Westminster Shorter Catechism Q. 78
Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 145 part 1
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.144. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
A. The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man [b], and the good name of our neighbour, as well as our own [c]; appearing and standing for the truth [d]; and from the heart [e], sincerely [f], freely [g], clearly [h], and fully [i], speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice [k], and in all other things whatsoever [l]; a charitable esteem of our neighbours [m]; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name [n]; sorrowing for [o], and covering of their infirmities [p]; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces [q],
defending their innocency [r]; a ready receiving of a good report [s], and unwillingness to admit of an evil report [t], concerning them; discouraging tale-bearers [v], flatterers [w], and slanderers [x]; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth [y]; keeping of lawful promises [z]; studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report [a].
defending their innocency [r];
[r] 1 Samuel 22:14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king’s son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?
a ready receiving of a good report [s],
[s] 1 Corinthians 13:6-7 [Charity] rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Ver.7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
and unwillingness to admit of an evil report [t],
[t] Psalm 15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
concerning them; discouraging tale-bearers [v],
[v] Proverbs 25:23 The north wind driveth away rain: so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.
[w] Proverbs 26:24-25 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; Ver.25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.
and slanderers [x];
[x] Psalm 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth [y];
[y] Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
John 8:49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
keeping of lawful promises [z];
[z] Psalm 15:4 He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report [a].
[a] Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour’s good name [q].
[q] 1 Samuel 17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men: and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among thy people; neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
Psalm 15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.145. What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbours, as well as our own [b], especially in public judicature [c]; giving false evidence [d], suborning false witnesses [e], wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth [f]; passing unjust sentence [g], calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked [h]; forgery [i], concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause [k], and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves [l], or complaint to others [m]; speaking the truth unseasonably [n], or maliciously to a wrong end [o], or perverting it to a wrong meaning [p], or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice [q]; speaking untruth [r], lying [s], slandering [t], backbiting [v], detracting [w], tale bearing [x], whispering [y], scoffing [z], reviling [a], rash [b], harsh [c], and partial censuring [d]; misconstructing intentions, words, and actions [e]; flattering [f], vain-glorious boasting [g]; thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others [h]; denying the gifts and graces of God [i]; aggravating smaller faults [k]; hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession [l]; unnecessary discovering of infirmities [m]; raising false rumors [n], receiving and countenancing evil reports [o], and stopping our ears against just defense [p]; evil suspicion [q]; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any [r], endeavoring or desiring to impair it [s], rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy [t]; scornful contempt [v], fond admiration [w]; breach of lawful promises [x]; neglecting such things as are of good report [y], and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering what we can in others, such things as procure an ill name [z].
The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbours, as well as our own [b],
[b] 1 Samuel 17:28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
2 Samuel 16:3 And the king said, And where is thy master’s son? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father.
2 Samuel 1:9-10 He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me. Ver.10 So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord. Ver.15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. Ver.16 And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the Lord’s anointed.
especially in public judicature [c];
[c] Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
Habakkuk 1:4 Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.
giving false evidence [d],
[d] Proverbs 19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: Ver.19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
suborning false witnesses [e],
[e] Acts 6:13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth [f];
[f] Jeremiah 9:3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD. Ver.5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
Acts 24:2 And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, — Ver.5 For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes:
Psalm 12:3-4 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Ver.4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
Psalm 52:1-4 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. Ver.2 The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Ver.3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. Ver.4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.
End of Lesson, Day 136
For Further Study:
- Does 2 Samuel 1:9-16 also prohibit euthanasia?
- "wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause" -- should a lawyer ever enter a plea of "not guilty" when he knows his client is guilty?