Pv 19 false witness

Pv 19 verses 5 and 9 are virtually identical. " A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish/not go free." What is the subtle difference here that Solomon would repeat this? I don’t need a deep explanation but I am curious. thank you

2 Likes

I try to look at different versions to help me get a clearer understanding.

2 Likes

@plantaseed I could be mistaken, but I think Solomon’s talking about two different, yet related, situations.

While we often associate the term “false witness” with simple lying, I think there’s a specific application. Remember that scripture tells us that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses are all things established.” In other words, where one person might tell a certain truth, a second or third person agreeing with that first adds credibility to that truth. As such, to “bear false witness” kind of carries a legal implication, such that the false witness in the first part of your verse isn’t merely someone who tells a lie (as with the latter part of your verse) but rather someone who pledges their good name to a lie, i.e. tries to pass of their lie as credible and true.

2 Likes

Hi @plantaseed

Well pointed out. It is actually one of the Hebrew literary device to repeat a pattern and reinforce a point, though with a slight difference to deepen the base statement.

Noticed in v5 the liar will not “escape” (yimmalet), while in v9 the liar will “perish” (yoved).

Hope that simple answer helps. Blessings

4 Likes

Agreed, it is a literary device.

2 Likes

Thank you. I am pretty sure I will never learn Greek or Hebrew, although I am a reading/writing tutor(in English!) so I am grateful for all of you pointing out the importance of the original biblical language.

1 Like