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oath

a solemn appeal to God, permitted on fitting occasions (Deut. 6:13; Jer. 4:2), in various forms (Gen. 16:5; 2 Sam. 12:5; Ruth 1:17; Hos. 4:15; Rom. 1:9), and taken in different ways (Gen. 14:22; 24:2; 2 Chr. 6:22)

God is represented as taking an oath (Hebrews 6:16-18), so also Christ (Matt. 26:64), and Paul (Rom. 9:1; Gal. 1:20).

The precept, “Swear not at all,” refers probably to ordinary conversation between man and man (Matt. 5:34, 37). But if the words are taken as referring to oaths, then their intention may have been to show “that the proper state of Christians is to require no oaths; that, when evil is expelled from among them, every yea and nay will be as decisive as an oath, every promise as binding as a vow.”

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