All, Bible study, Trinity

Who does God swear by?

When we humans need to make an oath, we need to swear on something that is higher or more important than ourselves, such as the Bible, an important person, a grandparent or the heavens and the earth. But when Yehowah wants to certify a promise with an oath, on what does he swear?

Hebrews 6:13,14 — For when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could not swear by anyone greater, he swore by himself, 14 saying: “I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply you.”

This scripture refers to:

Genesis 22:15-17 — And Jehovah’s angel called to Abraham a second time from the heavens, 16 saying: “‘By myself I swear,’ declares Jehovah, ‘that because you have done this and you have not withheld your son, your only one, 17 I will surely bless you and I will surely multiply your offspring like the stars of the heavens and like the grains of sand on the seashore, and your offspring will take possession of the gate of his enemies.

So, since there is no one higher than Yehowah, he has to swear on himself.

How is it with Yeshua then?

Yeshua recommended that we avoid swearing unnecessarily, probably because it was a lot of unnecessary swearing in those days. We should just be honest and frank.

Matthew 5:34-37 — However, I say to you: Do not swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by earth, for it is the footstool of his feet; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Do not swear by your head, since you cannot turn one hair white or black. 37 Just let your word ‘Yes’ mean yes, your ‘No,’ no, for what goes beyond these is from the wicked one.

But in case Yeshua had to swear, on whom would he swear? While there is no case where Yeshua swears on his own initiative, there are a couple of cases where he is put under oath, which is essentially the same thing.

Matthew 26:63,64 — But Jesus kept silent. So the high priest said to him: “I put you under oath by the living God to tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64 Jesus said to him: “You yourself said it….

When put under oath, he admits to being the Son of God. (“You yourself said it” was a way to answer affirmatively.)

Another case is when he met a demon possessed man:

Mark 5:7 — Then he cried out with a loud voice: “What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I put you under oath by God not to torment me.”

What is interesting about both cases is that both people put Yeshua under oath by God, and Yeshua did not protest. If Yeshua is God, the demon possessed man would have known and said so, but he said Yeshua is the son of God. If Yeshua is God he would have corrected him. 

When the high priest put him under oath by God asked him if he was the son of God, he says yes. If he himself is God, he would have denied, or corrected him.