|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:33-37 There is no reason to consider that solemn oaths in a court of justice, or on other proper occasions, are wrong, provided they are taken with due reverence. But all oaths taken without necessity, or in common conversation, must be sinful, as well as all those expressions which are appeals to God, though persons think thereby to evade the guilt of swearing. The worse men are, the less they are bound by oaths; the better they are, the less there is need for them. Our Lord does not enjoin the precise terms wherein we are to affirm or deny, but such a constant regard to truth as would render oaths unnecessary.
Verse 35. - Nor by Jerusalem. The Hebraistic ἐν is here exchanged for the less unclassical εἰς, the reason, perhaps, being that definite direction of one's thought towards Jerusalem was, as it seems, insisted upon by some. "Rabbi Judah saith, He that saith, By Jerusalem, saith nothing, unless with an intent purpose he shall vow towards Jerusalem" (Tosipht., 'Ned.,' 1, in Lightfoot,' Her Hebr.'). So Revised Version margin, toward. For it is the city, etc. (Psalm 48:2).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool,.... That the Jews were wont to swear by the earth, is clear from the above mentioned instances; and is condemned by Christ for this reason, because the earth is God's "footstool", referring, as before, to Isaiah 66:1 on which he treads; and where he also manifests forth his glory, and is a considerable part of the work of his hands.
Neither by Jerusalem, which the Jews used to swear by: such forms of vows as these are to be met with in their writings (q);
"as the altar, as the temple, "as Jerusalem";''
that is, by Jerusalem, I vow I will do this, or the other thing.
"R. Judah says, he that says Jerusalem (i.e. as Bartenora observes (r), without the note of comparison, as) says nothing.''
In the Gemara (s) it is,
"he that says as Jerusalem, does not say anything, till he has made his vow concerning a thing, which is offered up in Jerusalem.''
Dr. Lightfoot (t) has produced forms of vowing and swearing, which have not occurred to me.
"Jerusalem; "for", or "unto Jerusalem", which exactly answers to , here; and "by Jerusalem";''
The reason given for prohibiting this kind of oath, is;
for it is the city of the great king: not of David, but of the King of kings, the Lord of hosts; who had his residence, and his worship, here; see Psalm 48:2.
(q) Misn. Nedarim, c. 1. sect. 3.((r) In. ib. (s) T. Bab. Nedarim, fol. 11. 1.((t) In loc. ex Tosapht. in Nedarim, c. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35. Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool—(quoting Isa 66:1);
neither by Jerusalem for it is the city of the great King—(quoting Ps 48:2).
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