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The Ninth Commandment

Aseret Hadiberot -

The Ninth Commandment

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You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exodus 20:16

Hebraic Insight...

The ninth commandment prohibits swearing falsely against your neighbor in matters of law and civil proceedings, but, on a deeper level, it implicitly indicates the responsibility to be a witness of the truth at all times. Note that the Hebrew word for "truth" (emet) is composed from the first, the middle, and the last letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, thus indicating that it encompasses the first things, the last things, and everything in between. Thus, in relation to our neighbor (who is really everyone), we are to be truthful and bear witness to the truth in all our moments of life.

By lying, by bearing false testimony, we effectively deny the relationship to the One who said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6).

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