Exploration 93 – Not To Swear or Not To Swear Falsely (Matthew 5:33-35)

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:
34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:
35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

Matthew 5:33-35 King James Version

Matthew 5:33-35 is the kind of passage that I’d likely skip over, because I didn’t understand it. Is Yeshua replacing the law of not swearing falsely in YeHoVaH’s name with not swearing at all?

Nehemia Gordon translated the problematic portion of verse 34, rendered by the KJV as “Swear not at all”, from the Hebrew manuscripts in The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus, page 65, as “you must not swear by anything falsely”. George Howard translated this portion of the manuscript as “But I say to you not to swear in vain in any matter” (page 21).

The difference is between not swearing at all and not swearing falsely (or in vain) by anything, let alone by YeHoVaH’s name. The Hebrew text does not prohibit swearing, but swearing falsely. Now that I understand. It makes sense.

According to Gordon, Yeshua countered a Pharisaic teaching that permitted one to swear falsely as long as it was not in the name of YeHoVaH. Gordon writes, “This strange doctrine was based on an over-literalization of Leviticus 19:12, “you shall not swear falsely by My name.”” (page 65-66). According to Howard, this raised a striking contrast between the Greek and Hebrew texts: “In the Greek, Jesus appears to revoke the law; In the Hebrew, he internalizes and radicalizes the law, but does not revoke it.” (Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, page 213)

What this tells me is that we need these Hebrew manuscripts to better approximate what the original autographs actually said. It also increases my suspicions that the Greek manuscripts were translations from a Hebrew source since this Hebrew manuscript still makes sense.


Weekly Parashah Readings
Parashah: Behar, 20 Iyar, 5782 – May 21, 2022
Torah: Leviticus 25:1-26:2
Haftarah: Jeremiah 32:6-44
Brit Chadashah: Luke 4:16-21
Resources: Chabad, Hebrew4Christians, Weekly Torah Readings, Calendar

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Author: Frank Hubeny

I enjoy walking, poetry and short prose as well as taking pictures with my phone.

13 thoughts on “Exploration 93 – Not To Swear or Not To Swear Falsely (Matthew 5:33-35)”

  1. Good morning Frank.

    I do not know about some of the nuances of the Hebrew vs Greek texts. Verse 27, however, seems very clear.

           "Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil."
    

    Shalom!

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    1. Yo klu klux who do you explain the blood libel slander so common among “pius” Xtians every easter … a real egg of faith if ya know what I mean?

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        1. Fear of Heaven the sages of Israel define as “Master of the Good Name”. The crimes of the church for 2000+ years and the failure of the courts to hold these war criminal priests and pastors accountable, this corruption has destroyed the reputation of the church.

          The klu klux klan racists burned the cross b/c those fanatics hated all who opposed their fanatic race hatred. The burning cross served as their catholic crucifix symbolism.

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        2. The 3rd פרק leans from י: יב – כ.  The korban minchah, learns from the korban of Caine, the rejected first born Cohen direct descendent of Adam.  This minchah korban, it overshadows the k’vanna of the Minchah tefillot:  can we develop tohor middot which dominate the tumah middot which define our Yatzir Ha’Rah – based upon ב’  ראשית?   The Creation story opens with the creation of other Gods.  Contrasted by the 2nd בראשית Aggadah, which first introduces the Name of HaShem.

          Next the t’rumah of the korban shalom portions.   Followed by the goat’s dedication to the sanctification of tohor middot, upon a דרוש by Moshe, discovers it cast to the fires of the altar.  Followed by Moshe’s incomprehension why Aaron and his sons refuse to benefit from the korban sanctified unto the tohorah of the House of Israel?  And the t’shuvah of Aaron that his two sons, their lives serve as the korbanot of tohorah and the olah wherein Israel accepts upon ourselves the life\death/blessing\curse oath brit of the Torah faith.   Therefore they viewed the goat’s dedication to the sanctification of tohor middot as redundant.   Therefore they let the flames of the altar consume that flesh as a memorial to Aaron’s two sons.   ט – ב

          Let’s learn.  A slightly distant precedent: דברים ה: ו – טו.   The mussar repeats the revelation of the first two Sinai commandments, the commandment to do and listen to the Torah לשמה.   The sugia closes with the 9th middah of the revelation of the Oral Torah @ Horev.  The next sugia defines אל קנא with a precedent commandment not to profane the Name of HaShem with vain oaths.

          The next sugia contrasts the oppression of Par’o who made bitter the lives of slaves through continuous hard work – comparable to how the Nazis worked their Jewish slaves to death in the work camps.   The shalom dedication of shabbot, it remembers the horrors of Par’o cruel oppression of his slaves.  The next sugia of Torah mussar instructs by learning the obligation to honor the parents as a precedent which further studies the depths of the Shabbot commandment.

          The next 6 sugiot, they further amplify the memory of Egyptian oppression.  The mussar of this Torah forever separates the slavery of Egyptian oppression from the Goyim who never accepted the revelation of Sinai.  These additional sugiot, they function as precedents by which the generations of Israel accept the oath brit obligations contained within the opening first two Sinai commandments.   The organization of the Torah Sinai experienced Moshe organized by bringing similar precedents – rather than impose a statute law system.   When Moshe descended from Sinai he shattered the two tablets, by which HaShem rejected statute law, comparable to the korban Minchah which Cain dedicated.   In the hope that his offering would serve as the chosen korban of the first born son of Adam.

          Actually completed the mussar of the עשרת הדיברות to show the contrast between learning these additional commandments to the first 2 Sinai revelations as precedents rather than statutory laws, as the Goyim who never accepted the Sinai revelation – how they read rather than learn the Torah.   

          Torah law learns through precedents; the halachot of the latter commandments stand upon courtroom judicial rulings rather than government imposed laws – like Par’o’s decree to not give straw to his slaves.   The physical assaults that ensued thereafter, when Israel failed to meet the statutory imposed quota of bricks.

          The next slightly distant precedent: ו: י – יט.   The first sugia compares the oath sworn land which Israel inherits to the oppression of Par’o.  Never to forget the stark contrast between the lands of Canaan to the lands of Egypt.   The Goyim in each and every generation and in all lands of g’lut – they compare to Par’o.

          The next sugia instructs the negative commandment not to test the oath brit faith that the Name of HaShem lives within our hearts as our forefathers did following the redemption from Egypt at the waters of  מסה ומריבה, whereby they declared (שמות יז:ז) their challenge to HaShem @ Rephidim.

          Another slightly distant precedent: טו:א – יא.  Shemitah and the forgiveness of debts.   Shemitah – similar to the need to forgive student loans, which oppress Americans today.   The mitzvah of shemitah rejects the concentration of wealth into the hands of an elite few.

          The next sugia defines the obligation to give partnership loans rather than loans based upon profit.   Traditionally profit based banks concentrate the wealth of the nation into the greedy hands and evil eye which dominates the elite.   Nothing brings poverty to a land like the curse of the evil eye among the rich.

          A distant precedent: יז: ב – כ.  Evil eye clings to avodah zarah, the Av Capital Crime.  The next פרק of our precedent contains 2 sugiot.  The opening sugia introduces the Torah mandate which empowers the Great Sanhedrin courts to determine great disputes, arguments over the accepted culture, customs, practices and ways of the Cohen nation.   The Tzeddukim, Karaites, and Xtians – each in their turn – they all reject this fundamental Torah mandate which forever establishes the authority of the Sanhedrin courts.

          The history of common law Sanhedrin courtroom rulings, codified in the Mishnah and the Tosefta, often referred to as the Oral Torah in rabbinic Judaism, all three groups of רשעים reject.  The next sugia addresses a similar kind of rebellion.  Known and the decision to anoint a king of Israel as Moshiach.   The classic example of this abomination: king Shlomo.

          The Torah restricts such a king from imposing statute laws like as did king Par’o.  It directly obligates any moshiach king of Israel to write the common law Book – the משנה תורה – the Oral Torah which Moshe instructed verbally on the last day he lived.   The 5th Book of the Torah דברים commands mussar unto the generations.

          Reliance upon courtroom common law rather that Government imposed statute law, this priority protects the Cohen nation from the curse of an evil eye.

          Another distant precedent: כ: י – כא: ט.  This sugia addresses the subject of International wars, wars fought outside of the borders of Israel.   This type of war contrasts with the wars to conquer the land.  Torat Moshe rejects any foriegn culture or custom or practice to remain alive within the oath sworn lands.   The first commandment which defines the negative commandment which rejects avodah zarah … not to assimilate to the ways, customs, cultures, and practices of alien Goyim who reject the revelation of the Torah @ Sinai @ Horev.

          The last sugia of this פרק instructs a mussar which attributes fruit bearing trees to the Cohen nation, but then compares the foreign enemy to non fruit bearing trees.  The closing פרק of Parshat שופטים, the discovery of a murdered man, found in an open field between two cities.   The obligation upon the common law courts, to atone through justice the tumah spirits which both affect and infect the people and the land.

          Another slightly distant precedent: כג: ב -ז.  These three sugyot address examples of the evil eye.  The concluding blessing within the Middle Blessings within the Shemone Esrei שמע קולנו ה’ אלהינו חוס ורחם עלינות וקבל ברחמים וברצון את תפלתנו, כי אל שומע תפלות ותחנונים אתה, ומלפניך מלכנו ריקם אל תשיבנו, חננו ועננו ושמע תפלתנו, כי אתה שומע תפלת כל פה.   ברוך אתה ה’, שומע תפלה … this blessing requires a tohor good eye.

          Contrast the two sons of Aaron who offered strange fire, both men suffered from an evil eye, despite their proficient Torah scholarship.  This slightly distant precedent teaches a strong mussar to the generations.

          Compare the previous precedents to an exact precise Torah precedent: כג: כב – כד: יג.   The distinction between a Good and Evil eye learns from vows.   Clearly no woman marries a man in order to suffer brutal beatings and humiliations; no more than does a farmer invite a man into his field for that man to harvest his crops to enrich himself from that farmers’ labors.  Such behavior defines ערות דבר.  Under the terms of this evil eye the woman can petition the court to compel her husband to give her her גט.  The concept מצא ערות דבר applies equally to both men and women in any marriage partnership.

          The precedent of קידושין teaches the mussar which understands the k’vanna of the anointing of the House of Aaron as the Moshiach.  A good eye respects the dignity of our bnai brit allies.   The Torah recognizes no cult of personality personages; no to Big to Fail injustice.  Possession of a good eye, this tohor middah, inspires a man to behave with tzedakah “among” his People.

          Weigh now the mussar instruction commanded by the prophet שמואל.  A slightly distant precedent: שמואל א י: א – כד.  Signs that the anointing of Shaul as moshiach qualifies as a Divine command.  Notice the minchah of the loaves which the men give to Shaul.  And the משל: Also Shaul considered a prophet?  Most definitely.  Shaul as the anointed Moshiach compares the death of the two sons of Aaron.  Both this and those developed an evil eye.
          The public declaration of the rebellion of the people by asking for a king, it compares the height of Shaul unto the height of Goliath by which David began his journey to become the anointed Moshiach.  Only in the matter of Batsheva, did David express the tumah middah of Evil Eye.   Evil Eye serves as the יסוד of the Civil War which divided Israel into two hostile kingdoms.

          Compare this slightly distant precedent with a precise exact precedent: שמואל א יב: כ – יג: יב.  Tefillah qualifies as the reflexive verb להתפלל.   As such tefillah shares no common ground with prayer.  The latter prays to Gods and makes requests.  Whereas the former dedicates tohor middot, as expressed in future born social interactions with and among the bnai brit people, unto HaShem as holy.  King Shaul dedicates a korban olah; the korban of blessing or curse.   This korban caused HaShem to reject the anointing of the House of Shaul as the Moshiach.

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        3. The the 4th and closing פרק  of Parshat שמיני likewise complete a cycle of the 13 middot affixed to the Parshaot of the Torah.   The next Parshat begins the 3rd cycle by which Yidden dedicate a defined tohor middah as the k’vanna of their korbanot unto HaShem; expressed through the opening Middle Blessing of חונן הדעת.  Through affixing a specified tohor middah דאורייתא או דרבנן to a specific Parshah, to a specific Blessing within the language of the Shemone Esrei, Yidden dedicate tohor middot [Torah commandments or Talmudic halachot] as the future born social behavior they attempt to “mature”, to sanctify future born social interactions and behavior with and among their bnai brit allies as holy unto HaShem.   The Torah stands upon righteous courtroom imposed justice\common law.   It rejects theological belief systems and\or creeds of faith as the definition of avodah zarah.

          The 4th פרק begins יא: א – מז.   This פרק contains 3 סוגיות.  The opening סוגיה begins יא: א – כח; the 2nd סוגיה יא: כט – לח; the closing סוגיא יא: לט – מז.  Torah faith spins around the central axis of the bnai brit Cohen Folk living in righteous justice with our bnai brit allied People.   Avodah zarah by stark contrast preaches theologies and creeds which dictate how a man should believe in the Gods.  Goyim religions of Egotism revolve around what they personally believe.  Competing or opposing religions which all worship avodah zarah, closely resemble the behavior of animals during their seasonal rut.

          Justice means nothing to Goyim who worship avodah zarah.  These alien cultures and customs do not prioritize the obligation to rule both people and nation(s) with righteous justice.   Not till the American revolution did any Goy folk even make a stab to attain lateral courtroom justice to establish a jury of citizens’ peers.   

          No European courtroom has ever tried the church for its many and redundant war crimes.  Their blood libels, pogroms or unilateral expulsion of Jewish refugee populations.  Taxation without Representation, no European court has ever condemned any European government or tax authority; which illegally impoverished entire refugee Jewish populations within the German states.  No European court has ever held their criminal ruling elite accountable for forcing Jewish refugees to live in ghetto concentration camps.  The Shoah exists only as a harsh expression of prior criminal behavior practiced by Xtians for 2000+ years. 

          T’shuvah does not exist on the same planet as repentance.  The latter requires no shame, only 3 hail mary’s and a bribe.   A man cannot do t’shuvah if he never struggles to understand the tumah which dominates his Yatzir Ha’Rah.   Goyim, they know absolutely nothing of the Yatzir Ha’Rah within the hearts of men.   They, so to speak, condemn the devil and throw it off a cliff – a nice convenient scape-goat.   

          Much easier to condemn Jews for their business success & big noses.  To address the disgusting ugliness of Goyim social attributes and criminal behaviors; passed down and inherited from generation after generation after generation.   To address these glaring flaws within their souls requires courage, self confidence, modesty and the humility to accept and receive mussar.  Alas Goyim never accepted, to this day, the revelation of the Torah @ Sinai @ Horev.   

          On this precise score did all the prophets within the pages of the T’NaCH carry out their exactly identical mussar struggle inside and among the Jewish people.  Hence the saying: “Jews, just like Goyim – only more so”.

          The first opening סוגיה of the closing פרק addresses the central issue of kashrut.   What people eat and consume shapes the cultures and customs of that group or society, perhaps more than any other defining quality beside that of the lateral Sanhedrin courts themselves.   This clear distinction between tohor and tumah animals defines the unique status of the chosen Cohen nation.

          This most basic and fundamental reason explains the jump from anointing the House of Aaron as the Moshiach to the laws of kashrut which determines the status of tohor and tumah animals.  Just as animals display “signs” which the Cohen people and discern tohor from tumah; so too and how much more so human beings display “signs” of their social attribute behavior expressed among mankind.  The mussar of the Torah learns by making משל\נמשל דיוקים.  

          Goyim read the Torah in a 2 dimensional fashion, these social reactionary barbarians, they fail to conceive the mussar instruction which all T’NaCH prophets command the generations to “germinate” within our hearts.   Bnai brit Man does not “believe” in mussar.  A bnai brit Man, he compares to a farmer who germinates seeds within his heart and grows a crop of righteous justice social behaviors.

          Let’s learn.  A distant precedent: ב: ח – טז.  As diet and the foods define the culinary culture of a people so too the land which a people rule, it too shapes and defines the culture and customs which defines the identity, the ‘ethical containment force’ of a People.

          Another distant precedent: ח: יט – כ.  The Av tumah of avodah zarah compares to trief foods.  The worship of alien Gods worshiped by Xtian and Muslim foreigners, this action up-roots and destroys the root connection which bnai brit sworn allies share with one another.

          A slightly distant precedent: טז: יח – כ.  The command to establish justices and police to enforce their judicial rulings.  צדק צדק תרדוף upon this sacred יסוד rests the entire Torah faith.  HaShem lives within the hearts of the sworn allies, the chosen Cohen nation.  But the Jewish people live beside our neighbors, and the Torah faith centers upon dwelling and doing business with our bnai brit allies with righteous justice.  

          What a man personally believes touching the Gods, compares to the debate over how many flies can stand upon the head of a pin.  Completely and totally not relevant to the revelation of the Torah @ Sinai @ Horev.

          Now compare these distant and slightly distant precedents with a precise exact precedent from the משנה תורה:  כד: יד – טו.  The mussar commanded here it rebukes all Israeli government rule together with all Goyim government rule in all generations unto eternity.   Remembrance of the signs of the plagues which afflicted the Egyptians, this aggadah has nothing to do with history and everything to do with mussar.

          Another exact Torah precedent: לג: א – ו.   Righteous courtroom justice defines the אש דת of the Torah.  P’suk 
          ה:  ויהי בישרון מלך בהתאסף ראשי עם יחד שבטי ישראל.
          This clause succinctly defines the k’vanna of anointing the House of Aaron as the chosen Cohen moshiach.  The language בישרון contains the רמז of ישר – straight.  The anointed king gathers the leaders of the Tribes through shalom. 

          Compare the mussar of שמואל א ח:י.  The prophet commanded a strong mussar unto the people who claimed they desired to establish a new king government.  Interestingly enough not a single Reshon as found in the מקראות גדולות commented upon this p’suk!  Rav Nemuraskii taught the kabbalah that every sugia within both the T’NaCH and Talmud teaches a unique mussar which requires a דרש ופשט.

          Another strong mussar: טו:טז.  The language הרף, compares to רפא to heal; the פשט of the word means to stop or pause.  HaShem rejected the מלכות of Shaul.   Another exact precedent: ל:א – כב.  The aggadic story of how Amalekites had attacked David’s camp and took his wives and the women and children of his men captive!  King Shaul did not carry out the command of Shmuel to utterly destroy Amalek.

          Contrast the tumah behavior of the men possessed by an evil eye.  The prophet instructs an especially strong mussar unto the generations with how David behaved toward the murders of Ish-boshet.  King David executed judgment and justice among the brit Cohen people.

          Another strong mussar שמואל ב טז:י.  Even in times of hard distress and social crisis David accepted mussar, even by the hand of the chosen instructor of his son Shlomo.  Still another precedent: שמואל ב כא: א.  Drought king David perceived as mussar from HaShem.   A man who does not make a דרש to grasp and understand prophetic mussar, such men do not in truth seek HaShem as their God.

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