An onomatopoetic word, used of the growling of a lion (Isaiah 31:4), of the "mourning" of a dove (Isaiah 38:14), or of the human voice, whether speaking inarticulately (Isaiah 16:7) or articulately (Psalms 37:30, "The mouth of the righteous talketh of wisdom" compare Job 27:4; Proverbs 8:7, etc.). Hence, it is only the context that can give to haghah the meaning "mutter." No such meaning can be gathered from the context of Isaiah 59:3, and, in fact, the open shamelessness of the sinners seems to be in point. So the verse should be rendered, "Your lips have spoken lies, your tongue uttereth wickedness." In Isaiah 8:19 haghah describes the tone of voice used by the necromancers in uttering their formulas, "that chirp and that mutter." That this tone was subdued and indistinct is quite probable.
Burton Scott Easton
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