Matthew 5 – Don’t Swear – Mean What You Say

MATT 5:33-37   


MATT 5:33 – Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

[Thou shalt not forswear thyself] – Quoted from the law (Lev 19:12 & Num 30:2).

[forswear] – G1964 = to commit perjury, to swear falsely, or forswear one’s self.

[shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths] – Quoted in Deuteronomy 23:21-23.



MATT 5:34 – But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:

[Swear not at all] – Everything you say should be as good as an oath.  “I give you my word” is enough.

[heaven is God’s throne] – From Isaiah 66:1.



MATT 5:35 – Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

[the earth is his footstool] – From Isaiah 66:1.

[Jerusalem is the city of the great King] – From Zechariah 14:16-17.

[the great King] – Who is the great king?  The messiah, Jesus (Rev 19:16).  The listeners in the crowd probably thought He was just a prophet (Matt 16:13-14) and didn’t know He was actually referring to Himself when He said this.



MATT 5:36 – Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

[Neither shalt thou swear by thy head] – Why swear by their head?  Because it’s the highest point on their body, like heaven is the highest or most important place in existence, earth is the highest most important planet in the universe; Jerusalem is the highest most important place in the world, and finally, their head is the highest and most important part of their body.  The progression of ideas goes from swearing on the greatest of the great to the greatest of the least.

[thou canst not make one hair white or black] – Can’t naturally change your hair color.  Dye don’t count!



MATT 5:37 – But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

[Yea, yea; Nay, nay] – Say yes and mean it.  Say no and mean it.  Don’t change what you say; speak truth.

[whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil] – How is it evil?  A person makes oaths to convince others that they aren’t lying, but just by swearing an oath a person becomes vulnerable of breaking it, therefore becoming a liar, which is evil.  The devil “abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).  Take for example the forty men who swore not to eat or drink until they killed Paul (Acts 23:21).  They either died of hunger and thirst or they became liars and broke their oath to eat and drink; they never killed Paul.  See how it would have been better to not swear an oath at all in that situation?

Kent Owen

Author: Kent Owen

After college I lived in China for 5 years, working as an English teacher and foreign marketing manager. Now i'm an insurance salesman, but my real passion is Christ and learning the bible.

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