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More Proverbs

Proverbs 29:24

Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.

Can you cover for a thief and get away with it? Do you think your sin is mild, since you didn't actually steal? You are a fool; you hate your own soul; and judgment is coming!

Partnership with a thief is explained by the second clause. When property owners, civil magistrates, or other authorities confront you with oaths, you deny you know anything. How very often children and young men are faced with this crucial moment of truth!

Cursing here is an oath to tell the truth (Num 5:21; Judges 17:2). We do it in America. Witnesses in court hear, with their right hand raised to God and left hand on a Bible, "Do swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; so help me, God?" Such swearing, by appealing to God, the highest authority in the universe, is intended to end any possibility of lying (Heb 6:16). Moses ordered such swearing to get to the bottom of matters, including theft (Exodus 22:8-15; Deut 21:1-9; I Kings 8:31-32; 22:16).

And if a soul sin, and hear the voice of swearing, and is a witness, whether he hath seen or known of it; if he do not utter it, then he shall bear his iniquity. Leviticus 5:1

Bewraying a matter is to reveal it. Since we no longer use the word "bewrayeth," let The Oxford English Dictionary provide a definition for us.

Bewray. To expose (a person), by divulging his secrets, or telling something that one knows to his discredit or harm. To reveal, divulge, disclose, declare, make known, show.

Consider also the Spirit's use of the word. An odious woman cannot be hid, for she will bewray - reveal, declare, or show - what she is, as sure as perfume is smelled (27:16). And Peter's speech bewrayed - revealed and declared - he was of Galilee (Matt 26:73).

If you are asked about a sin under oath or by authority, and you do not reveal the sinner, you are guilty of two crimes (Ex 20:15-16). You should fear God more than any man (29:25); hindering justice is a great sin (Ex 23:1-7; Deut 29:15-21); and such a disclosure is not tattling, which is talebearing, at all (I Tim 5:13; I Cor 1:11).

Our Lord Jesus kept total silence during his long and fraudulent trial (Mark 15:5), but when sworn to tell the truth by the high priest, He answered honestly (Matt 26:63-64).