PROPERTY IN ANCIENT HEBREW AND GREEK LIFE
Our tradition which treats religion and morals as dealing with inner states of mind and which regards material, economic interests as external to the "inner" mind, would have been totally incomprehensible to the ancient Hebrews. Property was one of the central interests of the moral life. "O give thanks unto the Lord who giveth food to all flesh" ( Psalms 136:1, 25). The moral consciousness of the ancient Hebrew was developed in vital touch with his instincts of workmanship and ownership. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" ( Psalm 24:1).
The right of property came through one's kinship group. The idea of an independent, self-centered individual who must be as free as possible from all social restraint in his economic life would have meant nothing to a member of the early Hebrew community. It was the kinship group through the favor of Yahweh that owned property. Outside this kinship group there were no property rights. The instincts of hunger, of acquisition, of ownership, of workmanship, were organized by a powerful social tradition.
With the conquest of Canaan the Hebrews entered upon an agricultural stage of development. Property began to center in the land. "Wilt thou not