Deuteronomy 5:11
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
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(11) Take . . . in vain.—Literally, Thou shalt not put the name of Jehovah thy God to vanity: i.e., to anything that is false, or hollow, or unreal. Primarily, it is false swearing that is forbidden here; but the extension of the principle to vain and rash swearing, or the light use of the Name without real cause, is sufficiently obvious.

Deuteronomy 5:11. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain — Hast thou never used the name of God unless on solemn and weighty occasions? Hast thou then used it with the deepest awe? Hast thou duly honoured his word, his ordinances, his ministers? Hast thou considered all things as they stand in relation to him, and seen God in all? Hast thou looked upon heaven as God’s throne? Upon earth as God’s footstool? On every thing therein as belonging to the great King? On every creature as full of God?5:6-22 There is some variation here from Ex 20 as between the Lord's prayer in Mt 6 and Lu 11. It is more necessary that we tie ourselves to the things, than to the words unalterably. The original reason for hallowing the sabbath, taken from God's resting from the work of creation on the seventh day, is not here mentioned. Though this ever remains in force, it is not the only reason. Here it is taken from Israel's deliverance out of Egypt; for that was typical of our redemption by Jesus Christ, in remembrance of which the Christian sabbath was to be observed. In the resurrection of Christ we were brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God, with a mighty hand, and an outstretched arm. How sweet is it to a soul truly distressed under the terrors of a broken law, to hear the mild and soul-reviving language of the gospel!Compare Exodus 20 and notes.

Moses here adopts the Ten Words as a ground from which he may proceed to reprove, warn, and exhort; and repeats them, with a certain measure of freedom and adaptation. Our Lord Mark 10:19 and Paul Ephesians 6:2-3 deal similarly with the same subject. Speaker and hearers recognized, however, a statutory and authoritative form of the laws in question, which, because it was familiar to both parties, needed not to be reproduced with verbal fidelity.

6-20. I am the Lord thy God—The word "Lord" is expressive of authority or dominion; and God, who by natural claim as well as by covenant relation was entitled to exercise supremacy over His people Israel, had a sovereign right to establish laws for their government. [See on [115]Ex 20:2.] The commandments which follow are, with a few slight verbal alterations, the same as formerly recorded (Ex 20:1-17), and in some of them there is a distinct reference to that promulgation. No text from Poole on this verse. I am the Lord thy God,.... This is the preface to the ten commandments, and is the same with that in Exodus 20:2; see Gill on Exodus 20:2, and those commands are here delivered in the same order, and pretty near in the same words, with a little variation, and a few additions; which I shall only observe, and refer to Exodus 20:1 for the sense of the various laws. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
11. The Third Commandment exactly as in Exodus 20:7. On the need for this in Israel see on Deuteronomy 6:13.Verse 11. - Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; literally, Thou shalt not take [or lift] up the Name of Jehovah thy God to vanity. This commandment forbids not only all false swearing by the Name of God, but all profanation of that Name by an irreverent or light use of it (Leviticus 19:12). "Jehovah talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire," i.e., He came as near to you as one person to another. בּפנים פּנים is not perfectly synonymous with פּנים אל פּנים, which is used in Exodus 33:11 with reference to God's speaking to Moses (cf. Deuteronomy 34:10, and Genesis 32:31), and expresses the very confidential relation in which the Lord spoke to Moses as one friend to another; whereas the former simply denotes the directness with which Jehovah spoke to the people. - Before repeating the ten words which the Lord addressed directly to the people, Moses introduces the following remark in Deuteronomy 5:5 - "I stood between Jehovah and you at that time, to announce to you the word of Jehovah; because ye were afraid of the fire, and went not up into the mount" - for the purpose of showing the mediatorial position which he occupied between the Lord and the people, not so much at the proclamation of the ten words of the covenant, as in connection with the conclusion of the covenant generally, which alone in fact rendered the conclusion of the covenant possible at all, on account of the alarm of the people at the awful manifestation of the majesty of the Lord. The word of Jehovah, which Moses as mediator had to announce to the people, had reference not to the instructions which preceded the promulgation of the decalogue (Exodus 19:11.), but, as is evident from Deuteronomy 5:22-31, primarily to the further communications which the Lord was about to address to the nation in connection with the conclusion of the covenant, besides the ten words (viz., Exodus 20:18; Exodus 22:1-23:33), to which in fact the whole of the Sinaitic legislation really belongs, as being the further development of the covenant laws. The alarm of the people at the fire is more fully described in Deuteronomy 5:25. The word "saying" at the end of Deuteronomy 5:5 is dependent upon the word "talked" in Deuteronomy 5:4; Deuteronomy 5:5 simply containing a parenthetical remark.
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