I've written before about Joseph Lewis who was a pioneering American freethinker. Read this except from his monumental 644 page book The Ten Commandments concerning the 10th one, where he writes:
This Commandment was never intended to prevent envying another's possessions, but rather to avoid the evil consequences of "coveting" in the magical sense. Coveting was not mentioned as an undesirable trait to be avoided because it is unethical, immoral or antisocial; it was recorded and made part of the Decalogue because the superstition prevailed in Hebrew tribal society that envious thoughts would bring ill luck and misfortune, through sorcery and witchcraft, to the person against whose property the "coveting" was directed. Covetous desires, they believed, would call into existence the malevolent spirits of the "evil eye," which by devious and diabolical methods would cause the loss of the coveted possessions. Link.