The Use of the Biblical Oath and Its Development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of the oath in Jewish law reflects the religious nature of this system of law: in case a litigant cannot receive justice from the human judges s/he is entitled to call on God by swearing an oath. I begin this survey of the use of oaths in Jewish law with a discussion of the nature of “swearing an oath” based on biblical stories and biblical rules that regulate the use of oaths outside court. I then focus on the use of the oath in court; I survey the domain of circumstances in which an oath is accepted by Jewish law as evidence according to the Bible, the Mishna, Gemara, and codifications. Finally, I exemplify how the oath is used in practice in the 20th century by one case from Rabbi Saul Ibn Dannan’s responsa book “Hagam Shaul”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-707
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal for the Semiotics of Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Biblical oath
  • Jewish civil law
  • Jewish law
  • Judicial oath
  • Rules of evidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'The Use of the Biblical Oath and Its Development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this