From the Jar – The 10 Commandments (testify falsely)

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

Verse 2.20.16

  • 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

Ref. Verses

Mat 12:34-37/ISV
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.”

More Notes:

  • 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:
Exo 23:6;
Exo 23:7
Lev 19:11
Lev 19:16
Deu 19:15-21
1Sa 22:8-19
1Ki 21:10-13 (refs7)

Psa 15:3
Psa 101:5-7
Pro 10:18
Pro 11:13
Mat 26:59
Mat 26:60
Act 6:13
Eph 4:31 (refs8)

1Ti 1:10
2Ti 3:3
Jas 4:11 (refs3)

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


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