Psalms 12:4

4 those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”

Psalms 12:4 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?
English Standard Version (ESV)
4 those who say, "With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?"
New Living Translation (NLT)
4 They say, “We will lie to our hearts’ content. Our lips are our own—who can stop us?”
The Message Bible (MSG)
4 I'm tired of hearing, "We can talk anyone into anything! Our lips manage the world."
American Standard Version (ASV)
4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; Our lips are our own: Who is lord over us?
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
4 that has said, "We will overcome with our tongues. With lips such as ours, who can be our master?"
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
4 They say, "Through our tongues we have power; our lips are our own-who can be our master?"
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
4 They say, "We will win the battle with our tongues. Our lips belong to us. No one else is in charge of us."

Psalms 12:4 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 12:4

Who have said, with our tongue will we prevail
Either through the eloquence of them, or the outward force and power with which they are backed. The sense is, as we say, so shall it be; our words are laws, and shall be obeyed, there is no standing against them; our edicts and decrees shall everywhere be regarded: or "we will make one to prevail", or "have the dominion" F7; meaning antichrist, the man of sin; for all this is true of the tongues of the antichristian party, and of their laws, edicts, and decrees and which have obtained everywhere, and by which the wicked one has been established in his tyrannical power and authority;

our lips [are] our own,
or "with us" F8: we will say what we please, and make what laws and decrees we think fit, and impose them upon men; and so change times and laws without control, ( Daniel 7:25 ) ;

who [is] Lord over us?
which is the very language and conduct of antichrist, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, ( 2 Thessalonians 2:4 ) ; and is indeed the language of the hearts and lives of all wicked and ungodly men, sons of Belial, men without any yoke or restraint; who walk, and are resolved to walk, after the imagination of their own evil hearts; not knowing the Lord, and being unwilling to obey him, or to be restrained by him; see ( Exodus 5:2 ) .


F7 (rybgn) "prevalere ac dominare, faciemus, scil. aliquem regem, dominum", Cocceius.
F8 (wnta) "nobiscum", Musculus, Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Ainsworth.

Psalms 12:4 In-Context

2 Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say, “By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Proverbs 18:21; James 3:6
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.