Question:

Does the Bible say anything about cursing?

Answer:

I am not sure as to what type of cursing you are making reference. One common reference to cursing today is someone using foul language of some sort, but not actually using God’s name in vain. We know that God clearly forbids people to use His name in vain. Exodus 20:7 says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” But the Bible also clearly forbids using any foul language, whether God’s name is used in it or not. Ephesians 4:29 says, “LET NO CORRUPT COMMUNICATION PROCEED OUT OF YOUR MOUTH, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Cursing in the Bible is normally a reference to a person calling down an oath upon himself if he is not telling the truth, etc. Such was the case with Peter. Peter was not using foul language when he denied knowing the Lord. He was trying to convince those questioning him that he did not know the Lord by swearing that he was telling the truth. Matthew 26:69-75 says, “Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. THEN BEGAN HE TO CURSE AND TO SWEAR, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.”

This is the normal, biblical usage of the word swear. It is trying to affirm something very strongly. Matthew 5:33-37 says, “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord THINE OATHS: But I say unto you, SWEAR NOT AT ALL; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

So God does not want us to swear (using foul language), and God does not want us to swear (making a strong oath, and suggesting a penalty if we are not telling the truth). God just wants us to tell the truth all of the time. Normally, someone who feels the need to constantly make an oath that he is telling the truth, is a known liar.