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    fairest of heights,
    the joy of all the earth,(A)
    Mount Zion, the heights of Zaphon,[a](B)
    the city of the great king.

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Footnotes

  1. 48:3 The heights of Zaphon: the mountain abode of the Canaanite storm-god Baal in comparable texts. To speak of Zion as if it were Zaphon was to claim for Israel’s God what Canaanites claimed for Baal. Though topographically speaking Zion is only a hill, viewed religiously it towers over other mountains as the home of the supreme God (cf. Ps 68:16–17).

Do not accustom your mouth to oaths,
    or habitually utter the Holy Name.(A)

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Chapter 66

True and False Worship

    [a]Thus says the Lord:
The heavens are my throne,
    the earth, my footstool.
What house can you build for me?
    Where is the place of my rest?(A)

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Footnotes

  1. 66:1–2 The Lord rejects the abuses associated with Temple worship in order to emphasize his concern for the sincere worshiper.

12 (A)But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath, but let your “Yes” mean “Yes” and your “No” mean “No,” that you may not incur condemnation.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 5:12 This is the threat of condemnation for the abuse of swearing oaths (cf. Mt 5:33–37). By heaven or by earth: these words were substitutes for the original form of an oath, to circumvent its binding force and to avoid pronouncing the holy name of God (see Ex 22:10).

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