False witness (Mt 5:33-5:33)

“Again,

You have heard

That it was said

To your ancient ancestors.

‘You shall not swear falsely!

But carry out

The vows

You have made

To the Lord.’”

 

Πάλιν ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις Οὐκ ἐπιορκήσεις, ἀποδώσεις δὲ τῷ Κυρίῳ τοὺς ὅρκους σου.

 

Jesus, via Matthew, expounded on another of the Ten Commandments, bearing false witness or lying, as expressed in Exodus, chapter 20:7.  Apparently, this was unique to Matthew.  They had all heard what was said to their ancestors (Πάλιν ἠκούσατε ὅτι ἐρρέθη τοῖς ἀρχαίοις).  They were not to swear falsely or lie (Οὐκ ἐπιορκήσεις).  Then Matthew added that they also should do or perform the vows that they swore to do to the Lord (ἀποδώσεις δὲ τῷ Κυρίῳ τοὺς ὅρκους σου), as indicated in Deuteronomy, chapter 23:21-23.  They should be careful about what they vow.  They should fulfill these vows quickly, since they were free to vow to the Lord God, Yahweh, or not.  However, when they did, they should make sure that they did what they said that they were going to do.

What they should avoid (Jer 7:8-7:11)

“‘Here you are.

You trust in deceptive words to no avail.

Will you steal?

Will you murder?

Will you commit adultery?

Will you swear falsely?

Will you make offerings to Baal?                              

Will you go after other gods

That you have not known?

Then you will come.

You will stand before me

In this house,

That is called by my name.

You will say.

‘We are safe!’

Yet you only go on doing

All these abominations.

Has this house,

That is called by my name,

Become a den of robbers

In your sight?

You know,

I too am watching.’

Says Yahweh.”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, asks the people if they will really give up their deceptive ways. Are they going to continue to steal, murder, commit adultery, and swear falsely? Were they going to continue to offer sacrifices to the Baal gods? Were they going to continue to run after other gods that they know nothing about? Then why would they come to Yahweh’s Temple and say that they were safe there? While they proclaim their love of Yahweh, they continue to commit all these abominations. They have made his Temple into a den of robbers. Yet Yahweh was watching what was going on.