Matthew 5:35

35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is 1the city of the great King.

Matthew 5:35 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 5:35

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 F17;

``as the altar, as the temple, (Mlvwryk) , "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 F18, without the note of comparison, as) says nothing.''

In the Gemara F19 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 F20 has produced forms of vowing and swearing, which have not occurred to me.

``Jerusalem; (Mlvwryl) , "for", or "unto Jerusalem", which exactly answers to (eiv Ierosoluma) , 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 ( Psalms 48:2 ) .


F17 Misn. Nedarim, c. 1. sect. 3.
F18 In. ib.
F19 T. Bab. Nedarim, fol. 11. 1.
F20 In loc. ex Tosapht. in Nedarim, c. 1.

Matthew 5:35 In-Context

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.
36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37 Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything more than this comes from evil.

Cross References 1