The eighth commandment is the law that guarantees individuals the right to own property. This, by very strong inference, removes any doubt about whether communism—in which property is owned collectively by the state—is a God-approved form of economics. Numbers 33:53-54 shows God intended the Israelites to own property individually.
When we combine this with the tithing laws in Numbers 18, it becomes clear that God expected the Israelites to work the land to produce wealth for their families. From what they produced they were to pay tithes. The Levites, however, received no land from which they could produce wealth and pay tithes, so they tithed on the tithes they received from the other tribes.
The conclusion is inescapable that the ownership of property and the production of wealth is a God-given privilege. The inequities in the systems and ways by which men produce wealth are givens regardless of when one lives. However, to steal what rightfully belongs to another violates this God-given privilege no matter how one justifies his actions.
John W. Ritenbaugh
The Eighth Commandment (1997)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Numbers 33:53: