Matthew 5:37
Parallel Verses
New International Version
All you need to say is simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

King James Bible
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Darby Bible Translation
But let your word be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; but what is more than these is from evil.

World English Bible
But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.' Whatever is more than these is of the evil one.

Young's Literal Translation
but let your word be, Yes, Yes, No, No, and that which is more than these is of the evil.

Matthew 5:37 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay - That is, a positive affirmation, or negation, according to your knowledge of the matter concerning which you are called to testify. Do not equivocate; mean what you assert, and adhere to your assertion. Hear what a heathen says on this subject: -

Εχθρος γαρ μοι κεινος ὁμως αιδαο πυλησιν,

Ος χ'ετερον μεν κευθει ενι φρεσιν, αλλο δε βαζει.

Hom. Il. ix. 312

"He whose words agree not with his private thoughts is as detestable to me as the gates of hell."

See on Joshua 2 (note) at the end.

See the subject of swearing particularly considered in the note at the conclusion of Deuteronomy 6 (note).

Whatsoever is more than these - That is, more than a bare affirmation or negation, according to the requirements of Eternal Truth, cometh of evil; or, is of the wicked one - εκ του πονηρου εϚιν, i.e. the devil, the father of superfluities and lies. One of Selden's MSS. and Gregory Nyssen, a commentator of the fourth century, have εκ του διαβολου εϚιν, is of the devil.

That the Jews were notoriously guilty of common swearing, for which our Lord particularly reprehends them, and warns his disciples against, and that they swore by heaven, by earth, by Jerusalem, by their head, etc., the following extracts, made by Dr. Lightfoot from their own writings, amply testify: -

"It was customary and usual among them to swear by the creatures. 'If any swear by heaven, by earth, by the sun, etc., although the mind of the swearer be, under these words, to swear by Him who created them, yet this is not an oath. Or, if any swear by some of the prophets, or by some of the books of the Scripture, although the sense of the swearer be to swear by Him that sent that prophet, or that gave that book, nevertheless, this is not an oath. Maimonides.'

"If any adjure another by heaven or earth, he is not guilty. Talmud.

"They swore by Heaven, השמים כן הוא hashshamayim, ken hu, 'By heaven, so it is.' Bab. Berac.

"They swore by the Temple. 'When turtles and young pigeons were sometimes sold at Jerusalem for a penny of gold, Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel said, המעו הוה By this habitation (that is, by this Temple) I will not rest this night, unless they be sold for a penny of silver.' Cherituth, cap. i.

"R. Zechariah ben Ketsab said, המעו הוה 'By this Temple, the hand of the woman departed not out of my hand.'


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


2 Corinthians 1:17-20 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh...

Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer every man.

James 5:12 But above all things, my brothers, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath...


Matthew 13:19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom, and understands it not, then comes the wicked one...

Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning...

Ephesians 4:25 Why putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds;

James 5:12 But above all things, my brothers, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath...

Agree with Thine Adversary
Eversley, 1861. Windsor Castle, 1867. St. Matthew v. 25, 26. "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." This parable our Lord seems to have spoken at least twice, as He did several others. For we find it also in the 12th
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Salt Without Savour
'Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.'--MATT. v. 13. These words must have seemed ridiculously presumptuous when they were first spoken, and they have too often seemed mere mockery and irony in the ages since. A Galilean peasant, with a few of his rude countrymen who had gathered round him, stands up there on the mountain, and says to them, 'You,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Lamp and the Bushel
'Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'--Matt. v. 14-16. The conception of the office of Christ's disciples contained in these words is a still bolder one than that expressed by the preceding metaphor, which
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The New Form of the Old Law
'Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20. For I say
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
Matthew 5:36
And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.

Matthew 6:13
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'

Matthew 13:19
When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.

Matthew 13:38
The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,

John 17:15
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

Ephesians 6:16
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

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