Psalms 78:36

36 But they 1flattered him with their mouths; they 2lied to him with their tongues.

Psalms 78:36 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 78:36

Nevertheless, they did flatter him with their mouth
In prayer to him, they only drew nigh to him with their mouths, and honoured him with their lips; they showed much love to him and his ways and ordinances hereby; but their hearts were not with him, but after their lusts; they made fine speeches and fair promises, but their hearts and mouths did not agree; they spoke with a double heart, thinking and endeavouring to "deceive" the Lord, as the word F2 here used signifies; but he is not to be deceived, nor will he be mocked; the Targum is,

``they allured (or persuaded) him, with their mouth;''

they attempted to do so; the Syriac and Arabic versions are, "they loved him with their mouth"; professed great love and sincere affection to him, when they had none:

and they lied unto him with their tongues;
to lie unto men is bad, but to God is worse; and it is a most vain and foolish thing, since there is not a word in the tongue of any but is known to him.


F2 (whwtpyw) "quamvis conarentur eum decipere", Junius & Tremellius; "attamen decipiebant eum", Cocceius.

Psalms 78:36 In-Context

34 When he killed them, they sought him; they repented and sought God earnestly.
35 They remembered that God was their rock, the Most High God their redeemer.
36 But they flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues.
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant.
38 Yet he, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; he restrained his anger often and did not stir up all his wrath.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Isaiah 29:13; Ezekiel 33:31
  • 2. Isaiah 57:11
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.