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A false witness will not go unpunished,
and the one who tells lies will not escape. Bible

“will not escape.” This is one of the “ideal” statements in Proverbs, a statement that should be true on earth, but often isn’t, and hence has an eschatological overtone: it will be fully fulfilled in the future. It was always God’s intention that people would get what they deserve in this life, and that is expressed in many verses in Proverbs and the rest of the Bible. There are many prophecies and promises that would be fulfilled here on earth if our societies were ideal and godly, but since we are sinful people and live in a fallen world in which the Devil is the god of the age (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 5:19), our societies are not godly and ideal, and so many promises are not fulfilled now. They will be fulfilled on the Day of Judgment and/or in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom when Jesus reigns as king over the earth and there is righteousness and justice for everyone. These verses are “proverbs” because they are ideal and many of them are accurate more than they are wrong (Prov. 19:5 is an example of that). On the other hand, some of them are ideal statements that are not as true here on earth as we would like them to be. For example, Proverbs 3:10 says that the person who gives their firstfruits (tithes) will be very prosperous, but that does not happen that often here on earth but will certainly be fulfilled in the Millennial Kingdom.

There are many “ideal” prophecies like this in the Word of God (cp. Prov. 1:33; 3:10; 4:10; 10:24; 11:25, 31; 12:11, 21; 16:3; 17:2; 19:5, 23; 21:21, 28; 22:6; 28:27; 29:25; Matt. 6:33). [For more on Christ’s future reign on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].

Part of the reason that there are as many false witnesses as there are in the court system is that we ignore God’s directive on what to do when one is caught. God said the punishment that was to be given to a false witness was that he was to receive the punishment that the person who was falsely accused would have gotten had the perjury not been discovered (Deut. 19:16-19). Therefore, a person who lied in a murder trial would be executed, while a person who lied in a trial about theft would be fined or beaten. God created humans, and loves them, and wants badly for us to have safe and just societies, and we ignore His commands to our detriment.


Commentary for: Proverbs 19:5