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Read Introduction to Romans


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


“The poison of asps is under their lips”;

This is the ninth indictment showing the universal sinfulness of man.

This phrase continues the quote from Psalm 140:3.

The speech of mankind is poisonous. The “asp” here is the cobra. The talk of these people is as deadly a poison as a cobra snake’s venom. They tell lies about God, making their lies exceedingly dangerous. We cannot trust their talk about God. There is a destructive effect in understanding God by misuse of speech.


Sinful man uses speech to do injury to others.


Sinful man uses gossip, slander, or false accusation to hurt and mislead others in their understanding of God. This communication is just like poison from a cobra—it is deadly to the spiritual life. There is a poison in the heart of man that, for his own ends, does injury to others about God.

Jas 3:8, But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.