Verse 13. Keep thy tongue from evil. Guard with careful diligence that dangerous member, the tongue, lest it utter evil, for that evil will recoil upon thee, and mar the enjoyment of thy life. Men cannot spit forth poison without feeling some of the venom burning their own flesh. And thy lips from speaking guile. Deceit must be very earnestly avoided by the man who desires happiness. A crafty schemer lives like a spy in the enemy's camp, in constant fear of exposure and execution. Clean and honest conversation, by keeping the conscience at ease, promotes happiness, but lying and wicked talk stuffs our pillow with thorns, and makes life a constant whirl of fear and shame. David had tried the tortuous policy, but he here denounces it, and begs others as they would live long and well to avoid with care the doubtful devices of guile.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 13. Keep thy tongue from evil, etc. Ficinus, after his tracts, De sanitate tuenda, of keeping good health; and another, of recovering health; and a third, of prolonging life; because all will not do, wisely addeth a fourth, of laying hold on eternal life; which cannot be done but by mortifying this earthly member, a loose and lewd tongue. "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned," saith the Judge himself. Mt 12:37. Compare Genesis 49:21 , with Deuteronomy 33:23 , and it will appear that good words ingratiate with God and man. John Trapp.
Verse 13. And thy lips from speaking guile. Perhaps David is warning us that we speak no guile, reflects upon his own sin in changing his behaviour. They that truly repent of what they have done amiss, will warn others to take heed in doing likewise. Matthew Henry.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 12-14. How to make the best of both worlds.
Verse 13. Sins of the tongue -- their mischief, their cause, and their cure.