Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 14:5: “A faithful witness does not lie, But a false witness will utter lies.”
A “witness” precisely tells what has been seen, heard, or experienced, so “a faithful witness” will be true to what is absolutely known and “does not lie.” Jesus Christ was a “faithful witness” (Revelation 1:5). Whether facing persecution or death, Christians must be as the Apostles: “And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard’” (Acts 4:18-20); “Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying, ‘Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!’ But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’” (Acts 5:26-29); “And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe” (John 19:35). No cross, terrorist bomb, or Islamic sword should make a Christian become one of “those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).
But a “false witness” who wrongly interprets, changes, or alters the actual facts, due not simply to a faulty memory, but through a deliberate effort to mislead, gives a “lie.” “False witness” may be given because of prejudice, bribery, or fear, none of which justifies it. This is one of the 7 things God hates (Proverbs 6:16-19), and other proverbs seal their doom: “A true witness delivers souls, But a deceitful witness speaks lies” (Proverbs 14:25); “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape” (Proverbs 19:5); “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies shall perish” (Proverbs 19:9); “A disreputable witness scorns justice, And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity” (Proverbs 19:28); “A false witness shall perish, But the man who hears him will speak endlessly” (Proverbs 21:28); “Do not be a witness against your neighbor without cause, For would you deceive with your lips?” (Proverbs 24:28); “A man who bears false witness against his neighbor Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow” (Proverbs 25:18). The “false witness:” is “deceitful,” “will not go unpunished,” “shall perish,” “scorns justice,” hurts “his neighbor” as though he attacked with weapons! Also notice that “the man who hears him will speak endlessly,” meaning the false testimony will continue to be spread to no end! Political correctness, business advertising, Internet (e-mails, tweets, Facebook, et al.), legal advice, political campaign, religious persecution, peer pressure, propaganda press, headline writers and magazine covers, educational textbooks, are some of the many “hotbeds” for false witness.
Christians must repent from doing such: “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9). Not bearing “false witness” is one of the commands included in “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Romans 13:9). Jesus was silent in the faces of “false witnesses” (Matthew 26:59-63), and Stephen died because of them (Acts 6:9-14). Don’t believe what enemies of the churches of Christ have to say, but make sure you have “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.