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Accusing and Bearing False Witness


There is a serious need to address Yahweh's requirement for righteous judgment amongst the people of this age. Righteous judgment is needed in society, in the assembly, and in our homes

Today, we live in a society of instant everything. Everything from instant meals to instant news and information. With this is a tendency even among brethren to be too instant in judgment of others. The danger of this is bearing false witness against our neighbor. This is an important matter--important enough to be included in the Ten Commandments

Of course, many of us have been taught that to bear false witness means "Not to lie". But while this is true, we will see that this commandment has a shade to it that is more precise than just telling a lie. 

Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 

What does it mean to be a false witness against our neighbor? Here is one example in scripture:

Deuteronomy 19:16-21 "If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, 17 "then both men in the controversy shall stand before Yahweh, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. 18 "And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, 19 "then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you. 20 "And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you. 21 "Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. 

To be a false witness against our neighbor basically means to falsely accuse someone else of wrongdoing. In the Torah, false witnesses were dealt with very harshly. We see in the above verses that if a person was found to be bearing false witness against another person, they would be given the punishment that the other person would have received if the witness was true! With such a righteous law, we can understand why 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses' every matter truly was established. If anyone rose up as a false witness, they would be given the same punishment they thought to give to their neighbor.... risking their own life! With such a thing facing them, they would be very careful, yes?

If this righteous rule were established in today's court systems, there wouldn't be nearly the problems we see today.

Notice that the judges were required to make 'diligent inquisition', meaning that they were to be very careful and search diligently before making a judgment. We see this in other instances as well:

Deuteronomy 13:12-15 If you hear someone in one of your cities, which Yahweh your Elohim gives you to dwell in, saying, 13 'Corrupt men have gone out from among you and enticed the inhabitants of their city, saying, "Let us go and serve other elohims" ' -- which you have not known -- 14 "then you shall inquire, search out, and ask diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed among you, 15 "you shall surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword -- utterly destroying it, all that is in it and its livestock, with the edge of the sword. 

And again:

Deuteronomy 17:2-5 If there is found among you, within any of your gates which Yahweh your Elohim gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of Yahweh your Elohim, in transgressing His covenant, 3 "who has gone and served other elohim and worshiped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, 4 "and it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has been committed in Israel, 5 "then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones. 

So we see in these verses the importance of making diligent inquiry before judging that someone has done wrong or evil. While it is true that the context of these cases would be in a court of law, it is also true that judgment begins at the household of Yahweh:

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