New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:5 idolater. Another surprising revelation is that “covetousness” is equivalent to “idolatry.” In fact, “Thou shalt not covet” is the last of God’s ten commandments (Exodus 20:17), whereas the first two are commands against idolatry (Exodus 20:3-5). Covetousness, in God’s sight, is equivalent to the worship of the creation more than the Creator (Romans 1:25), the same as the worship of other aspects of nature as personified in various gods and goddesses. The god of money and material things is Mammon, and Jesus stressed that “ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).