Oaths vv. 33-37 – Part 1
Human nature being what it is, we humans tend to “look out for Number One.” We seek advantage over our neighbour. We hide our agendas. We tell half truths. And often, we lie. To protect ourselves from the other guy we bring in an outside authority. Business is done via contract. If we default we are subject to that objective rule. We live under law. The influence of self-interest is so pervasive we have got to be watched.
Often in ancient times contracts were either “sanctified” by or completely based on oaths. An oath invoked a higher, sacred, or valued “other” that became party to the transaction. Even so, the oath-takers often hedged their secret intentions. A lot of double-dealing was done in the name of deity.
This is why the Lord instructed Israel to never “take the name of the Lord in vain.”