Oath in the Bible
(A solemn qualification) Used in solemnizing covenants
Between Abraham and the king of Sodom
- Genesis 14:22-23 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, 23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
Between Abraham and Abimelech
- Genesis 21:22-23 And it came to pass at that time, that Abimelech and Phichol the chief captain of his host spake unto Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest: 23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
Between Isaac and Abimelech
- Genesis 26:26-29 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath one of his friends, and Phichol the chief captain of his army. 27 And Isaac said unto them, Wherefore come ye to me, seeing ye hate me, and have sent me away from you? 28 And they said, We saw certainly that the LORD was with thee: and we said, Let there be now an oath betwixt us, even betwixt us and thee, and let us make a covenant with thee; 29 That thou wilt do us no hurt, as we have not touched thee, and as we have done unto thee nothing but good, and have sent thee away in peace: thou art now the blessed of the LORD.
- Also Genesis 26:31.
Abraham requires oath of his servant Eliezer
- Genesis 24:2-3 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: 3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
- Also Genesis 24:9.
⇒See also McClintock and Strong Cyclopedia for Oath.
Esau confirms the sale of his birthright by
- Genesis 25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.
Jacob confirms the covenant between him and Laban by
- Genesis 31:53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac.
Requires Joseph to swear that he would bury him with his forefathers
- Genesis 47:28-31 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years. 29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: 30 But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. 31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.
Joseph requires a similar oath
- Genesis 50:25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
Rahab requires an oath from the spies
- Joshua 2:12-14 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: 13 And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. 14 And the men answered her, Our life for yours, if ye utter not this our business. And it shall be, when the LORD hath given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with thee.
- Also Joshua 6:22.
The Israelites confirm the covenant with the Hivites
- Joshua 9:3-20 And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, 4 They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; 5 And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy. 6 And they went to Joshua unto the camp at Gilgal, and said unto him, and to the men of Israel, We be come from a far country: now therefore make ye a league with us. ...
Moses covenants with Caleb by
- Joshua 14:9 And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.
The elders of Gilead confirm their pledge to Jephthah by
- Judges 11:10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.
The Israelites swear in Mizpeh
- Judges 21:5 And the children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the congregation unto the LORD? For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall surely be put to death.
Ruth swears to Naomi
- Ruth 1:17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.
Boaz swears to Ruth
- Ruth 3:13 Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning.
Saul swears to Jonathan
- 1 Samuel 19:6 And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.
Jonathan and David confirm a covenant by
- 1 Samuel 20:3 And David sware moreover, and said, Thy father certainly knoweth that I have found grace in thine eyes; and he saith, Let not Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved: but truly as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, there is but a step between me and death.
- 1 Samuel 20:13-17 The LORD do so and much more to Jonathan: but if it please my father to do thee evil, then I will shew it thee, and send thee away, that thou mayest go in peace: and the LORD be with thee, as he hath been with my father. 14 And thou shalt not only while yet I live shew me the kindness of the LORD, that I die not: 15 But also thou shalt not cut off thy kindness from my house for ever: no, not when the LORD hath cut off the enemies of David every one from the face of the earth. 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the LORD even require it at the hand of David's enemies. ...
David swears to Saul
- 1 Samuel 24:21-22 Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house. 22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.
- Also 2 Samuel 21:7.
Saul swears to the witch of En-dor
- 1 Samuel 28:10 And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
David swears not to eat until the sun goes down
- 2 Samuel 3:35 And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat while it was yet day, David sware, saying, So do God to me, and more also, if I taste bread, or ought else, till the sun be down.
Joab confirms his word by
- 2 Samuel 19:7 Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the LORD, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now.
David swears to Bath-sheba that Solomon will be king
- 1 Kings 1:28-29 Then king David answered and said, Call me Bathsheba. And she came into the king's presence, and stood before the king. 29 And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress,
Solomon confirms his word by
- 1 Kings 2:23 Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.
So does Shimei
- 1 Kings 2:42 And the king sent and called for Shimei, and said unto him, Did I not make thee to swear by the LORD, and protested unto thee, saying, Know for a certain, on the day thou goest out, and walkest abroad any whither, that thou shalt surely die? and thou saidst unto me, The word that I have heard is good.
Elisha seals his vow to follow Elijah by
- 2 Kings 2:2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
King of Samaria confirms his word with an
- 2 Kings 6:31 Then he said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day.
Gehazi confirms his lie by
- 2 Kings 5:20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
Jehoida requires an oath from the rulers
- 2 Kings 11:4 And the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the guard, and brought them to him into the house of the LORD, and made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of the LORD, and shewed them the king's son.
- 2 Chronicles 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.
Ezra requires, of the Priests and Levites
- Ezra 10:5 Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word. And they sware.
- Ezra 10:19 And they gave their hands that they would put away their wives; and being guilty, they offered a ram of the flock for their trespass.
So does Nehemiah
- Nehemiah 5:12-13 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. 13 Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise.
Zedekiah swears to Jeremiah
- Jeremiah 38:16 So Zedekiah the king sware secretly unto Jeremiah, saying, As the LORD liveth, that made us this soul, I will not put thee to death, neither will I give thee into the hand of these men that seek thy life.
Gedaliah confirms his word by
- Jeremiah 40:9 And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.
Peter confirms his denial of Jesus by
- Mark 14:71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.
ATTRIBUTED TO GOD
- Genesis 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
- Psalm 89:35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
- Also Psalm 95:11; 105:9; 132:11; Isaiah 14:24; 45:23; Jeremiah 11:5; 22:5; 49:13; 51:14; Luke 1:73; Hebrews 3:11,18; 4:3; 6:13-14,17; 7:21,28; Revelation 10:6.
UNCLASSIFIED SCRIPTURES RELATING TO
- Exodus 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
- Exodus 22:10-11 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it: 11 Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
- Also Exodus 23:1; Leviticus 6:2-5; 19:12; Numbers 5:19-24; Deuteronomy 5:11; 6:13; 10:20; 1 Kings 8:31-32; Psalm 15:1-2,4; Ecclesiastes 8:2; Isaiah 48:1; Jeremiah 4:2; 5:2,7; 7:8-9; 12:16; Daniel 9:11; 12:7; Hosea 4:15; Matthew 5:33-37; 14:3-12; 23:18-22; 26:63; Mark 6:26; Acts 23:12-14; 2 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 1:20; Hebrews 6:16; James 5:12; Revelation 10:5-6.
See FALSE WITNESS