One should not swear by false gods. But also, לא תישא את שם ה׳ לשווא. So is it worse (better) to casually, and without really meaning it, promise something "by G-d" or "By all the gods on Olympus"?

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    כְּשֶׁהָיָה נִשְׁבָּע לַשֶּׁקֶר, הָיָה נִשְׁבָּע בְּחַיֵּי פַרְעֹה - when Joseph swore falsely, he swore by the name of Pharaoh (Rashi on Genesis 42:15) – b a Apr 22 at 8:22
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    The gemarra seems to treat lo Sisa as more stringent than the average prohibition. I assume this would include swearing by an idol – robev Apr 22 at 13:22
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    Regarding the severity of lo sisa, see here and here (at the end they say יש בו עונש גדול). Whereas swearing by an idol only gets lashes. Not sure if it's yehareg veal yaavor, so I'm not posting as an answer. I don't think it is. – robev Apr 22 at 14:07
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    @JoshuaFox I don't think it's a full answer by itself because swearing by a human master might be different than swearing by another god – b a Apr 22 at 16:01
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    @ba youre right the Chomas anach quotes the Midrash sefer hayashar that Yosef swore by the previous dead pharoh who wasn't a god and chas veshalom he would swear by the current pharoh who considerred himself a god -חי פרעה וכו׳. אמרו רז״ל כשהיה נשבע לשקר היה נשבע חי פרעה. והוא תמוה. ואפשר דח״ו יוסף לא יעשה כן כי אם גלה סודו אל עבדיו דכונתו לישבע לפרעה הראשון שמלך בכזביו ושקריו והוא רקיון כמ״ש בספר הישר. ועל שמו נקראו כלם פרעה והוא היה מכוין לפרעה הראשון: – user15464 Apr 22 at 16:49

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