Proverbs 18:21

21 1Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its 2fruit.

Proverbs 18:21 Meaning and Commentary

Proverbs 18:21

Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue
Of witnesses, according to the testimony they bear; of judges, according to the sentence they pass; of teachers, according to the doctrine they preach; of all men, who, by their well or ill speaking, bring death or life to themselves and others. Some, by their tongues, by the too free use of them, or falsehood they utter, are the cause of death to themselves and others; and some, by their silence, or by their prudent speech and prevalent intercession, secure or obtain life for themselves and others; yea, judgment at the last day will proceed according to a man's words, "By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned", ( Matthew 12:37 ) ; the tongue is the instrument either of a great deal of good, or of a great deal of evil; and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof;
that delight to be talkative; that love to use the tongue, whether in a good or in a bad way, shall accordingly be recompensed; shall enjoy the advantages or disadvantages arising from it.

Proverbs 18:21 In-Context

19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a citadel.
20 With the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach will be satisfied; He will be satisfied with the product of his lips.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD .
23 The poor man utters supplications, But the rich man answers roughly.

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Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 13:3; Matthew 12:37
  • 2. Proverbs 13:2; Isaiah 3:10; Hosea 10:13

Footnotes 1

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.