Verse 19. Thou givest thy mouth to evil. Sins against the ninth commandment are here mentioned. The man who surrenders himself to the habit of slander is a vile hypocrite if he associates himself with the people of God. A man's health is readily judged by his tongue. A foul mouth, a foul heart. Some slander almost as often as they breathe, and yet are great upholders of the church, and great sticklers for holiness. To what depths will not they go in evil, who delight in spreading it with their tongues? And thy tongue frameth deceit. This is a more deliberate sort of slander, where the man dexterously elaborates false witness, and concocts methods of defamation. There is an ingenuity of calumny in some men, and, alas! even in some who are thought to be followers of the Lord Jesus. They manufacture falsehoods, weave them in their loom, hammer them on their anvil, and then retail their wares in every company. Are these accepted with God? Though they bring their wealth to the altar, and speak eloquently of truth and of salvation, have they any favour with God? We should blaspheme the holy God if we were to think so. They are corrupt in his sight, a stench in his nostrils. He will cast all liars into hell. Let them preach, and pray, and sacrifice as they will; till they become truthful, the God of truth loathes them utterly.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 19. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, etc. Thou givest. Hebrew, thou sendest forth; to wit, free; for the word is used of men dismissing their wives or their servants, whom they left to their freedom. Thou hast an unbridled tongue, and castest off all restraints of God's law, and of thine own conscience, and givest thy tongue liberty to speak what you please, though it be offensive and dishonourable to God, and injurious to thy neighbour, or to thy own soul; which is justly produced as an evidence of their hypocrisy. To evil, either to sinful or mischievous speeches. Frameth deceit, i.e., uttereth lies or fair words, wherewith to circumvent those who deal with them. Matthew Poole.
Verse 19. The ninth commandment is now added to the other two, as being habitually violated by the person here addressed. J. A. Alexander.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS