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The Heidelberg Catechism

Lord's Day 42


110 Q.    What does God forbid in the eighth commandment?


       A.    He forbids not only outright theft and robbery,

     punishable by law.1


But in God's sight theft also includes

cheating and swindling our neighbour

by schemes made to appear legitimate,2

such as:

inaccurate measurements of weight, size, or volume;

fraudulent merchandising;

counterfeit money;

excessive interest;

or any other means forbidden by God.3


In addition he forbids all greed4

and pointless squandering of his gifts.5


1 Ex. 22:1; 1 Cor. 5:9-10; 6:9-10

2 Mic. 6:9-11; Luke 3:14; James 5:1-6

3 Deut. 25:13-16; Ps. 15:5; Prov. 11:1; 12:22; Ezek. 45:9-12; Luke 6:35

4 Luke 12:15; Eph. 5:5

5 Prov. 21:20; 23:20-21; Luke 16:10-13


111 Q.    What does God require of you in this commandment?


       A.    That I do whatever I can

     for my neighbour’s good,

that I treat him

     as I would like others to treat me,

and that I work faithfully

     so that I may share with those in need.1


1 Isa. 58:5-10; Matt. 7:12; Gal. 6:9-10; Eph. 4:28



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