New English Translation
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to an older generation,[a] ‘Do not break an oath, but fulfill your vows to the Lord.’[b] 34 But I say to you, do not take oaths at all—not by heaven, because it is the throne of God, 35 not by earth, because it is his footstool, and not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King.[c] 36 Do not take an oath by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. 37 Let your word be ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no.’ More than this is from the evil one.[d]Read full chapter
- Matthew 5:33 tn Grk “the ancient ones.”
- Matthew 5:33 sn A quotation from Lev 19:12.
- Matthew 5:35 sn The final clause is an allusion to Ps 48:2. In light of Ps 48:1-2 most understand the great King as a reference to God in this context (thus the capitalization).
- Matthew 5:37 tn The term πονηροῦ (ponērou) may be understood as specific and personified, referring to the devil, or possibly as a general reference to evil. It is most likely personified, however, since it is articular and how it fits into the surrounding context (τοῦ πονηροῦ, tou ponērou). Cf. also “the evildoer” in v. 39, which is the same construction.
33 You know that God expects us to abide by the oaths we swear and the promises we make. 34 But I tell you this: do not ever swear an oath. What is an oath? You cannot say, “I swear by heaven”—for heaven is not yours to swear by; it is God’s throne. 35 And you cannot say, “I swear by this good earth,” for the earth is not yours to swear by; it is God’s footstool. And you cannot say, “I swear by the holy city Jerusalem,” for it is not yours to swear by; it is the city of God, the capital of the King of kings. 36 You cannot even say that you swear by your own head, for God has dominion over your hands, your lips, your head. It is He who determines if your hair be straight or curly, white or black; it is He who rules over even this small scrap of creation. 37 You need not swear an oath—any impulse to do so is of evil. Simply let your “yes” be “yes,” and let your “no” be “no.”
New Living Translation
Teaching about Vows
33 “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’[a] 34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35 And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.Read full chapter
New Century Version
Make Promises Carefully
33 “You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘Don’t break your promises, but keep the promises you make to the Lord.’[a] 34 But I tell you, never swear an oath. Don’t swear an oath using the name of heaven, because heaven is God’s throne. 35 Don’t swear an oath using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to God. Don’t swear an oath using the name of Jerusalem, because that is the city of the great King. 36 Don’t even swear by your own head, because you cannot make one hair on your head become white or black. 37 Say only yes if you mean yes, and no if you mean no. If you say more than yes or no, it is from the Evil One.Read full chapter
New International Version
33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath,(A) but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’(B) 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all:(C) either by heaven, for it is God’s throne;(D) 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.(E) 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’;(F) anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[a](G)
- Matthew 5:37 Or from evil