Be not a witness against thy neighbor without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.
– Proverbs 24:28
Verse 28 is a saying against bearing false witness. The word for without cause literally means for nothing. It can refer to free, or without cost, but can also mean without a reason. In the context of a false witness, it means to make a baseless accusation. The law required a witness to have firsthand knowledge to give testimony in a case (Leviticus 5:1). Judges were responsible to examine the witnesses’ evidence and establish the truthfulness of the testimony (Deuteronomy 19:18-21). Wisdom as well as the law condemns being a false witness (Exodus 23:1; Proverbs 14:5; 19:5; 21:28).