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Matthew 5:33-37 Common English Bible (CEB)

Law of solemn pledges

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago: Don’t make a false solemn pledge, but you should follow through on what you have pledged to the Lord.[a] 34 But I say to you that you must not pledge at all. You must not pledge by heaven, because it’s God’s throne. 35 You must not pledge by the earth, because it’s God’s footstool. You must not pledge by Jerusalem, because it’s the city of the great king. 36 And you must not pledge by your head, because you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Matthew 5:33-37 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Jesus Teaches About Making Promises

33 “You have heard that it was said to our people long ago, ‘When you make a vow, you must not break your promise. Keep the vows that you make to the Lord.’[a] 34 But I tell you, when you make a promise, don’t try to make it stronger with a vow. Don’t make a vow using the name of heaven, because heaven is God’s throne. 35 Don’t make a vow using the name of the earth, because the earth belongs to him.[b] Don’t make a vow using the name of Jerusalem, because it also belongs to him, the great King. 36 And don’t even say that your own head is proof that you will keep your promise. You cannot make one hair on your head white or black. 37 Say only ‘yes’ if you mean ‘yes,’ and say only ‘no’ if you mean ‘no.’ If you say more than that, it is from the Evil One.


  1. Matthew 5:33 See Lev. 19:12; Num. 30:2; Deut. 23:21.
  2. Matthew 5:35 the earth … him Literally, “it is the footstool of his feet.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Matthew 5:33-37 Living Bible (TLB)

33 “Again, the law of Moses says, ‘You shall not break your vows to God but must fulfill them all.’ 34 But I say: Don’t make any vows! And even to say ‘By heavens!’ is a sacred vow to God, for the heavens are God’s throne. 35 And if you say ‘By the earth!’ it is a sacred vow, for the earth is his footstool. And don’t swear ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the capital of the great King. 36 Don’t even swear ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Say just a simple ‘Yes, I will’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Your word is enough. To strengthen your promise with a vow shows that something is wrong.

Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Matthew 5:33-37 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Making Oaths

33 “Again, your ancestors were taught, ‘Never swear an oath that you don’t intend to keep,[a] but keep your vows to the Lord God.’[b] 34 However, I say to you, don’t bind yourself by taking an oath at all. Don’t swear by heaven, for heaven is where God’s throne is placed.[c] 35 Don’t swear an oath by the earth, because it is the rug under God’s feet,[d] and not by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the Great King.[e] 36 And why would you swear by your own head, because it’s not in your power to turn a single hair white or black? But just let your words ring true.[f] 37 A simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ will suffice. Anything beyond this springs from a deceiver.[g]


  1. Matthew 5:33 That is, don’t perjure yourself.
  2. Matthew 5:33 See Lev. 19:12; Isa. 66:1.
  3. Matthew 5:34 In the days of Jesus and in the Middle Eastern cultural setting of Israel, taking oaths and swearing by something greater than oneself was a common practice. Jesus’ words trump culture and our bondage to doing things according to the expected norms of society. He instructs us to be faithful and true with our words.
  4. Matthew 5:35 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “his footstool.”
  5. Matthew 5:35 See Ps. 48:2.
  6. Matthew 5:36 Our words must be fulfilled by actions. All four things Jesus mentioned were considered sacred to the Jewish people—heaven, earth, Jerusalem, and a person’s head. But Jesus teaches us that words of truth make our lives sacred. See James 5:12.
  7. Matthew 5:37 As translated from the Aramaic. See Eccl. 5:4-7.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com

Matthew 5:33-37 New King James Version (NKJV)

Jesus Forbids Oaths

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of [a]old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let [b]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.


  1. Matthew 5:33 ancient times
  2. Matthew 5:37 Lit. your word be yes yes
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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