Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.143. Which is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Exodus 20:16
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].
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],
[g] Proverbs 17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.
1 Kings 21 from Verse 9 to 14 And she [Jezebel] wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: Ver.10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die. Ver.11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, Ver.13 and [they] stoned him with stones, that he died.
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];
[h] Isaiah 5:23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
[i] Psalm 119:69 The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Luke 16:5-7 So he called every one of his Lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? Ver.6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Ver.7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? etc.
concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause [k],
[k] Leviticus 5:1 And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity.
Deuteronomy 13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
Acts 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Ver.8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Ver.9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?
2 Timothy 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.
and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves [l],
[l] 1 Kings 1:6 And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so?
Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
or complaint to others [m];
[m] Isaiah 59:4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
speaking the truth unseasonably [n],
[n] Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
or maliciously to a wrong end [o],
[o] 1 Samuel 22:9-10 Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. Ver.10 And he enquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.
Compared with Psalm 52 A psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, — Ver.1 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? etc., to verse 5.
or perverting it to a wrong meaning [p],
[p] Psalm 56:5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.
John 2:19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Compared with Matthew 26:60 At the last came two false witnesses, Ver.61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice [q];
[q] Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
Genesis 26:7 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; Ver.9 And Abimelech called Isaac, and said, Behold, of a surety she is thy wife; and how saidst thou, She is my sister?
speaking untruth [r],
[r] Isaiah 59:13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
[s] Leviticus 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.
Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
[t] Psalm 50:20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.
[v] Psalm 15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, etc.
[w] James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
Jeremiah 38:4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
tale bearing [x],
[x] Leviticus 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the LORD.
[y] Romans 1:29-30 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Ver.30 Backbiters, haters of God, etc.
[z] Genesis 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.
Galatians 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
[b] Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
[c] Acts 28:4 And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
and partial censuring [d];
[d] Genesis 38:24 And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt.
Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
misconstructing intentions, words, and actions [e];
[e] Nehemiah 6:6-8 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words. Ver.7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. Ver.8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.
Romans 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
Psalm 69:10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
1 Samuel 1:13-15 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. Ver.14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. Ver.15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
2 Samuel 10:3 And the princes of the children of Ammon said unto Hanun their lord, Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? hath not David rather sent his servants unto thee, to search the city, and to spy it out, and to overthrow it?
End of Lesson, Day 137