The third commandment.
"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", Exodus 20:7]
What does it mean? I cannot understand.
Do not misuse the name of the Lord? Too simple, imo.
The word "vain" is the Hebrew word "shav".
It has a variety of translations, including emptiness, vanity, falsehood,
nothingness, emptiness of speech, lying, and worthlessness.
The Vatican says:
Rejection of false oaths is a duty toward God. As Creator and Lord,
God is the norm of all truth. Human speech is either in accord with
or in opposition to God who is Truth itself. When it is truthful and legitimate,
an oath highlights the relationship of human speech with God's truth.
A false oath calls on God to be witness to a lie.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the second commandment:
"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not swear
falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' But I say to you,
Do not swear at all. . . . Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything
more than this comes from the evil one."Jesus teaches that every oath
involves a reference to God and that God's presence and his truth must be
honored in all speech. Discretion in calling upon God is allied with a respectful
awareness of his presence, which all our assertions either witness to or mock.
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