Exo 20:16 ISV* “You are not to testify falsely against your neighbor.
- Bearing false witness means giving false evidence in court
- God knew that Israel could not survive unless its system of justice was incorruptible
- We should be honest in our private dealings as well as in our public statements
- In either situation, we “bear false witness” by leaving something out of a story, telling a half-truth, twisting the facts, or inventing a falsehood
- God warns us against deception
- Even though deception is a way of life for many people God’s people will not give in to it *1
False testimony, perjury
- Thou shalt not bear false witness, Not only false oaths, to deprive a man of his life or of his right, are here prohibited, but all whispering, tale-bearing, slander, and calumny in a word, whatever is deposed as a truth, which is false in fact, and tends to injure another in his goods, person, or character, is against the spirit and letter of this law.
- Suppressing the truth when known, by which a person may be defrauded of his property or his good name, or lie under injuries or disabilities which a discovery of the truth would have prevented, is also a crime against this law.
- He who bears a false testimony against or belies even the devil himself, comes under the curse of this law, because his testimony is false.
- By the term neighbour any human being is intended, whether he rank among our enemies or friends. *2
v 34 You children of serpents! How can you say anything good when you are evil? The mouth speaks about what overflows from the heart.
v 35 A good person brings good things out of a good treasure house, and an evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure house.
v 36 I tell you, on Judgment Day people will give an account for every thoughtless word they have uttered,
v 37 because by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
- Jesus reminds us that what we say reveals what is in our hearts
- What kinds of words come from your mouth?
- That is an indication of what your heart is really like
- You can’t solve your heart problem, however, just by cleaning up your speech
- You must allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with new attitudes and motives, then your speech will be cleansed at its source *3
More Ref. verses:
1Ki 21:10-13 (refs7)
Eph 4:31 (refs8)
Jas 4:11 (refs3)
*1 Notes from Life Application Study Bible notes on Ex. 20:16
*2 Notes from Clark’s concordance
*3 Notes from Life Application Study Bible notes on Matt. 12:34-37