Psalm - 59:12

12 For the sin of their mouth, and the words of their lips, let them be caught in their pride, for the curses and lies which they utter.

Verse In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Psalm 59:12.

Differing Translations

Compare verses for better understanding.
For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
For the sin of their mouth, and the word of their lips: and let them be taken in their pride. And for their cursing and lying they shall be talked of,
Because of the sin of their mouth, the word of their lips, let them even be taken in their pride; and because of cursing and lying which they speak.
The sin of their mouth is a word of their lips, And they are captured in their pride, And from the curse and lying they recount.
Because of the sin of their mouths and the word of their lips, let them even be taken in their pride; and for their curses and their deceit,
Slay them not, lest my people forget, make them wander to and fro by Thy power, and bring them down, O Lord our shield.

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

The sin of their mouth, the words of their lips Some interpreters read, for, or, on account of the sin of their mouth, [1] supplying the causal particle, that the words may be the better connected with the preceding verse. And there can be no doubt that the reason is stated here why they deserved to be subjected to constant wanderings and disquietude. The words as they stand, however, although abrupt and elliptical, well express the meaning which David would convey; as if he had said, that no lengthened proof was necessary to convict them of sin, which plainly showed itself in the mischievous tendency of their discourse. Wickedness, he tells us, proceeded from their mouth., They vomited out their pride and cruelty. That this is the sense in which we are to understand the words, is confirmed by what immediately follows -- Let them be taken in their pride. He here points to the source of that insolence which led them with such proud and contumelious language, and in such a shameless manner, to oppress the innocent. He then specifies the sin of their lips, adding, that they spoke words of cursing and falsehood By this he means that their mouth was continually filled with horrid imprecations, and that they were wholly addicted to deceit and to calumniating. [2] Those have mistaken the meaning of David who give a passive signification to the word which I have translated to speak, and understand him as saying that the wicked would be accounted examples of divine vengeance, the plain and notorious marks of which were written upon them.


1 - This is the reading adopted by Jerome, and also by Horsley, who remarks, that in Jerome's copies the words, "sin" and "discourse," had certainly the preposition k prefixed.

2 - The Syriac translation of the first part of the verse is, "The discourse of their mouth is the sin of their lips." That is, whatever their lips speak is sin; so many words, so many sins.

For the sin of their mouth - That is, in belching out words of reproach and malice, Psalm 59:7.
Let them even be taken in their pride - In the very midst of their schemes, or while confidently relying on the success of their plans. Even while their hearts are elated, and they are sure of success, let them be arrested, and let their plans be foiled.
And for cursing and lying which they speak - That is, on account of the false charges which they have brought against me, and of their bitter imprecations on me. The allusion is to the accusations brought against David, and which were believed by Saul, and which were the foundation of the efforts made by Saul to take his life.

For the sin of their mouth - This verse has puzzled all the commentators. If we take חטאת chattath for sin-offering instead of sin, we shall get a better sense. Some of Nehemiah's enemies made a profession of the Jewish religion. Tobiah and his son were allied by marriage to the Jews; for Eliashib the priest had married his grandson to the daughter of Sanballat; and this produced a connection with Tobiah, the fast friend of Sanballat. Besides this very priest had given Tobiah one of the great chambers in the house of the Lord, where formerly the meat-offerings, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithe of the corn and wine and oil were kept; Nehemiah 13:4, Nehemiah 13:5, Nehemiah 13:7-9. And there were children of Tobiah (probably the same family) who professed to be of the Levites, Nethinim, or children of Solomon's servants; but as they could not show their father's house and their seed, whether they were of Israel; these, and others which were children of the priests, were put out of the priesthood, and out of the sacred service, as polluted; as having sprung from intermarriages with heathens. See Ezra 2:59-62. Tobiah was expelled from the house of the Lord by Nehemiah, and all his household stuff thrown out of doors: Nehemiah 13:7, Nehemiah 13:8. And this was doubtless one ground of the enmity of Tobiah to Nehemiah; and in this verse of the Psalm he may allude particularly to his occupancy of the chamber of offerings, which offerings, instead of being given to the Levites, were consumed by Tobiah and his household. This may be fairly gathered from Nehemiah 13:6, Nehemiah 13:10, Nehemiah 13:11. Here then we have the sin of their mouth; their eating the offerings that belonged to the Levites; so that the temple service was deserted, the Levites being obliged to go and till the ground in order to obtain the means of life. And if we take חטאת chattath for sin-offering, it may refer to promises of sacrifice and offering which Tobiah and his family made, but never performed. They ate instead of offering them; and here was the sin of their mouth, in connection with the words of their lips, and their cursing and lying which they spake, for which the psalmist calls upon the Lord to consume them, that they may not be, Psalm 59:13.

[For] the sin of their mouth [and] the words of their lips let them even be (k) taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying [which] they speak.
(k) That in their misery and shame they may be as glasses and examples of God's vengeance.

For the sin of their mouth, and the words of their lips,.... The words may be read as one proposition, "the words of their lips are the sin of their mouth" (y); they speak nothing but evil; whatever they say is sin; out of the abundance of their evil hearts their mouths speak: or "for the sin of their mouth" and lips; because of the calumnies cast by them on the Messiah, traducing him as a sinful man, a blasphemer, a seditious person, and even as one that had familiarity with the devil;
let them even be taken in their pride; in their city and temple, of which they boasted, and prided themselves in; and so they were: or for their pride in rejecting the Messiah, because of his mean descent and parentage, and because his kingdom was not with outward pomp and observation; and being vain boasters of their carnal privileges, and works of righteousness, they refused to submit to the righteousness of God, and were neither subject to the law of God, nor to the Gospel of Christ;
and for cursing and lying which they speak; for cursing the Messiah, pronouncing him accursed, and treating him as such, by hanging him on a tree; and for lying against him, saying that he was a Samaritan, and had a devil, and cast out devils by Beelzebub; and that he was a deceiver of the people, and a wicked man: for these things they were taken in their besieged city, as is here imprecated.
(y) So Gejerus, Schmidt.

let them even be . . . taken in their pride--while evincing it--that is, to be punished for their lies, &c.

Pride - For their proud and insolent speeches against thee. Lying - For their execrations and lying reports, which they have spread concerning me.

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