Matthew 23:21

Matthew 23:21

And whoso shall swear by the temple
As we have before seen they used to do, and as appears from what the poet says F23:

Ecce negas, jurasque mihi per templa tonantis Non credo: jura, verpe, per Anchialum.

In which he intimates, that if the Jew swore by the temple, he would not believe him; as well he might not, since such an oath was accounted nothing; but bids him swear by Anchialus, that is, by (hwla) (yx) , "Chi Eloah", or (Nwyle yx) , "Chi Alon", or "Elion, the living God", or (Mlweh yh) , "Chi Haolam, he that lives for ever" F24; and suggests, that he should then believe him. Now our Lord, though he did not allow of such swearing, yet justly argues, that he that sweareth by the temple, not only "sweareth by it", which could not be a witness of what was swore; but he must be interpreted to swear by the inhabitant of it, and by him that dwelleth in it; that is, God, for whom it was built, to whom it was dedicated; where he was worshipped, and where he vouchsafed to reside; taking up his dwelling between the cherubim upon the mercy seat, in the most holy place; from whence he communed with men, and gave tokens of his presence; and who only could be the proper witness of the truth, or falsehood, of what was swore; and therefore an oath, by the temple, ought to be looked upon as if made by God himself, and so to be sacred and binding.


F23 Martial. Epigr. l. 11. Ep. 60.
F24 Vid. Selden. Prolegomena ad lib. de Successionibus.