And whoso shall swear by the temple…
As we have before
seen they used to do, and as appears from what the poet says F23:
Ecce negas, jurasque mihi per templa tonantis
Non credo: jura, verpe, per Anchialum.
In which he intimates, that if the Jew swore by the temple, he would
not believe him; as well he might not, since such an oath was
accounted nothing; but bids him swear by Anchialus, that is, by (hwla)
(yx) , "Chi Eloah", or (Nwyle yx) , "Chi Alon", or "Elion, the living
God", or (Mlweh yh) , "Chi Haolam, he that lives for ever" F24; and
suggests, that he should then believe him. Now our Lord, though he
did not allow of such swearing, yet justly argues, that he that
sweareth by the temple, not only "sweareth by it", which could not be
a witness of what was swore; but he must be interpreted to swear by
the inhabitant of it, and by him that dwelleth in it; that is, God,
for whom it was built, to whom it was dedicated; where he was
worshipped, and where he vouchsafed to reside; taking up his
dwelling between the cherubim upon the mercy seat, in the most holy
place; from whence he communed with men, and gave tokens of his
presence; and who only could be the proper witness of the truth, or
falsehood, of what was swore; and therefore an oath, by the temple,
ought to be looked upon as if made by God himself, and so to be
sacred and binding.
F23 Martial. Epigr. l. 11. Ep. 60.
F24 Vid. Selden. Prolegomena ad lib. de Successionibus.