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:Matthew 5:33-35 King James Version
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 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