EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) And ye shall not swear.
—This corresponds with the third commandment of the Decalogue (Exodus 20:7
. Ye shall not swear falsely —
This is added to show how one sin draws on another, and that when men will lie for their own advantage, they will easily be induced to perjury. Profane the name —
By any unholy use of it. So it is an additional precept, thou shall not abuse my holy name by swearing either falsely or rashly.
19:1-37 laws. - There are some ceremonial precepts in this chapter, but most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are explanations of the ten commandments. It is required that Israel be a holy people, because the God of Israel is a holy God, ver. 2. To teach real separation from the world and the flesh, and entire devotedness to God. This is now the law of Christ; may the Lord bring every thought within us into obedience to it! Children are to be obedient to their parents, ver. 3. The fear here required includes inward reverence and esteem, outward respect and obedience, care to please them and to make them easy. God only is to be worshipped, ver. 4. Turn not from the true God to false ones, from the God who will make you holy and happy, to those that will deceive you, and make you for ever miserable. Turn not your eyes to them, much less your heart. They should leave the gleanings of their harvest and vintage for the poor, ver. 9. Works of piety must be always attended with works of charity, according to our ability. We must not be covetous, griping, and greedy of every thing we can lay claim to, nor insist upon our right in all things. We are to be honest and true in all our dealings, ver. 11. Whatever we have in the world, we must see that we get it honestly, for we cannot be truly rich, or long rich, with that which is not so. Reverence to the sacred name of God must be shown, ver. 12. We must not detain what belongs to another, particularly the wages of the hireling, ver. 13. We must be tender of the credit and safety of those that cannot help themselves, ver. 14. Do no hurt to any, because they are unwilling or unable to avenge themselves. We ought to take heed of doing any thing which may occasion our weak brother to fall. The fear of God should keep us from doing wrong things, though they will not expose us to men's anger. Judges, and all in authority, are commanded to give judgment without partiality, ver. 15. To be a tale-bearer, and to sow discord among neighbours, is as bad an office as a man can put himself into. We are to rebuke our neighbour in love, ver. 17. Rather rebuke him than hate him, for an injury done to thyself. We incur guilt by not reproving; it is hating our brother. We should say, I will do him the kindness to tell him of his faults. We are to put off all malice, and to put on brotherly love, ver. 18. We often wrong ourselves, but we soon forgive ourselves those wrongs, and they do not at all lessen our love to ourselves; in like manner we should love our neighbour. We must in many cases deny ourselves for the good of our neighbour. Ver. 31: For Christians to have their fortunes told, to use spells and charms, or the like, is a sad affront to God. They must be grossly ignorant who ask, What harm is there in these things? Here is a charge to young people to show respect to the aged, ver. 32. Religion teaches good manners, and obliges us to honour those to whom honour is due. A charge was given to the Israelites to be very tender of strangers, ver. 33. Strangers, and the widows and fatherless, are God's particular care. It is at our peril, if we do them any wrong. Strangers shall be welcome to God's grace; we should do what we can to recommend religion to them. Justice in weights and measures is commanded, ver. 35. We must make conscience of obeying God's precepts. We are not to pick and choose our duty, but must aim at standing complete in all the will of God. And the nearer our lives and tempers are to the precepts of God's law, the happier shall we be, and the happier shall we make all around us, and the better shall we adorn the gospel.Leviticus 19:11
forbids injuries perpetrated by craft; Leviticus 19:13
, those perpetrated by violence or power, the conversion of might into right. In Leviticus 19:13
"defraud" should rather be, oppress.
11-16. Ye shall not steal—A variety of social duties are inculcated in this passage, chiefly in reference to common and little-thought-of vices to which mankind are exceedingly prone; such as committing petty frauds, or not scrupling to violate truth in transactions of business, ridiculing bodily infirmities, or circulating stories to the prejudice of others. In opposition to these bad habits, a spirit of humanity and brotherly kindness is strongly enforced. Ye shall not swear by my name falsely:
this is here added, to show how one sin draws on another, and that when men will lie for their own advantage, they will easily be induced to perjury.
Neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God,
by any unholy use of it. So it is an additional precept, thou shalt not abuse my holy name by swearing either falsely or rashly. Or this may be a reason of the former prohibition, because in so doing thou wilt profane the name of thy God
And ye shall not swear by my name falsely,.... Or "to a falsehood" (x), to any of the above cases; as that a man has not the deposit of another's in his hands, when he has; or that such a man owes him so much money, when he does not, or any other false thing. Stealing, dealing falsely, lying, and false swearing, are mentioned together, as following one another, and as tending to lead on, the one to the other, as Jarchi observes;"if thou stealest, this will lead thee on to deal falsely, and then to lie, and after that to swear;''and who further remarks, because it may be thought a man is guilty only because of the proper name (of God he may swear by); therefore to comprehend all the surnames (or epithets of God, such as gracious, merciful, &c.) it is said, "ye shall not swear by, my name falsely": every name which is mine, by which he is called; and so Gersom, any epithet or attribute of his, or any word or phrase by which he is described, as he that made the heavens, or that dwelleth in the heavens, or liveth for ever and ever, and the like; and the word being of the plural number, ye shall not swear, takes in, as Aben Ezra thinks, him that causes to swear, as well as him that swears:
neither shall thou profane the name of thy God: through swearing falsely by it, or through any rash or vain oath in common conversation; not only perjury in a court of judicature, but all profane oaths, curses, and imprecations are forbidden, as breaches of the third command, which this refers to; See Gill on Exodus 20:7,
I am the Lord; whose name is holy, and who can and will revenge every abuse of it in a profane way, and to the injury of men.
(x) "ad fallaciam ullam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Ainsworth. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.