Verse 2. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs. Thou speakest with an ulterior design. The information given was for Saul's assistance apparently, but in very deed in his heart the Edomite hated the priests of the God of Jacob. It is a mark of deep depravity, when the evil spoken is craftily intended to promote a yet greater evil. Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. David represents the false tongue as being effectual for mischief, like a razor which, unawares to the person operated on, is making him bald; so softly and deftly do Oriental barbers perform their work. Or he may mean that as with a razor a man's throat may be cut very speedily, under the pretence of shaving him, even thus keenly, basely, but effectually Doeg destroyed the band of the priests. Whetted by malice, and guided by craft, he did his cruel work with accursed thoroughness.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. Thus our version. But I do not very well understand the propriety of the tongue's devising mischief, and devising it like a sharp razor. But we may easily avoid this harsh comparison by rendering the words: You contrive mischiefs with thy tongue, as with a sharp razor, O thou dealer in deceit: i.e., you contrive with thy smooth and flattering tongue to wound the reputation and character of others, as though thou wast cutting their throats with a smooth razor. Samuel Chandler.
Verse 2. Like a sharp razor, that instead of shaving the hair lances the flesh; or missing the beard cutteth the throat. John Trapp.
Verse 2. The smooth adroit manner of executing a wicked device neither hides not abates its wickedness. Murder with a sharp razor is as wicked as murder with a meat axe or bludgeon. A lie very ingeniously framed and rehearsed in an oily manner, is as great a sin, and in the end will be seen to be as great a folly as the most bungling attempt at deception. William S. Plumer.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS