What did the beaver say when he got to the river? He danced on the edges of the third commandment.

What did the beaver say when he got to the river? He danced on the edges of the third commandment.

I grew up thinking the third commandment was about forbidden vocabulary words. “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.” (King James Version, Exodus 20.7 & Deuteronomy 5.11). The pivot of interpretation was the meaning of ‘taking’ something ‘in vain.’ It was conveyed to me as carelessness in speech, allowing one’s rage or decorum to become unhinged, resulting in the impulsive use of God’s name or its variants.