The misunderstandings of The Third Commandment


As many Christians know, the 3rd of God’s commandments is “Thou Shalt Not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” however, this is actually a mistranslation. The original word in Hebrew means to CARRY, as in, to use God’s great name to commit evil acts. As God says that those who break this commandment cannot be forgiven, does this translation not make more sense than simply uttering “God, im tired”


No because the only sin that cannot be forgiven is final impenitence (CCC 1864). Taking the Lord’s name in vain is very serious, but if sincerely confessed with penance and the resolve to do it no more, it can be forgiven.


The Jewish understanding of “name” in this commandment is similar to the definition of what is found in the catechism:
“203 God revealed himself to his people Israel by making his name known to them. A name expresses a person’s essence and identity and the meaning of this person’s life. God has a name; he is not an anonymous force. To disclose one’s name is to make oneself known to others; in a way it is to hand oneself over by becoming accessible, capable of being known more intimately and addressed personally.”

To take the Lord’s name in vain means we are besmirching His essence and identity. We are not reflecting His image or character to the rest of the unbelieving world.


To say something like “God, I’m tired!” is not blasphemy. At worst it’s vulgarity. More likely it’s just carelessness: not taking enough care to speak the Holy Name only with respect and reverence.


I wondered about your translation so I did a search and found this

Hebraic Insight…

The third of the ten mitzvot (commandments) is, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” (KJV). Many of the Jewish sages taught that the word translated “name” powerfully refers to the character or reputation of the one who bears it. The revealed name of the LORD— thus can be understood as the invocation for the very presence of God Himself. The word translated “in vain” probably comes from another word that pictures a rushing and destructive storm (sho-ah). One way to understand this mitzvah, then, is that we should never invoke Adonai’s name in a thoughtless, careless, or “stormy” manner (for this reason, orthodox Jews never pronounce the literal name, but substitute the word “Adonai” or “HaShem” instead).

When we call upon the LORD, we are actually invoking the one true God of the universe to manifest Himself to us. Since God is faithful and will be true to His name, He will really be present whenever He is called. This is serious business, and we should never take it lightly.

Something else to note is that the commandments are not numbered in scripture and that Catholics number this commandment number 2.

Connected to this is what Jesus said

You have heard that it was said to the men of old, "You shall not swear falsely. . But I say to you, Do not swear at all

"You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain. For the LORD will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain.

Leaving unpunished does not equate to the unforgivable sin.

Oops! Meant to give the web site


The Church in the Catechism interprets this commandment as swearing false oaths:

2150 The second commandment forbids false oaths. Taking an oath or swearing is to take God as witness to what one affirms. It is to invoke the divine truthfulness as a pledge of one’s own truthfulness. An oath engages the Lord’s name. “You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him, and swear by his name.”

Swearing False Oaths

The Church also says we must be careful in how we use God’s name, since it is holy and sacred:

2143 Among all the words of Revelation, there is one which is unique: the revealed name of God. God confides his name to those who believe in him; he reveals himself to them in his personal mystery. The gift of a name belongs to the order of trust and intimacy. “The Lord’s name is holy.” For this reason man must not abuse it. He must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. He will not introduce it into his own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it.

The Name of the Lord is Holy

OP, do you have a link that refers to your translation of this verse?

No matter how you translate it, this is not the unforgivable sin, which is refusing to ever repent of one’s sins in life.

Even if someone swore a false oath or used God’s name in a blasphemous way, if they repented and confessed to God they would be forgiven. God’s mercy is as wide and deep as His justice.


The one who referred to it as inforgivable was a leader of a Torah Study, maybe he just misspoke and made a mistake. As for the translation i can read Biblical Hebrew

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