Summary and Application
The Ninth Commandment
"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16
False speaking in any matter, every attempt or purpose to deceive our neighbor, is included. An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood. By a glance of the eye, a motion of the hand, an expression of the countenance, a falsehood may be told as effectually as by words. All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggerated impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner as to mislead, is falsehood. This precept forbids every effort to injure our neighbor's reputation by misrepresentation or evil surmising, by slander or tale bearing. Even the intentional suppression of truth, by which injury may result to others, is a violation of the ninth commandment. Any intention to deceive constitutes falsehood. God looks upon the heart, and any words that are spoken which do not convey our real feelings are registered in God's books as untruthful. What a different world this would be, if this guideline for peace was really put into daily practice in all of our lives.