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Ephesians 4:29

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Read Ephesians 4:29 Using Other Translations

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.

What does Ephesians 4:29 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Ephesians 4:29

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth,
&c.] As unsavoury speech, foolish talking, light and frothy language, that which is filthy, unprofitable, noxious, and nauseous, and all that is sinful; such as profane oaths, curses, and imprecations, unchaste words, angry ones, proud, haughty, and arrogant expressions, lies, perjury which may be called corrupt, because such communication springs from a corrupt heart; is an evidence of the corruption of it; the subject matter of it is corrupt; and it conveys corruption to others, it corrupts good manners; and is the cause of men's going down to the pit of corruption: wherefore a restraint should be laid upon the lips of men; men have not a right to say what they please; good men will be cautious what they say, otherwise their religion is in vain; and conscious of their own weakness, they will pray to God to set a watch before their mouth, and to keep the door of their lips, and not suffer anything to come out,

but that which is good for the use of edifying:
or "for edification", as the Syriac version renders it; the Arabic version reads, "for the edification of all"; that is, that hear; and the Vulgate Latin version and Claromontane exemplar, "for the edification of faith": for the building up of saints on their most holy faith, and for the encouragement and increase of the grace of faith: in the Greek text it is literally, "for the edification of use"; for useful edification, or what is useful for edification; and is suited to the present want or opportunity, as the word is by some rendered: and that must be "good", which answers such an end; meaning not that the language should be formally and grammatically good, though to speak with propriety is useful and serviceable, and tends the more to instruction and edification; but that which is materially good, or the subject of it is good; that which is true, pure, pleasant, and profitable:

that it may minister grace unto the hearers;
may be grateful and acceptable to them, or may minister the grace of God to them; that is, the doctrine of grace, the Gospel of the grace of God; and be a means of conveying the principle of grace into the hearts of the hearers, and of drawing it forth into exercise where it is; and such speech or communication which springs from a gracious heart, and from a principle of grace in the heart, and is upon the subject of the grace of God, is most likely to be thus useful and edifying: agreeably to all this are some sayings of the Jews F8,

``says R. Joshua ben Levi, for ever let not a man suffer any thing (hnwgm) , "that is filthy", or unseemly, to proceed out of his mouth; says R. Ishmael, for ever let a man discourse (hyyqn Nwvlb) , "in a pure language";''

not corrupt.


FOOTNOTES:

F8 T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 3. 1.
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