Swearing by the moon – Bible (Old and New Testaments) & Qur’an


 

One book shows swearing (taking an oath) by the Name of God.
One book says not to swear at all.
One book shows swearing by the moon.

Do you know which book has each of these?

How do you feel about each of these scenarios?

Read on to learn more about this interesting topic.

 

 The Old Testament

 Lev 19:12 “ ‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.

Jos 23:6 “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. 7 Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. 8 But you are to hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have until now.

Ps 63:11 But the king will rejoice in God;
all who swear by God’s name will praise him,
while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Isa 45:23 By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear.
Isa 45:24 They will say of me, ‘In the LORD alone
are righteousness and strength.’ ”
All who have raged against him
will come to him and be put to shame.
Isa 45:25 But in the LORD all the descendants of Israel
will be found righteous and will exult.

 

The New Testament

Mt 5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

 

The Qur’an

[74:32] Absolutely, (I swear) by the moon.

 

also – compare the verses below to the text from Isaiah above, for context and the message of Sura 74.

[74:5] Forsake what is wrong.
[74:6] Be content with your lot.
[74:7] Steadfastly commemorate your Lord.
[74:8] Then, when the horn is blown.
[74:9] That will be a difficult day.
[74:10] For the disbelievers, not easy.
[74:11] Let Me deal with one I created as an individual.
[74:12] I provided him with lots of money.
[74:13] And children to behold.
[74:14] I made everything easy for him.
[74:15] Yet, he is greedy for more.
[74:16] He stubbornly refused to accept these proofs.
[74:17] I will increasingly punish him.
[74:18] For he reflected, then decided.
[74:19] Miserable is what he decided.
[74:20] Miserable indeed is what he decided.
[74:21] He looked.
[74:22] He frowned and whined.
[74:23] Then he turned away arrogantly.
[74:24] He said, “This is but clever magic!
[74:25] “This is human made.”
[74:26] I will commit him to retribution.
[74:27] What retribution!
[74:28] Thorough and comprehensive.
[74:29] Obvious to all the people.

 

What does this all mean?

What we see here is that in the Old Testament, God swears by His own Name,  After all, there is nothing higher than God by which to take an oath.  We read in Leviticus that making a false oath in God’s name is to not only go back on that oath, but in the process that person also profanes the name of God.  Can’t get any worse than that.  Obviously, keeping an oath is of the utmost importance.

We also read in Joshua about the importance of not taking an oath in the name of other gods.  These other gods could be “imagined beings” or objects, such as the sun and moon.  This is commanded as a way to keep God as the most important thing in the people’s lives.  Once we start letting other things take precedence over God, we are on the path to ruin – as described in both Isaiah and Sura 74 from the Qur’an.

Which brings us to Sura 74, which is actually the 4th one revealed to the prophet.  The message is very much the same as the verses above from Isaiah.  One of the big differences is that, as often happens, the Qur’an is more focused on earthly things compared to the Bible.  For instance –

[74:11] Let Me deal with one I created as an individual.
[74:12] I provided him with lots of money.
[74:13] And children to behold.
[74:14] I made everything easy for him.
[74:15] Yet, he is greedy for more.

Being provided with lots of money and having things made easy for us is certainly not one of the promises of the Bible.  While the “prosperity gospel” preachers may try to claim this is the case – the actual words of Jesus say very much the opposite.

BTW – [74:11] Let Me deal with one I created as an individual – was abrogated just like previous verses we covered in other Suras.  They were, like the others, later replaced with the “sword verse”, which tell followers of Islam to fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them.  

But the important thing here is that we have the Angel Gabriel allegedly swearing by the moon about the things said in the earlier parts of this Sura.

[74:32] Absolutely, (I swear) by the moon.

Note – this is verse 32, while the other verses were 5-29.

Conclusion

So we have, in Isaiah –

Isa 45:23 By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:

while we have in the Qur’an –

[74:32] Absolutely, (I swear) by the moon.

while Jesus tells us –

Mt 5:33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Given that –

  1. The Qur’an came after both the Old and New Testaments
  2. While there are Islamic claims that the Bible was changed, the simple fact is that the Old & New Testaments today are the same as they were in Muhammad’s time, so there is not only no “corruption” of the message, but they have exactly the same message today as they did 1400 years ago

– why would the angel Gabriel swear by the moon?

There’s something wrong here.

The Old Testament says to swear by the name of God.

The New Testament refers to the Old Testament, and goes on to say not to take an oath at all, but to simply let yes mean yes – and no mean no.

And yet the Qur’an, which came last, has an angel of God swearing by the moon!

I leave it for you to connect the dots, but this clearly doesn’t sound like it’s on the path taken from the Old Testament to the New Testament and allegedly to a book that claims to confirm the previous two books.  As I said – something’s wrong here.  

As a point of reference – remember that Muhammad’s original objective was to move the people from worshiping hundreds of gods to being monotheistic, with just one God.  But is this accomplishing that?  Or is it instead making a sort of god out of the moon?  Again – why would an angel of God swear by anything other than God?  Is this saying that the moon is higher than God?  Or is it appeasing the moon worshipers of that time by including swearing by the moon in this book?  For that matter, was the moon part of the original revelation – or was it added – after Muhammad’s death – by the person who later assembled the Qur’an?  For more on this important topic, see this previous article.


 

Pray about these things –
as I’ve said – not with you’re mind, but with your heart.

Pray to the God of Abraham,
the God who heard Hagar –
the God who heard Ishmael –
the God who said He would make Ishmael a great nation.

Pray that He will show you the path to Himself.

I’ll be praying with you – and for you.

<To be continued…>


 

This is part of a continuing series looking at The Qur’an and The Bible to see the relationship between Islam and Christianity.

 

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