Before you do, let us see how the modern dictionaries define the word "swear." In the modern context, as defined in Webster's II New Riverside Dictionary, copyright 1984, swear is defined as a verb.
The different meanings are as follows:
- To declare solemnly under oath.
- To vow: promise.
- To use profanity: curse.
- To declare to be true while calling on God or something held sacred.
- To administer a legal oath to.
- To bind by or as if by means of an oath.
In most places, such as a court of law, where you are asked to swear to something, you will be asked to do the swearing while holding your hand on a copy of the Scripture. Your parents may even have required you to put your hand on the Scripture when answering their questions as a means of forcing you to tell the truth.
In the mind of man, this last practice should have the same effect as the first. If you put your hand on our Elohiym's Word, and swear to tell the truth, you will not tell a lie because of fear of Divine retribution. This makes anything sworn to while holding your hand on the Scripture the equivalent of an "Oath to Yahuwah" and therefore meets the requirements set forth in Bemidbar (Numbers) 30:2. If a man vows a vow to Yahuwah, or swears an oath to bind his soul with a bond, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
When politicians, police officers, and other public servants are "sworn" into office, when they say "So help me God" the above is the commandment that they are promising to obey. In theory, this should make for a truly honest and effective system of government.
When you have something notarized take a close look at the form that you're signing. You'll see that in most cases you are swearing that what is on that paper is true and correct. The Notary Public is swearing that they know you and that what you are swearing to is true. By the time everybody gets through swearing there should be no untruths anywhere. That's what they have all sworn to, anyway.
Now that we have gained some insight into the practice of swearing, what it means, and why it's done, let us take a closer look at the practice in light of the word of Yahuwah and see if we should be doing it for those reasons, or if we should be doing it for any reason.
As you read through the part of the word of our Eloah, whose name is Yahuwah, that is commonly and incorrectly referred to as the Old Testament, you'll read of many, many instances of people swearing and making oaths to each other and to Yahuwah. You'll also read where Yahuwah has sworn and made oaths to the people of Yisra'el. Yahuwah always kept His oaths, but the people of Yisra'el did not keep a single one.
Sound familiar? Sounds just like today, doesn't it? Man cannot be trusted to keep his word, Yahuwah can.
Yahuwah's promises stand today as solid as they were when they were first made. Man continually signs treaties, contracts, and other types of promissory documents, and before the ink is thoroughly dry on the paper, has found some reason to violate the promises that he made.
You should realize that the commandment in Bemidbar (Numbers) 30:2 was given to the people of Yisra'el as part of the Law of Mosheh. That system of written, or carnal, law was fulfilled and put aside when the New Testament came into full force at the death of Yahushua (Ibriym [Hebrews] chapter 9). Now we are under the Law of Grace, which is also referred to as the perfect law of liberty, the Royal Law, and several other appropriate names.
If you consider yourself to be a "Christian" and you swear to anything, whether it be by verbal oath, or by written document, you are in violation of the new law and therefore in disobedience to our Master.
Below you will find the words of our Master and Savior Yahushua the Anointed pertaining to swearing. When Yahushua made the statement the Law of Mosheh was still in effect, and the new law that was to be in force soon was being broadcast prior to it actually taking effect. You might say that conditions were in the process of transition from the carnal law of ordinances to the perfect law of liberty. This is shown by the fact that Ya'aqob (James) reiterated the principle (his words are also shown below). Still, the statement did not become effective until the New Testament was in full force. Even if the transition had not been taking place, He is still the Master and could change it as He saw fit. He, however, obeyed the Law of Mosheh, not the traditions of men, rigorously, right up to the time of His death.
Unlike lawmakers of today, He made the law and enforced the law, so He therefore also OBEYED the law.
MattithYahuw (Matthew) 5:33-37 Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, "You shall not forswear yourself but shall perform to Yahuwah your oaths." But I say to you, do not swear not at all. Not by the sky, for it is Yahuwah's throne. Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool. Neither by Yeruwshalom, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, because you can not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, yes, yes; no, no, for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil.
Ya'aqob (James) 5:12 But above all things, my brothers, do not swear, neither by the sky, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no, no lest you fall into condemnation.
The word "swear" in the passages above is translated from the Greek word that would be spelled in English as omnuo, and it means to swear, or take on oath. So it's meaning is the same today as our modern meaning.
If you understand the passages above you are encouraged to get your Scripture down and study them and all surrounding verses very carefully, and you will cease to swear to anything. If you are truly trying to be like Yahushua, that won't be a problem, for you'll tell the whole truth every time with no threat of Yahuwah's wrath needed to scare you into submission. The truth will begin to come naturally, and you'll develop such a love of truth that you'll begin to recognize it wherever you see it. You'll begin to be able to discern between truth and falsehood to the point that you'll be able to see this world for what it really is.
Do you remember who is the father of lies? Keep in mind that he is still doing today what he has been doing for eons. He still has a little time left and he is using it as hard as he can use it to cause people to believe those lies.
Satan means the adversary and that is exactly what he is. That name is found most often in the old covenants, songs, and prophets.
In the Greek language portion of the Sacred Scripture, he is also referred to as the devil. The word devil, when applied to satan, is from the Greek word diablos and means "traducer," or one who confuses. Now that's the truth.
Prevarication, fibs, little white lies, half-truths, concealment of the truth, all of these are lies, pure and simple, and stem from the influence of the father of lies, satan himself.
Who are you going to follow? The Way, the Truth, and the Life, or the deceiver and father of lies? It's your choice.