Read the Westminster Standards in a year.
Confession of Faith
Chapter 22: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

4. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation, or mental reservation.1 It cannot oblige to sin; but in anything not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own hurt.2 Nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics, or infidels.3

  1. Jeremiah 4:2

    and if you swear, ‘As the Lord lives,’
    in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
    then nations shall bless themselves in him,
    and in him shall they glory.”

    Psalm 24:4

    He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully. (ESV)

  2. 1 Samuel 25:22

    God do so to the enemies of David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”

    1 Samuel 25:32-34

    And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand! For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.”

    Psalm 15:4

    in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    but who honors those who fear the Lord;
    who swears to his own hurt and does not change; (ESV)

  3. Ezekiel 17:16

    “As I live, declares the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant with him he broke, in Babylon he shall die.

    Ezekiel 17:18-19

    He despised the oath in breaking the covenant, and behold, he gave his hand and did all these things; he shall not escape. Therefore thus says the Lord God: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, and my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head.

    Joshua 9:18-19

    But the people of Israel did not attack them, because the leaders of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel. Then all the congregation murmured against the leaders. But all the leaders said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them by the Lord, the God of Israel, and now we may not touch them.

    2 Samuel 21:1

    21:1 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.” (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.