false witness shall not be unpunished. He who pours out lies shall not go free.
The foolishness of man subverts his way;
his heart rages against Yahweh.
Wealth adds many friends,
but the poor is separated from his friend.
Proverbs 19 [5.] A false witness shall not be unpunished.
He who pours out lies shall not go free.
Many will entreat the favor of a ruler,
and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.
- A False Witness Shall Not Be Unpunished:
The opening statement establishes a clear principle—bearing false witness will not go unpunished. This echoes a fundamental ethical and moral truth that transcends cultural and religious boundaries. The concept of a "false witness" refers to someone who provides deceitful or inaccurate testimony, particularly in a legal or ethical context.
- He Who Pours Out Lies Shall Not Go Free:
The second part of the verse reinforces the severity of the consequences. The use of the phrase "pours out lies" suggests a deliberate and continuous act of falsehood. The assertion that such a person "shall not go free" underscores the inevitability of accountability for those who habitually engage in deception.
Ethical Consequences of False Testimony: Proverbs 19:5 highlights the ethical and moral implications of bearing false witness. It asserts that falsehood and deceit, especially in contexts where truth and integrity are paramount, will not escape consequences.
Legal and Social Ramifications: The mention of a false witness and the pouring out of lies alludes to legal and social contexts where truthful testimony is crucial. This verse serves as a cautionary reminder about the potential legal repercussions and damage to social trust that can result from dishonesty.
Universal Principle of Accountability: The principle that a false witness shall not be unpunished reflects a universal moral truth. It suggests that, irrespective of cultural or religious affiliations, the accountability for dishonesty is a transcendent principle that governs human behavior.
Exodus 20:16: "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." This commandment from the Ten Commandments aligns with the theme of Proverbs 19:5, emphasizing the prohibition of bearing false witness.
Proverbs 12:22: "Lying lips are an abomination to Yahweh, but those who do the truth are his delight." This parallel verse in Proverbs underscores the divine perspective on honesty and truthfulness, contrasting it with the detestable nature of falsehood.
In Conclusion: Proverbs 19:5 serves as a timeless admonition against the moral and ethical transgression of bearing false witness. It asserts that the consequences of deceit will inevitably catch up with those who engage in falsehood, emphasizing the universal principle of accountability and the importance of truth in human interactions.
PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible