Just as there is a negative commandment forbidding an oath taken in vain and a false oath,1 so, too, there is a positive commandment for a person who is obligated to take an oath in court2 to take that oath in God's name,3 as [Deuteronomy 6:13] states: "And you shall take an oath in His name." This is a positive commandment.4 For taking an oath in His great and holy name is one of the paths of His service. It is a great measure of glorification and sanctification to take an oath in God's name.5


כְּשֵׁם שֶׁשְּׁבוּעַת שָׁוְא וְשֶׁקֶר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה. כָּךְ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁיִּשָּׁבַע מִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה בְּבֵית דִּין בַּשֵּׁם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים ו יג) (דברים י כ) "וּבִשְׁמוֹ תִּשָּׁבֵעַ" זוֹ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה. שֶׁהַשְּׁבוּעָה בִּשְׁמוֹ הַגָּדוֹל וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ מִדַּרְכֵי הָעֲבוֹדָה הִיא וְהִדּוּר וְקִדּוּשׁ גָּדוֹל הוּא לְהִשָּׁבַע בִּשְׁמוֹ:


It is forbidden to take an oath on any other matter together with God's name.6 Whoever combines another matter with the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, in an oath will be uprooted from this world.7 For there is no one who is fit to give honor by taking an oath in his name except the [Absolute] One, blessed be He.


וְאָסוּר לְהִשָּׁבַע בְּדָבָר אַחֵר עִם שְׁמוֹ. וְכָל הַמְשַׁתֵּף דָּבָר אַחֵר עִם שֵׁם הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בִּשְׁבוּעָה נֶעֱקָר מִן הָעוֹלָם. שֶׁאֵין שָׁם מִי שֶׁרָאוּי לַחְלֹק לוֹ כָבוֹד שֶׁנִּשְׁבָּעִין בִּשְׁמוֹ אֶלָּא הָאֶחָד בָּרוּךְ הוּא:


It is permitted for a person to take an oath to fulfill a mitzvah in order to encourage himself [toward its performance]. Although he is under oath [to observe] it from Mount Sinai [onward],8 [he may take an oath, as implied by Psalms 119:106]: "I took an oath and I will uphold it - to observe Your righteous judgments."9


וּמֻתָּר לְאָדָם לְהִשָּׁבַע עַל הַמִּצְוָה לַעֲשׂוֹתָהּ כְּדֵי לְזָרֵז אֶת עַצְמוֹ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מֻשְׁבָּע עָלֶיהָ מֵהַר סִינַי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהילים קיט קו) "נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי וָאֲקַיֵּמָה לִשְׁמֹר מִשְׁפְּטֵי צִדְקֶךָ":


The oath which the judges administer to individuals who are obligated to take an oath is called: "The oath of the judges." [This applies whether the person] is liable for an oath according to Scriptural Law or according to Rabbinic Law.


שְׁבוּעָה זוֹ שֶׁמַּשְׁבִּיעִין הַדַּיָּנִים לְמִי שֶׁנִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעָה הִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת שְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין. בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה חַיָּב בִּשְׁבוּעָה זוֹ מִן הַתּוֹרָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה חַיָּב בָּהּ מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:


There are three types of oaths for which one is obligated according to Scriptural Law:

a) A claim involving movable property10 was lodged against a person by a colleague. He admitted liability for a portion and denied liability for a portion.11

b) [The defendant] denied liability for all the movable property, but one witness testifies against him, contradicting his statements.12

These two oaths come in response to a definite claim and a denial.13

c) When a watchman claims that the article entrusted to him was lost, stolen, died, or the like, he is required to take an oath, because of the doubt, for the owner of the entrusted article does not know if the watchman is making a true claim or not.14 This oath is of Scriptural origin, as [Exodus 22:10] states: "The oath of God will be between them." 15


שְׁלֹשָׁה מִינֵי שְׁבוּעוֹת הֵן שֶׁחַיָּבִין בָּהֶן מִן הַתּוֹרָה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. מִי שֶׁטְּעָנוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ מִטַּלְטְלִין וְהוֹדָה בְּמִקְצָתָן וְכָפַר בְּמִקְצָתָן. וּמִי שֶׁכָּפַר בְּכָל הַמִּטַּלְטְלִין שֶׁטְּעָנוֹ וְעֵד אֶחָד מֵעִיד עָלָיו וּמַכְחִישׁוֹ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ שְׁתֵּי שְׁבוּעוֹת עַל יְדֵי טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי וּכְפִירָה. וְכֵן שׁוֹמֵר שֶׁטּוֹעֵן שֶׁאָבַד דָּבָר שֶׁהִפְקִידוּ אֶצְלוֹ אוֹ נִגְנַב אוֹ מֵת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה הֲרֵי זֶה נִשְׁבַּע מִסָּפֵק. שֶׁאֵין בַּעַל הַפִּקָּדוֹן יוֹדֵעַ אִם אֱמֶת טוֹעֵן זֶה הַשּׁוֹמֵר אוֹ שֶׁקֶר. וְהוּא נִשְׁבַּע מִן הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כב י) "שְׁבוּעַת ה' תִּהְיֶה בֵּין שְׁנֵיהֶם":

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


All oaths which the judges require aside from these three are of Rabbinic origin. They are also called "the oath of the judges." Within these oaths of Rabbinic origin, there are also two categories:

a) Oaths administered because of a definite claim and denial: e.g., the oath [taken by] a hired worker,16 [the oath taken by] one who impugns his promissory note,17 and the like.18

b) Oaths taken when [the plaintiff] has a claim of a doubtful nature, e.g., the oaths taken by partners, sharecroppers, and the like.19

In the laws of financial matters, the obligation of all these types of oaths and the associated laws will be explained.


כָּל שְׁבוּעָה שֶׁמַּשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ הַדַּיָּנִין חוּץ מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה מִינֵי שְׁבוּעוֹת אֵלּוּ הֲרֵי הִיא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים וְגַם הִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת שְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין. וְגַם שְׁבוּעוֹת אֵלּוּ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם שְׁנֵי מִינֵי שְׁבוּעוֹת הֵן. יֵשׁ מֵהֶן שְׁבוּעוֹת עַל יְדֵי טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי וּכְפִירָה כְּגוֹן שְׁבוּעַת שָׂכִיר וּפוֹגֵם שְׁטָרוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְיֵשׁ מֵהֶן שְׁבוּעוֹת בְּטַעֲנַת סָפֵק כְּגוֹן שְׁבוּעַת הַשֻּׁתָּפִין וְהָאֲרִיסִין וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וּבְדִינֵי מָמוֹנוֹת יִתְבָּאֵר חִיּוּב כָּל אַחַת וְאַחַת מֵאֵלּוּ הַשְּׁבוּעוֹת וְדִינֵיהֶם:


There is also another oath which was ordained by the Sages of the Talmud.20 It is called a sh'vuat heset.21 Although it is administered by the court in the present era, it is not referred to by the term "the oath of the judges."


וְיֵשׁ שָׁם שְׁבוּעָה אַחֶרֶת וְהִיא תַּקָּנַת חַכְמֵי הַגְּמָרָא וְהִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבֵּית דִּין מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתָהּ [הַיּוֹם] אֵינָהּ נִקְרֵאת שְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין:


An oath of the judges, whether of Scriptural or Rabbinic origin, whether stemming from a definite or an indefinite claim is [administered in] the following [manner]: The person taking the oath holds a Torah scroll22 in his arm.23 He must stand24 and take the oath or recite a curse using God's name or one of the terms used to describe Him. [Either] he pronounces the oath himself or it is pronounced by the judges. My masters25 ruled that an oath of the judges is administered only in Lashon HaKodesh.26


וּשְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה אוֹ שֶׁל דִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים בֵּין עַל טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי בֵּין עַל טַעֲנַת סָפֵק כָּךְ הִיא. הַנִּשְׁבָּע אוֹחֵז סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה בִּזְרוֹעוֹ וְהוּא עוֹמֵד וְנִשְׁבָּע בְּשֵׁם אוֹ בְּכִנּוּי בִּשְׁבוּעָה אוֹ בְּאָלָה מִפִּיו אוֹ מִפִּי הַדַּיָּנִין. וְהוֹרוּ רַבּוֹתַי שֶׁאֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִין שְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין אֶלָּא בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ:


What is meant by an oath pronounced by [the defendant] himself? For example, he says: "I am taking an oath by God, the Lord of Israel...",27 "...by He whose name is graciousness...", "...by He whose name is mercy that I am not liable to this person at all." Similarly, if he says: "May one28 be cursed to God..." or "...cursed to He whose name is graciousness if I owe anything to that person."


כֵּיצַד מִפִּיו. כְּגוֹן שֶׁיֹּאמַר הֲרֵינִי נִשְׁבָּע בַּה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ בְּמִי שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ חַנּוּן אוֹ בְּמִי שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ רַחוּם שֶׁאֵינִי חַיָּב לָזֶה כְּלוּם. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר הֲרֵי הוּא אָרוּר לַה' אוֹ אָרוּר לְמִי שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ חַנּוּן אִם יֵשׁ לָזֶה אֶצְלִי כְּלוּם:


What is meant by an oath pronounced by the judges? For example, they tell him: We are administering an oath to you by God, the Lord of Israel...", "...by He whose name is graciousness that you are not liable to this person at all" and [the defendant] answers Amen.29 Or they say: "May so-and-so be cursed to God..." or "...cursed to He whose name is graciousness if he owes money to that person and does not acknowledge the debt" and [the defendant] answers Amen. This is the oath of the judges.


וְכֵיצַד מִפִּי הַדַּיָּנִין. כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָמְרוּ לוֹ מַשְׁבִּיעִין אָנוּ אוֹתְךָ בַּה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ בְּמִי שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ חַנּוּן שֶׁאֵין לָזֶה בְּיָדְךָ כְּלוּם וְהוּא עוֹנֶה אָמֵן. אוֹ שֶׁאָמְרוּ הֲרֵי פְּלוֹנִי בֶּן פְּלוֹנִי אָרוּר לַה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ לְמִי שֶׁשְּׁמוֹ חַנּוּן אִם יֵשׁ לִפְלוֹנִי אֶצְלוֹ מָמוֹן וְלֹא יוֹדֶה לוֹ וְהוּא עוֹנֶה אָמֵן זוֹ הִיא שְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין:


When the judges administer an oath without the defendant holding a [sacred] article in his hand, they have made an error. He must take the oath again while holding a Torah scroll in his hand.30 If he was holding tefillin when they administered the oath to him, he is not required to take the oath again. For he held [an article equivalent to] the Torah in his hand,31 for they are like a scroll. If they administered the oath while [the defendant] was sitting, he does not have to take the oath again.


הַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיעוּ בְּלֹא נְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ בְּיָדוֹ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ טוֹעִים. וְחוֹזֵר וְנִשְׁבָּע וְסֵפֶר תּוֹרָה בְּיָדוֹ. וְאִם אָחַז תְּפִלִּין בְּיָדוֹ וְהִשְׁבִּיעוּהוּ אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר וְנִשְׁבָּע שֶׁהֲרֵי אָחַז תּוֹרָה בְּיָדוֹ וּכְמוֹ סֵפֶר הֵן. הִשְׁבִּיעוּהוּ מְיֻשָּׁב אֵינוֹ חוֹזֵר וְנִשְׁבָּע:


At the outset, an oath should be administered to a Torah scholar while seated and while holding tefillin.32 He need not hold a Torah scroll. Holding tefillin in his hand [fulfills the requirement of] a sacred article. He takes an oath in Lashon HaKodesh, as we explained.33


תַּלְמִיד חָכָם לְכַתְּחִלָּה מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ מְיֻשָּׁב וּתְפִלִּין בְּיָדוֹ וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִטּוֹל סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא תְּפִלִּין בְּכַפּוֹ חֵפֶץ הוּא וְנִשְׁבָּע בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


There is no difference between a sh'vuat heset and an oath of the judges except that [the latter] must be taken [while] holding a sacred article and a person who takes a sh'vuat heset does not hold a Torah scroll. Instead, an oath is administered to him by God's name or using one of the terms used to describe Him,34 either an oath or a curse which he utters or which the court states, as is the practice with regard to the oath of the judges. It has already become the universal custom for the synagogue attendant or another person to hold a Torah scroll while a sh'vuat heset is being administered to cast fear [into the heart of the defendant].


אֵין בֵּין שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת לִשְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין אֶלָּא נְקִיטַת חֵפֶץ. שֶׁאֵין הַנִּשְׁבָּע שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת אוֹחֵז סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה אֶלָּא מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתוֹ בְּשֵׁם אוֹ בְּכִנּוּי בִּשְׁבוּעָה אוֹ בְּאָלָה מִפִּיו אוֹ מִפִּי בֵּית דִּין כְּמוֹ שְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין. וּכְבָר נָהֲגוּ הַכּל לִהְיוֹת סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה בְּיַד חַזַּן הַכְּנֶסֶת אוֹ שְׁאָר הָעָם בְּעֵת שֶׁמַּשְׁבִּיעִין שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת כְּדֵי לְאַיֵּם עָלָיו:


The judges administer the oath to the person taking it in any language that he understands.35 The Geonim ruled in this manner. My masters, however, ruled that an oath should be administered only in Lashon HaKodesh. This ruling should not be relied upon.36

Although it has become customary to administer oaths in Lashon HaKodesh, the person taking the oath should be familiarized with the matter until he understands the wording of the oath. [The rationale is that] the oath of the judges is a sh'vuat hapikadon itself.37 People have even adopted the custom of administering a sh'vuat heset in Lashon HaKodesh.38


הַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁהִשְׁבִּיעוּ אֶת הַנִּשְׁבָּע בְּכָל לָשׁוֹן שֶׁהוּא מַכִּיר הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּמִצְוָתָהּ וְכֵן הוֹרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים. אֲבָל רַבּוֹתֵינוּ הוֹרוּ שֶׁאֵין מַשְׁבִּיעִים אֶלָּא בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ. וְאֵין רָאוּי לִסְמֹךְ עַל הוֹרָאָה זוֹ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בְּכָל בָּתֵּי דִּינִין לְהִשָּׁבַע בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ צָרִיךְ לְהוֹדִיעַ אֶת הַנִּשְׁבָּע עַד שֶׁיְּהֵא מַכִּיר לְשׁוֹן הַשְּׁבוּעָה. שֶׁשְּׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין הִיא שְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן בְּעַצְמָהּ. וְאַף שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת נָהֲגוּ כָּל הָעָם לְהַשְׁבִּיעַ אוֹתָהּ בִּלְשׁוֹן הַקֹּדֶשׁ:


Everyone who is obligated to take an oath of the judges that comes about because of a definite claim and denial,39 whether it is of Scriptural or Rabbinic origin, is subjected to an admonition, as will be explained.40 Everyone who is obligated to take an oath, whether of Scriptural or Rabbinic origin, because of a doubtful claim need not be subjected to an admonition.41


כָּל מִי שֶׁיִּתְחַיֵּב שְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין שֶׁהִיא עַל יְדֵי טַעֲנַת וַדַּאי וּכְפִירָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה מִדִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם מְאַיְּמִין עָלָיו כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. וְכָל מִי שֶׁיִּתְחַיֵּב בָּהּ בְּטַעֲנַת סָפֵק בֵּין מִן הַתּוֹרָה בֵּין מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ אִיּוּם:


How is an admonition administered to the person taking the oath? We tell him: Know that the entire world trembled at the time the Holy One, blessed be He, told Moses [Exodus 20:7]: "Do not take the name of God, your Lord, in vain." For with regard to all the transgressions in the Torah, as [Exodus 34:7] states: "And He shall cleanse." And with regard to [a false oath,] as [Exodus 20:7] states: "[God] will not cleanse one who takes His name in vain."42

With regard to all the transgressions in the Torah, retribution is exacted from him [alone], but with regard to [a false oath], retribution is exacted from him and from his family who conceal the matter for him.43 Moreover, this causes retribution to be exacted from "the enemies of the Jews,"44 for the entire Jewish people are responsible for each other,45 for [Hoshea 4:2-3] states: "Swearing, denying, murdering.... Therefore the land will mourn and all who inhabit it will be forlorn."

With regard to all the transgressions in the Torah, [retribution] is suspended for two or three generations if he possesses merit, but with regard to [a false oath], retribution is exacted immediately, as [Zechariah 5:4] states: "'I have let loose [the curse],' declares God, the Lord of Hosts, 'It will come into the house of the thief and the house of he who took an oath in My name falsely.'"

"I have let loose" implies immediately. "It will come into the house of the thief" - this refers to deceiving people, i.e. one who does not have money owed to him by a colleague and yet lodges a claim against him to require him to take an oath. "He who took an oath in My name falsely" - this should be interpreted literally. [The verse continues:] "It shall destroy it, its wood, and its stones." Entities that cannot be destroyed by fire and water will be destroyed by a false oath.


וְכֵיצַד מְאַיְּמִין עַל הַנִּשְׁבָּע. אוֹמְרִין לוֹ הֱוֵי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁכָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ נִזְדַּעֲזֵעַ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת שֵׁם ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא. וְכָל עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה נֶאֱמַר בָּהֶן וְנַקֵּה וְכָאן נֶאֱמַר (שמות כ ז) (דברים ה יא) "לֹא יְנַקֶּה". כָּל עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה נִפְרָעִין מִמֶּנּוּ וְכָאן מִמֶּנּוּ וּמִמִּשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ שֶׁמְּחַפִּין עַל זֶה. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא גּוֹרֵם לְהִפָּרַע מִשּׂוֹנְאֵיהֶם שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁכָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲרֵבִין זֶה בָּזֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (הושע ד ב) "אָלֹה וְכַחֵשׁ וְרָצֹחַ" וְגוֹ' וְכָתוּב אַחֲרָיו (הושע ד ג) "עַל כֵּן תֶּאֱבַל הָאָרֶץ וְאֻמְלַל כָּל יוֹשֵׁב בָּהּ". כָּל עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה תּוֹלִין לוֹ שְׁנַיִם וּשְׁלֹשָׁה דּוֹרוֹת אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ זְכוּת וְכָאן נִפְרָעִין מִיָּד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (זכריה ה ד) "הוֹצֵאתִיהָ נְאֻם ה' צְבָאוֹת וּבָאָה אֶל בֵּית הַגַּנָּב וְאֶל בֵּית הַנִּשְׁבָּע בִּשְׁמִי לַשָּׁקֶר". הוֹצֵאתִיהָ מִיָּד. וּבָאָה אֶל בֵּית הַגַּנָּב זֶה הַגּוֹנֵב דַּעַת הַבְּרִיּוֹת וְאֵין לוֹ מָמוֹן עַל חֲבֵרוֹ וְטוֹעֲנוֹ בְּחִנָּם וּמַשְׁבִּיעוֹ. אֶל בֵּית הַנִּשְׁבָּע בִּשְׁמִי לַשֶּׁקֶר כְּמַשְׁמָעוֹ. (זכריה ה ד) "וְכִלַּתּוּ וְאֶת עֵצָיו וְאֶת אֲבָנָיו" דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין אֵשׁ וּמַיִם מְכַלִּין אוֹתָן שְׁבוּעַת שֶׁקֶר מְכַלָּה אוֹתָן:


The concept [conveyed] by this admonition is told [to the person taking the oath] entirely in a language that they understand, so that they will understand the matter and the sinner will repent and correct [his conduct].

If he says: "I am not taking the oath," he is released,46 but he must pay what his colleague demands. Similarly, if the plaintiff says: "I will not subject him to an oath and I release him," they may depart.47


וְעִנְיַן הָאִיּוּם הַזֶּה כֻּלּוֹ בְּלָשׁוֹן שֶׁהֵן מַכִּירִין אוֹמְרִים לָהֶם כְּדֵי שֶׁיָּבִינוּ בַּדְּבָרִים וְיַחְזֹר הַחוֹטֵא לְמוּטָב. אָמַר אֵינִי נִשְׁבָּע פּוֹטְרִין אוֹתוֹ וְנוֹתֵן מַה שֶּׁטָּעֲנוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ. וְכֵן אִם אָמַר הַטּוֹעֵן אֵינִי מַשְׁבִּיעוֹ וּפְטָרוֹ הוֹלְכִין לָהֶן:


If [the defendant] says: "I will take the oath," and [the plaintiff] persists in the claim, the people there say to each other: "Turn away from the tents of these wicked men."48

[The court] tells [the defendant]: "We are not administering the oath to you according to your understanding, but according to our understanding and the understanding of the court."49


אָמַר הֲרֵינִי נִשְׁבָּע וַחֲבֵרוֹ תּוֹבֵעַ. הָעוֹמְדִים שָׁם אוֹמְרִים זֶה לָזֶה (במדבר טז כו) "סוּרוּ נָא מֵעַל אָהֳלֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים הָרְשָׁעִים" וְגוֹ'. וְאוֹמְרִין לוֹ לֹא עַל דַּעְתְּךָ אָנוּ מַשְׁבִּיעִין אוֹתְךָ אֶלָּא עַל דַּעְתֵּנוּ וְעַל דַּעַת בֵּית דִּין:


Although this admonition is not administered for an oath taken because of a claim involving a doubt or a sh'vuat heset,50 the judges should implore the litigants exceedingly [before administering these oaths] perhaps they will retract and so there will be no oaths taken at all.51


אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מְאַיְּמִין אִיּוּם זֶה בִּשְׁבוּעַת טַעֲנַת סָפֵק כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְלֹא בִּשְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת. צְרִיכִין הַדַּיָּנִין לִפְצֹר בְּבַעֲלֵי דִּינִין אוּלַי יַחְזְרוּ בָּהֶן עַד שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה שָׁם שְׁבוּעָה כְּלָל:


It is a clear and obvious fact that anyone who takes an oath of the judges or a sh'vuat heset falsely, is liable for taking a [false] sh'vuat hapikadon, the details of which have already been explained.52 Even though he willfully [took the false oath], he does not receive lashes. [Instead,] he is obligated to pay what he owes plus an additional fifth. [The fifth] is one fourth of the principal, so that the principal and the fifth are equal to five.53 And he must bring a guilt offering if the oath was taken in court, as we explained.54


דָּבָר בָּרוּר וְגָלוּי שֶׁכָּל הַנִּשְׁבָּע שְׁבוּעַת הַדַּיָּנִין אוֹ שְׁבוּעַת הֶסֵּת בְּשֶׁקֶר שֶׁיְּהֵא חַיָּב מִשּׁוּם שְׁבוּעַת הַפִּקָּדוֹן שֶׁכְּבָר נִתְבָּאֲרוּ מִשְׁפָּטֶיהָ וְאֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מֵזִיד וְנִתְחַיֵּב לְשַׁלֵּם מַה שֶּׁנִּשְׁבַּע עָלָיו בְּתוֹסֶפֶת חֹמֶשׁ שֶׁהוּא רְבִיעַ הַקֶּרֶן עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הוּא וְחֻמְשׁוֹ חֲמִשָּׁה. וּמֵבִיא קָרְבַּן אָשָׁם אִם יֵשׁ שָׁם בֵּית (דִּין) כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ: