Does The Word ‘Covet’ Mean In Greek?

epithumeo- to long for.

This word is made of two separate words:

  • epi (upon)
  • thumos (passion)

It’s translated into the following:

  • desire (Matthew 13:17)
  • covet (Acts 20:33)
  • lust (Galatians 5:17)
  • lust after (Matthew 5:28)
  • fain (Luke 15:16)

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

– Matthew 5:28

oregomai- to reach out after, long for.

As a verb, this term means “to reach out.” It’s translated into the word desire.

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end,  that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

– Hebrews 6:11-12


In conclusion, the word covet has a simple meaning- to desire, long for, reach out after, or lust after. Is it bad to want things? Absolutely not. However, make sure your intentions and heart are in the right place. Also, be sure that whatever you want lines up with God’s will for your life.

And pray without ceasing for understanding and wisdom. Then, trust God to deliver what He wills you to have. Do not be jealous or envious of what your friends or neighbors have. That’s what the word covet means in Hebrew and Greek.

I pray this article was helpful to you. If so, please share this content. Also, feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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What does the word covet mean in Hebrew and Greek?

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