7 Taking an oath by G-d’s Name

Seventh Command: Taking an oath by G-d’s Name


You shall fear the L-rd your G-d, and serve Him, and shall swear by His Name. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6.13


אֶת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ תִּירָא וְאֹתוֹ תַעֲבֹד וּבִשְׁמוֹ תִּשָּׁבֵעַ

Everthing from Aleph to Tav – HaShem – Eloheka – shall fear – and Him – shall serve – and in His Name – shall swear.


Fear of HaShem was covered in Mitzvah 4.

Serve Him was covered in Mitzvah 5.


Is there not however another text.  And to Him shalt thou cling and swear by His Name…Temurah 3b  (54) Ps. CXIX, 106. And therefore there is need for the text: And shalt swear by His name to inform us that one may even utter the Name in an oath which is taken to observe commandments


The sages teach that in order to be allowed to take an oath in HaShem’s Name one must first observe all the commandments and love and fear HaShem with one’s whole being.  With the yetzer rah and the yetzer tov.


AND BY HIS NAME SHALT THOU SWEAR.  This is not a commandment to swear [by His Name].  but it is an admonishment that [in the event one is required to take an oath] he should swear only by His Name and not by the name of another diety. Rambam Commentary on the Torah Deuteronomy page 84


The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to them, Do not reason that it is permitted to you to swear in My Name even truthfully unless there is all of the characteristics with you:  The L-rd, your G-d, you shall fear, and to Him shall you cling.  And if we want, we can say that  and in His Name shall you swear comes to give a positive commandment [alongside the] negative commandment on the one who swears in the name of idolatry; meaning to say, in His Name should he swear and not in the name of other gods. Midrash Tachuma Bamidbar II page 301


One should always refrain from swearing but when one must sweat then we are to ONLY swear in HaShem’s Name.  The Torah is simply giving us permission to swear in HaShem’s Name.  There is no command to do so.



May we try each day to learn about G-d, to follow His Ways and His Truth


Blessings and Peace

Rebbetzin Revi