The Bible

Bible Usage:


  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: No
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: Yes
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:


Easton's Bible Dictionary

A solemn appeal to God, permitted on fitting occasions (Deuteronomy 6:13; Jeremiah 4:2), in various forms (Genesis 16:5; 2 Samuel 12:5; Ruth 1:17; Hosea 4:15; Romans 1:9), and taken in different ways (Genesis 14:22; 24:2; 2 Chronicles 6:22). God is represented as taking an oath (Hebrews 6:16-18), so also Christ (Matthew 26:64), and Paul (Romans 9:1; Galatians 1:20; Philippians 1:8). The precept, "Swear not at all," refers probably to ordinary conversation between man and man (Matthew 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."

Naves Topical Index

A solemn qualification.

Used in solemnizing covenants:

Between Abraham and the king of Sodom
Genesis 14:22-23

Between Abraham and Abimelech
Genesis 21:22-23

Between Isaac and Abimelech
Genesis 26:26-29; Genesis 26:31

Instances of:

Abraham requires oath of his servant Eliezer
Genesis 24:2-3; Genesis 24:9

Esau confirms the sale of his birthright by
Genesis 25:33

Jacob confirms the covenant between him and Laban by
Genesis 31:53

Laban requires Joseph to swear that he would bury him with his fathers
Genesis 47:28-31

Joseph requires a like oath
Genesis 50:25

Rahab requires an oath from the spies
Joshua 2:12-14; Joshua 6:22

The Israelites confirm the covenant with the Hivites
Joshua 9:3-20

Moses covenants with Caleb by
Joshua 14:9

The elders of Gilead confirm their pledge to Jephthah by
Judges 11:10

The Israelites swear in Mizpeh
Judges 21:5

Ruth swears to Naomi
Ruth 1:17

Boaz swears to Ruth
Ruth 3:13

Saul swears to Jonathan
1 Samuel 19:6

Jonathan and David confirm a covenant by
1 Samuel 20:3; 1 Samuel 20:13-17

David swears to Saul
1 Samuel 24:21-22; 2 Samuel 21:7

Saul swears to the witch of En-Dor
1 Samuel 28:10

David swears not to eat until the sun goes down
2 Samuel 3:35

Joab confirms his word by
2 Samuel 19:7

David swears to Bath-Sheba that Solomon shall be king
1 Kings 1:28-29

Solomon confirms his word by
1 Kings 2:23

Shimei confirms his word by
1 Kings 2:42

Elisha seals his vow to follow Elijah by
2 Kings 2:2

King of Samaria confirms his word with an
2 Kings 6:31

Gehazi confirms his lie by
2 Kings 5:20

Jehoida requires an oath from the rulers
2 Kings 11:4

Zedekiah violates
2 Chronicles 36:13

Ezra requires, of the priests and Levites
Ezra 10:5; Ezra 10:19

Nehemiah requires, of the priests and Levites
Nehemiah 5:12-13

Zedekiah swears to Jeremiah
Jeremiah 38:16

Gedaliah confirms his word by
Jeremiah 40:9

Peter confirms his denial of Jesus by
Mark 14:71

Attributed to God
Genesis 22:16; Psalms 89:35; Psalms 95:11; Psalms 105:9; Psalms 132:11; Isaiah 14:24; Isaiah 45:23; Jeremiah 11:5; Jeremiah 22:5; Jeremiah 49:13; Jeremiah 51:14; Luke 1:73; Hebrews 3:11; Hebrews 3:18; Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 6:13-14; Hebrews 6:17; Hebrews 7:21; Hebrews 7:28; Revelation 10:6

Unclassified scriptures relating to
Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 5:11; Exodus 22:10-11; Exodus 23:1; Leviticus 6:2-5; Leviticus 19:12; Numbers 5:19-24; Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20; 1 Kings 8:31-32; Psalms 15:1-2; Psalms 15:4; Ecclesiastes 8:2; Isaiah 48:1; Jeremiah 4:2; Jeremiah 5:2; Jeremiah 5:7; Jeremiah 7:8-9; Jeremiah 12:16; Daniel 9:11; Daniel 12:7; Hosea 4:15; Matthew 5:33-37; Matthew 14:3-12; Mark 6:26; Matthew 23:18-22; Matthew 26:63; Acts 23:12-14; 2 Corinthians 1:23; Galatians 1:20; Hebrews 6:16; James 5:12; Revelation 10:5-6
Covenant; False Witness; God, Name of, Not to Be Profaned; Perjury

Smith's Bible Dictionary

The principle on which an oath is held to be binding is incidentally laid down in (Hebrews 6:16) viz. as an ultimate appeal to divine authority to ratify an assertion. On the same principle, that oath has always been held most binding which appealed to the highest authority, as regards both individuals and communities. As a consequence of this principle, appeals to God's name on the one hand, and to heathen deities on the other, are treated in scripture as tests of allegiance. (Exodus 23:13; 34:6; 29:12) etc. So also the sovereign's name is sometimes used as a form of obligation. (Genesis 42:15; 2 Samuel 11:11; 14:19) Other forms of oath, serious or frivolous, are mentioned, some of which are condemned by our Lord. (Matthew 6:33; 23:16-22) and see (James 5:12) (There is, however, a world-wide difference between a solemn appeal to God and profane swearing.) The forms of adjuration mentioned in Scripture are

  1. Lifting up the hand. Witnesses laid their hands on the head of the accused. (Genesis 14:22; Leviticus 24:14; 17:7; Isaiah 3:7)
  2. Putting the hand under the thigh of the person to whom the Promise was made. (Genesis 24:2; 47:29)
  3. Oaths were sometimes taken before the altar, or, as some understand the passage, if the persons were not in Jerusalem, in a position looking toward the temple. (1 Kings 8:31; 2 Chronicles 6:22)
  4. Dividing a victim and passing between or distributing the pieces. (Genesis 15:10,17; Jeremiah 34:18) As the sanctity of oaths was carefully inculcated by the law, so the crime of perjury was strongly condemned; and to a false witness the same punishment was assigned which was due for the crime to which he testified. (Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 19:12)

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

OATH, noun

A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed. The appeal to God in an oath implies that the person imprecates his vengeance and renounces his favor if the declaration is false, or if the declaration is a promise, the person invokes the vengeance of God if he should fail to fulfill it. A false oath is called perjury.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

OATHABLE, adjective Capable of having an oath administered to. [Not used.]

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

OATHBREAKING, noun The violation of an oath; perjury.