Home > Hermeneutics > Another pertinent example on interpreting general statements

Another pertinent example on interpreting general statements

Arthur PinkAnother pertinent example is found in our Lord’s “Swear not at all” (Matthew 5:34). In the section of the sermon on the mount in which those words occur, Christ was freeing the Divine commandments from the errors of the rabbis and Pharisees, enforcing their strictness and spirituality. In the instance now before us, the Jewish doctors had restricted the Mosaic statutes upon oaths to the simple prohibition against perjury, encouraging the habit of swearing by the creature and the taking of oaths lightly in ordinary conversation. In verses 34-37 our Lord inveighed against those corrupt traditions and practices. That He never intended His “swear not at all” to be taken absolutely is clear from His bidding men to swear by no creature, and from His reprehending all oaths in ordinary conversation. The general analogy of Scripture reveals the need for oaths on certain occasions. Abraham swore to Abimelech (Genesis 21:23, 24) and required his servant to take an oath (Genesis 24:8, 9); Jacob (Genesis 31:53) and Joseph (Genesis 47:31) each took one. Paul repeatedly confirmed his teaching by solemnly calling God for a witness (Romans 9:1; 2 Corinthians 1:23, etc.). Hebrews 6:16, indicates that oaths are both permissible and requisite.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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