5 ¶ A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.
A false witness tells lies but is more than just a liar or distorter of the truth.
Deuteronomy 19:16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
Deuteronomy 19:18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
Proverbs 6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
A false witness tries to do people wrong and in that even drives friends, family, and business associates apart. Not bearing false witness is one of the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Jezebel arranged for two false witnesses to slander Naboth so that his vineyard could be taken for wicked King Ahab to enjoy (I Kings 21) and two false witnesses slandered the Lord Jesus Christ as He stood before the Jewish leadership (Matthew 26:60). In Job, his friends are slammed by God for misrepresenting Him to Job (Job 42:7).
Have you spread some tale about someone to their hurt that either wasn’t true or was embellished to make them look bad? Or do you know someone who has? God knows the truth of what you’ve done. You shall not escape but will answer for it.
Bible translators refer to manuscripts as witnesses. There are often two false witnesses mentioned in the Bible referring to people. Two false manuscript witnesses like the two ships from Alexandria, Egypt that carried Paul, the Christian evangelist and church organizer, to his doom (Acts 27:6; 28:11) have their origin in Egypt; Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus ( a Codex is an ancient form of book). Vaticanus was “found” in the Vatican library in the late 1400’s and Sinaiticus was “found” being burnt as trash at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai in the 1800’s. Although the two books disagree with each other in many places and some scholars insist that the same person who wrote one penned at least a few leaves of the other, they are thought also by some to be two of the 50 Bibles ordered prepared by Eusebius for the Emperor Constantine who created the Roman Catholic Church as the authority in political Christianity. Details may vary depending on who you talk to but these are the general facts as I remember them.
Vaticanus was in perfect condition, obviously not having been used by Christians through the ages, which practice wore most of the older manuscripts out and it contains many things not found in the Bibles that have always been in use such as the Old Latin, Gothic, Syriac, and later English and German Bibles. Sinaiticus was claimed to have been a forgery perpetuated on the antiquities market by a successful forger of “antiquities” named Constantine Simonides.
Why do I bring up these two false witnesses? Because modern Bible scholars will overthrow many verses in the Bibles they create based often on the work of these two false witnesses. Many a Christian has had his or her Bible taken away from them, the power of God’s word on their lives, by the testimony of two false witnesses, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, having their origins probably in Alexandria, Egypt where worldly Greek philosophy, Jewish occultic mysticism, and corrupted Bible manuscripts were created. There are too many obvious errors in these two phony Bible manuscripts to go into in detail here but I would gladly argue my point with anyone in another venue.
Woe be it to the Bible translator or to the preacher who relies on modern unsaved scholarship to determine what is or isn’t supposed to be in the Bible and to depend on Lexicons written by unsaved men, even perverts, and based on definitions found in secular Greek works. For a neutral reference, someone who was a Christian scholar but not a promoter of the King James Bible, I would recommend reading, for those who are interested, Anglican college Dean of Chichester Cathedral in Sussex, England John Burgon’s books, The Revision Revised and The Last Twelve Verses of Mark. Here you will find someone whose scholarship is beyond reproach, who will lay out the truth for you. I believe the man was a true Christian. You can find the latter book on Gutenberg.org for free. From my own perspective, I would also recommend Dr. Samuel Gipp’s book, An Understandable History of the Bible and Dr. Gail Riplinger’s In Awe of Thy Word and Hazardous Materials: Greek and Hebrew Study Dangers.
Those who would be false witnesses or promote false witnesses of God’s words will not get away with it, I am sure.
Psalm 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
Paul warns us by way of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration;
2Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
Now, back to a literal view of the verse. In the world, it is clear that the advent of the new DNA technology has proven many on death row to be innocent and called into question the guilt or innocence of some who have already been executed. The fact that false witnesses have been able to condemn so many shows a glaring weakness and injustice in our system. Under God’s standard of justice given to Moses for the Hebrews the fact is that if a prosecutor, a witness, or a police officer KNOWINGLY sends an innocent man to death then he or she should receive the same punishment when found out. This would apply even if the person were freed at the eleventh hour by DNA evidence.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. 16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; 17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; 18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. 20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. 21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
Leaders have lied to get us into wars, witnesses and authorities have lied to have men and women condemned to death, and friends, relatives, and coworkers have lied to ruin lives. Judgment is coming on all false witnesses.
Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs (false male religious teachers, see Philippians 3:2 in comparison with chapter 2 of 2 Peter), and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.