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13 “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”;


With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;

The next two phrases are a quotation from Psalm 140:3:

With their tongues they have practiced deceit.

The poison of asps is under their lips.

This is the eighth indictment against mankind.

What men say is dishonest (deceit). “With their tongues they have practiced deceit” is literally smoothed their tongues. Mankind is smooth with words in order to mislead. The Greek tense conveys perseverance in their deceit. God designed the tongue for man to communicate, but he turned it into an instrument or tool for deception.


Sinful mankind habitually uses words to mislead others.


When man departs from truth, he arrives at lies. He creates a falsity to deflect others from the truth. His desire is to put his own ideas about life in an advantageous position.

Ps 36:3, The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good.

There are people out there who butter up others for their own purposes. Some people can teach an idea closely paralleling what Scripture says, but it is deadly error by subtlety. The message has all the appearance of truth, but that is what makes it dangerous. The tongue does not have a bone; thus, it is soft. Soft speech softens those who listen because it is “nice” to their ears.

Is 30:10, Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”

David tried to deceive Bathsheba’s husband by calling him home from war so that he would have sexual relations with her. His idea was to deceive her husband into thinking that he got Bathsheba pregnant. David’s deception did not work, so he had to murder Uriah by deception.