2842. 'And he said, By Myself I have sworn, says Jehovah' means unchangeable confirmation from the Divine, that is to say, regarding the things that follow. This becomes clear from the meaning of 'saying, by Myself I have sworn' and of 'says Jehovah', all of which imply confirmation, and indeed from the Divine, that is, from Himself. The Divine is unable to confirm from any other source than Himself, and that which He confirms is unchangeable because it is eternal truth. Whatever Jehovah or the Lord utters is eternal truth, Matthew 24:35, since it comes from the very Being (Esse) itself of truth. But He confirms a thing seemingly with an oath, as He does here and elsewhere in the Word, not because that thing is then more true, but because He addresses Himself to persons who do not accept Divine truth unless it is confirmed in that way. For such persons do not have any other idea of Jehovah or the Lord than of a human being who is able to declare a thing and to change his mind, as one reads of many times in the Word; but in the internal sense the situation is altogether different. Anyone may recognize that Jehovah or the Lord never confirms anything with an oath, but when Divine Truth itself, and the confirmation of it, passes down to that kind of person it is converted into the semblance of an oath. It is as it was with the devouring fire and the smoke that appeared over Mount Sinai before the eyes of the people when Jehovah or the Lord came down, Exodus 19:18; Deuteronomy 4:11-12; 5:22-24. In this case His glory in heaven, indeed His mercy, were seen by the people there, who were under the influence of evil and falsity, as fire and smoke, see 1861. Much the same applies to many things called the utterances or actions of Jehovah that are mentioned in the Word. From this it may become clear that 'by Myself I have sworn, says Jehovah' are words meaning unchangeable confirmation from the Divine.
Deuteronomy 5:19-21, 5:22-25)
 From many other places in the Word it becomes clear that when reference is made to Jehovah 'swearing' it means confirmation with someone who is like those that have just been referred to, as in David,
Jehovah is mindful of His covenant for ever, of the word He has commanded to a thousand generations, which He made with Abraham, and of His oath to Isaac. Psalms 105:8-9.
It is similar with 'a covenant' as it is with 'an oath', for Jehovah or the Lord does not make a covenant with man. But when the subject is conjunction through love and charity, this is also presented in actual events as a covenant, see 1864. In the same author,
Jehovah has sworn and not repented, You are a Priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek. Psalms 110:4.
This refers to the Lord. 'Jehovah has sworn' stands for unchangeable confirmation from the Divine, that is, that it is eternal truth.
 In the same author,
I have made a covenant with My chosen one, I have sworn to David My servant, I will continue your seed even for ever, and build your throne from generation to generation. Psalms 89:3-4.
This too refers to the Lord. 'Making a covenant with the chosen one, and swearing to David' stands for unchangeable confirmation or eternal truth. 'David' stands for the Lord, 1888; 'making a covenant' has regard to Divine Good, 'swearing' to Divine Truth. In the same psalm,
I will not profane My covenant, and the utterance of My lips I will not alter. Once and for all I have sworn by My holiness, I will not lie to David. Psalms 89:34-35.
Here also 'David' stands for the Lord. 'Covenant' here again has regard to Divine Good, 'utterance of the lips' to Divine Truth. They do so on account of the marriage of good and truth, which marriage exists in every individual part of the Word, dealt with in 683, 793, 801, 2516, 2712.
 In the same author,
Jehovah has sworn the truth to David, from which He will not turn back, Of the fruit of your body 1
I will set on your throne, provided your sons keep My covenant and My testimony which I teach them. Psalms 132:11-12.
'Jehovah has sworn the truth to David' plainly stands for the confirmation of eternal truth. Hence the statement 'from which He will not turn back'. As has been stated, 'David' is used to mean the Lord. This oath was sworn even to David because he was the kind of person who believed that the confirmation applied to himself and his descendants. For David was moved by self-love and love of his descendants, and this explains why he believed that what was declared - that is, as in the quotation above, that his seed would continue for ever and his throne from generation to generation - had reference to himself, when in fact what was said had reference to the Lord.
 In Isaiah,
This is as the waters of Noah to Me; as I swore that the waters of Noah should go no more over the earth, so I have sworn not to be angry with you. Isaiah 54:9.
Here 'swearing' stands for making a covenant and confirming it with an oath. As regards its being a covenant and not an oath, see Genesis 9:11. In the same prophet,
Jehovah has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so will it be. Isaiah 14:24.
In the same prophet,
Jehovah has sworn by His right hand, and by His mighty arm. Isaiah 62:8.
Hear the Word of Jehovah, all you of Judah dwelling in the land of Egypt, Behold, I have sworn by My great name, said Jehovah, that My name will no more be invoked by the mouth of every man (vir) of Judah who says, As lives the Lord Jehovih in all the land of Egypt. Jeremiah 44:26.
In the same prophet,
I have sworn by Myself, says Jehovah, that Bozrah will become a desolation. Jeremiah 49:13.
In the same prophet,
Jehovah Zebaoth has sworn by His own soul, Surely I will fill you with men (homo) as with the bruchus. 2
The Lord Jehovih has sworn by His holiness, that, behold, the days are coming. Amos 4:2.
In the same prophet,
Jehovah has sworn by the excellence of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. Amos 8:7.
 In all these places Jehovah's having sworn by His right hand, by His great name, by Himself, by His own soul, by His holiness, and by the excellence of Jacob, means the confirmation that there is in Jehovah or the Lord. No confirmation by Jehovah is possible except from Himself. Jehovah's right hand, Jehovah's great name, Jehovah's soul, Jehovah's holiness, and the excellence of Jacob mean the Lord's Divine Human; through the latter confirmation came.
 Jehovah's or the Lord's swearing to give the land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to their descendants, in the internal sense means confirmation that He would grant the heavenly kingdom to those in whom love and faith in Him are present. These are the ones who are meant in the internal sense of the Word by the sons and descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that is, of the patriarchs. The same was also represented in the actual historical granting of the land of Canaan to their descendants; and the Church as it existed at that time among them represented the Lord's heavenly kingdom, as also did the land itself. For 'the land' and 'the land of Canaan' in the internal sense is the Lord's kingdom, see 1413, 1437, 1607. This explains why it is said in Moses,
That you may prolong your days on the land which Jehovah swore to your fathers to give to them, and to their seed, a land flowing with milk and honey; so that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your sons, on the land which Jehovah swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the days of the heavens above the earth. Deuteronomy 11:9, 21.
From all these places it may now become clear that Jehovah's 'swearing' was representative of confirmation, and indeed of unchangeable confirmation, as is plainer still in Isaiah,
By Myself I have sworn; out of My mouth has gone forth the word of righteousness, which will not return, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear. Isaiah 45:23.
 In addition to this, those who belonged to the Jewish representative Church were commanded when confirming covenants with an oath, likewise when confirming vows, as well as promises, and also guarantees, to swear by the name of Jehovah. The reason they were commanded - or to be exact, merely permitted - to do so was that the confirmation of the internal man would in that way also be represented. Thus it was that in those times oaths sworn by the name of Jehovah were like everything else, that is to say, they were representatives. The fact that such was commanded, that is, permitted, is clear in Moses, You shall fear Jehovah your God, and serve Him, and swear by His name; you shall not go after other gods. Deuteronomy 6:13-14.
Elsewhere in the same author,
You shall fear Jehovah your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. Deuteronomy 10:20.
He who blesses himself in the land will bless himself by the God of truth, and he who swears in the land will swear by the God of truth. Isaiah 65:16.
If you will return, O Israel, says Jehovah, to Me may you return. And if you are removing your abominations from My sight do not waver. And swear, As Jehovah lives, in truth, in judgement, and in righteousness. Jeremiah 4:1-2.
In the same prophet,
If they will diligently learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, they will be built up in the midst of My people. Jeremiah 12:16.
The fact that they also swore by the name of Jehovah, that is, swore to Jehovah, [is evident] in Isaiah,
Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel and who came out of the waters of Judah, who swore by the name of Jehovah and made mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth and not in righteousness. Isaiah 48:1.
In the same prophet,
On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt which speak with the lip of Canaan and swear to Jehovah Zebaoth. Isaiah 19:18.
In Joshua it is said that the leaders of the congregation swore to the Gibeonites by Jehovah God of Israel, Joshua 9:18-19.
 From this it is clear that they were permitted to swear by the name of Jehovah or by Jehovah. But it is also clear that such swearing was nothing else than a representative of confirmation of the internal man. It is well known that internal people, that is, those who possess conscience, have no need to confirm anything by means of an oath; and that they do not so confirm. By them oaths are regarded with disapproval. They are indeed able to assert quite categorically that something is so, and also to confirm the truth with the aid of reasons; but to swear that a thing is so they cannot. They are governed by an internal bond - that of conscience. The addition to this of an external bond, which is an oath, is a kind of insinuation that they are not upright in heart. What is more, the internal man is such that he loves to speak and act in freedom and not under compulsion, for with such persons the internal controls the external, and not the reverse. People who possess conscience therefore do not swear oaths, still less do those do so who possess the perception of good and truth, that is, who are celestial people. The latter do not even, by means of reasons, confirm anything for themselves or for others, but they merely say that something is so, or else is not so, 202, 337, 2718. Consequently they are further removed still from any swearing with an oath.
 For these reasons, and because oaths belonged among representatives which were to be brought to an end, the Lord teaches in the following words in Matthew that one should not swear at all,
You have heard that it was said, You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord your oaths. But I say to you, You shall not swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is God's throne, nor by the earth, for it is His footstool, nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your words be, Yes, yes; No, no; anything beyond this is from evil. 3
These words are used to mean that one should not swear at all by Jehovah or by anything whatever that is Jehovah's or the Lord's.
1. literally, belly
2. A wingless locust or the larva of a locust
3. or from the evil one