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Exodus 20:7

    Exodus 20:7 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    You are not to make use of the name of the Lord your God for an evil purpose; whoever takes the Lord's name on his lips for an evil purpose will be judged a sinner by the Lord

    Webster's Revision

    Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    World English Bible

    "You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

    Definitions for Exodus 20:7

    Vain - Empty; foolish; useless.

    Clarke's Commentary on Exodus 20:7

    Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain - This precept not only forbids all false oaths, but all common swearing where the name of God is used, or where he is appealed to as a witness of the truth. It also necessarily forbids all light and irreverent mention of God, or any of his attributes; and this the original word לשוא lashshav particularly imports: and we may safely add to all these, that every prayer, ejaculation, etc., that is not accompanied with deep reverence and the genuine spirit of piety, is here condemned also. In how many thousands of instances is this commandment broken in the prayers, whether read or extempore, of inconsiderate, bold, and presumptuous worshippers! And how few are there who do not break it, both in their public and private devotions! How low is piety when we are obliged in order to escape damnation, to pray to God to "pardon the sins of our holy things!" Even heathens thought that the names of their gods should be treated with reverence. Παντως μεν δη καλον επι ηδευμα, θεων ονοματα μη χραινειν ῥᾳδιως, εχοντα ὡς εχουσιν ἡμων ἑκαστοτε τα πολλα οἱ πλειστοι καθαροτητος τε και ἁγνειας τα περι τους θεους. "It is most undoubtedly right not easily to pollute the names of the gods, using them as we do common names; but to watch with purity and holiness all things belonging to the gods."

    The Lord will not hold him guiltless, etc. - Whatever the person himself may think or hope, however he may plead in his own behalf, and say he intends no evil, etc.; if he in any of the above ways, or in any other way, takes the name of God in vain, God will not hold him guiltless - he will account him guilty and punish him for it. Is it necessary to say to any truly spiritual mind, that all such interjections as O God! my God! good God! good Heavens! etc., etc., are formal positive breaches of this law? How many who pass for Christians are highly criminal here!

    Barnes' Notes on Exodus 20:7

    Our translators make the Third commandment bear upon any profane and idle utterance of the name of God. Others give it the sense, "Thou shalt not swear falsely by the name of Jehovah thy God." The Hebrew word which answers to "in vain" may be rendered either way. The two abuses of the sacred name seem to be distinguished in Leviticus 19:12 (see Matthew 5:33). Our King James Version is probably right in giving the rendering which is more inclusive. The caution that a breach of this commandment incurs guilt in the eyes of Yahweh is especially appropriate, in consequence of the ease with which the temptation to take God's name "in vain" besets people in their common conversation with each other.