Psalms 5:9

9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies.

Psalms 5:9 in Other Translations

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.
9 My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery.
9 Every word they speak is a land mine; their lungs breathe out poison gas. Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mudslides.
9 For there is nothing reliable in what they say; destruction is within them; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongues.

Psalms 5:9 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 5:9

For [there is] no faithfulness in their mouth
In the mouth of the ungodly, as the Chaldee paraphrase; in the mouth of every one of them, as Aben Ezra interprets it: that is, in the mouth of every wicked, bloody, and deceitful man; of everyone of David's enemies, as Saul, or the conspirators with Absalom his son. There was no steadfastness in them; nothing right, sure, or firm said by them; nothing that could be depended upon; there was "no truth" in them, as the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions render it. And as this was true of David's, so of Christ's enemies; of Herod, and of the Herodians, and of the Scribes and Pharisees; see ( Matthew 2:8 ) ( 22:16 ) ; and of the enemies of Christ's Gospel; of all false teachers, who speak not the word faithfully; tell dreams, use the hidden things of dishonesty, walk in craftiness, handle the word of God deceitfully, and speak lies in hypocrisy: there is no certainty in them, nor is any thing they say to be trusted to. And this is the character of wicked men in common: they are an assembly of treacherous men; there is none upright among them; nor is any confidence to be placed in them: the people of God are in danger of being imposed upon and misled by them to their hurt; and therefore the psalmist prays, that the Lord would lead him in his righteousness;

their inward part [is] very wickedness;
their heart, which is desperately wicked, exceeding sinful; not only wicked, and very wicked, but wickedness itself. This is the root and fountain of all wickedness, and the reason why there is no faithfulness in their mouth: the word


F13 is sometimes rendered, "their inward thought", ( Psalms 49:11 ) ( 64:6 ) ; which is the inmost of man, the nearest to him; and which, and even the imagination of it, is evil, and that continually: the word F14 translated "wickedness" signifies woes, calamities, and mischiefs; and such the wicked hearts of men are full of, and are continually devising against the people of God, and his righteous cause. And this is the just character of ungodly men, even though they may profess to know God, have a form of godliness, and be outwardly righteous before men; as these were David was concerned with;

their throat [is] an open sepulchre;
or as one, as the Targum paraphrases it; to which the throat of wicked men may be compared for its voracity and insatiableness; the grave being one of those three or four things, which never has enough or is satisfied. And this is true of the throat, whether it be considered as an instrument of speech, and throws out devouring words to the prejudice of the characters and reputations of others; or as an instrument of swallowing meat and drink, and where the pleasure of appetite is; and so may be expressive of the eager desire of the wicked after sin, who drink up iniquity like water; and of their delight in it, and their fulness of it, and yet still greedy, insatiable, and not to be satisfied: and their throat may be compared to an open grave for the nauseous stench it emits; corrupt communication, filthiness, and foolish talking, proceeding out of it; and horrible oaths, curses, imprecations, and blasphemies, being belched out through it; and for the danger which is by it, since into it men may fall unawares; and so the evil communications of wicked men corrupt good manners, and do great mischief to those who fall into company with them;

they flatter with their tongue;
or, "make it smooth" F15; use oily expressions, soft language: or, "part" or "divide" F16 their tongue; are double tongued and double hearted; and so deceive persons, as the apostle interprets it in ( Romans 3:13 ) . They flatter God himself, drawing nigh to him in an hypocritical way; they flatter men, their neighbours, and impose upon them; they flatter princes, and such parasitic people were about David. And such are false teachers, who prophesy smooth things, and with good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple; or, which account there is great reason to pray to be led and directed by the Lord.

F13 (Mbrq) (h kardia) , Sept. "cor", V. L. i.e. "cogitatio", Muis.
F14 (twwh) "aerumuae", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Gejerus; "calamitates", Cocceius; so Ainsworth.
F15 (Nwqylx) "levigant, seu emolliunt", Piscator, Gejerus.
F16 "Divident vel dispertient", Mariana.

Psalms 5:9 In-Context

7 But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies.
10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Jeremiah 5:16; Luke 11:44
  • 2. Psalms 12:2; Psalms 28:3; Psalms 36:3; Proverbs 15:4; Jeremiah 9:8; Romans 3:13*
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