Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 10:38:30 +0100 Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: Catechism, 14 Q: Which is the ninth commandment? A: The ninth commandment is, "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour". This involves, in plain language, you shall not lie. In the previous commandments, the Lord has cared for the life, the chastity and the outward goods of the man. But now--because "a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches," (Proverbs 22:1) and also "better than precious ointment, (Ecclesiastes 7:1)--He cares for our good name, that it may be preserved. And, having forbidden in the previous commandments, that we stick out our hands to harm our neighbour in his life or goods, and that we not defile the people with uncleanness, He now forbids, that we not defile our neighbour with the tongue. That thing, which, though little, is like a fire, yes, a world of iniquity, an unruly evil, full of deadly poison, James 3:6,8. As in all commandments, some things are forbidden, and some are required. Q: What is required in the ninth commandment? A: The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbour's good name, especially in witness-bearing. What does this commandment require? First, the maintaining of truth in the world. We have to speak the truth and to suppress lies. We have to be true, and upright, and to suppress the hypocrisy. "Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour." (Zechariah 8:16) Besides maintaining the truth, we also must promote it. This is more difficult. Where the truth lies under, we must help it, and bring it to the light. When we see some falsehood, and it is in our power to correct it, and we do nothing against it, we sin. Not through our deeds, but through our negligence. We ought to promote truth. This requires work, not sloth. Besides maintaining truth, and promoting it, we also must maintain and promote the good name of ourselves and the other people. We may not bear false witness against ourselves. That means, we may not give offense. We also must avoid the appearance of evil. When we do something that is good in itself, but that can give offense to others, we must refrain from that, lest we bear false witness against ourselves. "Demetrius hath good report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record; and ye know that our record is true." (3 John 1:12) Likewise is it forbidden to gossip about others, and to listen to such gossips. And, because we must also promote the good name of others, when we come in company with others, and some are speaking evil of people, we must suppress it, saying that they sin against the ninth commandment. When we let it go, we sin, for we did not promote the good name of our neighbour. Especially in witness-bearing, we ought to speak the truth. In the court of justice, especially there, lies are forbidden. Wherefore often the witness must swear, that he speaks the truth. "A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies." (Proverbs 14:5) Q: What is forbidden in the ninth commandment? A: The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour's good name. It is forbidden to use deceit with our tongues; to have the poison of asps under our lips; to have our mouth full of cursing and bitterness; to be unfaithful in our speaking; to flatter with our tongue; to be full of hypocrisy; to be a liar; to speak out proud things; to rule the world by a deceiving tongue; to make our tongue a sharp sword, or like spears and arrows, shooting on the people; to prepare lies at night, and to speak them our by day; to walk with slanders; to speak falsely of peace where is not; to make our tongue like a fire, putting all around us in flames; to have sharpened our tongues like a serpent; to have our mouth full of deceit, fraud, mischief and vanity; to love cursing and gossiping. These things, and much more, like our depraved nature can bring forth, are forbidden. Taking up reproach against our neighbour is forbidden. We, too often, listen to such things. We like it to read scandalous things in the newspapers, magazines, and where not. These things conflict with sincerity, and ought not to be so, reader. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament Editor: Teus Benschop - firstname.lastname@example.org No copyrights on this publication Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands End of Catechism, 14 -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-014.txt .