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What is Considered to be Stealing?
Question received:
Quote:Are all property acquisitions gotten by coveting theft?

Here is the text in the topic on coveting in "The Divine Code," 4th edition, near the end of Chapter 1 in the section on "The Prohibition of Theft":

18. It is forbidden for a Gentile to covet the money of other people.[1] The definition of one who covets is one who not only desires another person's belonging or his house, etc., but he also pressures the other person to sell the item to him, until the point that the owner does sell it to him (or the owner may be pressured to give it as a gift, until he finally does). Even if he gives him a large amount of money for the item, he is still considered to be one who covets. However, if an object is designated for sale, and the person pressures the seller to reduce his price in the way of all buyers and sellers who haggle back and forth over a price, there is no prohibition involved.
Even if one has transgressed the prohibition of coveting, the sale is not cancelled. **The one who coveted retains the object, and it is his according to the law, for the final result was that the seller was appeased, and it was not taken from him by force.**
Similarly, one who pressures his friend to give him a certain gift has the status of one who covets his friend's money, and this is prohibited.

19. It is also forbidden for a Gentile to desire another person's belongings. This refers to anyone who desires his friend's house, field, vessels, or any other item (which could possibly be purchased), and he mentally plans or desires in his heart to gain that physical item.
The reason for these prohibitions is that they are included in the prohibition of theft, for the result of coveting and desiring is theft.[2] (Desiring another man's wife is also forbidden, since it can lead to the sin of adultery, which is also related to theft; see Chapter 10...)

[1] See Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Laws of Robbery topic 23: "A Gentile is prohibited to rob and extort as is a Jew." (Extortion is forbidden based on the prohibition of coveting.)
[2] is also forbidden for a Gentile to lust after another man's wife. For even though he obviously will not be able to "acquire" her as this applies to property, it is possible that he could offer enough money to convince the couple to divorce, and he would then be able to marry her (this is the transgression of coveting, which is prohibited within the Noahide commandment regarding theft). The main point is that whenever there is a possibility of theft, there is also a prohibition to covet...

-----end quote-----

So the answer is that coveting is forbidden for Gentiles as an offshoot of the commandment not to commit theft. If a Gentile has coveted something from another person, he has therefore transgressed, but he is not guilty of the capital sin of theft.

Messages In This Thread
What is Considered to be Stealing? - by Eve7noah - 12-30-2016, 08:58 PM
RE: What is Considered to be Stealing? - by Director Michael - 03-30-2021, 10:47 PM

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