Matthew 5:33


33 "Again 1you have heard that it was said to those of old, 2'You shall not swear falsely, but 3shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'

Matthew 5:33 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 5:33

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said
Besides what has been observed, in ver. 21 and 27 you know it has also been said,

by, or to them of old time,
what is written in ( Leviticus 19:12 ) . "And ye shall not swear by my name falsely"; which seems to be referred to, when it is said, "thou shalt not forswear thyself": and is the law forbidding perjury, or false swearing; and was what the Jews were chiefly, if not only concerned about; little regarding the vanity, only the truth of an oath: for they took swearing vainly, to be the same as swearing falsely; wherefore so long as what they swore was truth, they were not careful whether it was of any importance or not: moreover, these men sinned, in that they swore by the creatures, which they thought they might do, and not sin; and when they had so done, were not under obligation to perform; because they made no use of the name of God, to whom only vows and oaths were to be performed, "but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths", ( Numbers 30:2 ) which they understood of vows only made to the Lord, and not to others; and of oaths, when in his name, and not by others; which they did do, and yet thought themselves not obliged by them.

Matthew 5:33 In-Context

31 "It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 "Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.'
34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

Cross References 3

  • 1. [See ver. 27 above]
  • 2. Leviticus 19:12; 1 Timothy 1:10
  • 3. Numbers 30:2; Deuteronomy 23:21; Ecclesiastes 5:4
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.