Job 20:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue,

New Living Translation
"They enjoyed the sweet taste of wickedness, letting it melt under their tongue.

English Standard Version
“Though evil is sweet in his mouth, though he hides it under his tongue,

New American Standard Bible
"Though evil is sweet in his mouth And he hides it under his tongue,

King James Bible
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Though evil tastes sweet in his mouth and he conceals it under his tongue,

International Standard Version
Though evil tastes sweet in his mouth, though he conceals it under his tongue,

NET Bible
"If evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue,

New Heart English Bible
"Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue....

JPS Tanakh 1917
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, Though he hide it under his tongue;

New American Standard 1977
“Though evil is sweet in his mouth,
            And he hides it under his tongue,

Jubilee Bible 2000
If wickedness was sweet in his mouth, if he hid it under his tongue,

King James 2000 Bible
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

American King James Version
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

American Standard Version
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, Though he hide it under his tongue,

Douay-Rheims Bible
For when evil shall be sweet in his mouth, he will hide it under his tongue.

Darby Bible Translation
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth [and] he hide it under his tongue,

English Revised Version
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

Webster's Bible Translation
Though wickedness may be sweet in his mouth, though he may hide it under his tongue;

World English Bible
"Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue,

Young's Literal Translation
Though he doth sweeten evil in his mouth, Doth hide it under his tongue,
Study Bible
Zophar: Triumph of the Wicked Short-lived
11"His bones are full of his youthful vigor, But it lies down with him in the dust. 12"Though evil is sweet in his mouth And he hides it under his tongue, 13Though he desires it and will not let it go, But holds it in his mouth,…
Cross References
2 Samuel 11:12
Then David said to Uriah, "Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.

Job 15:16
How much less one who is detestable and corrupt, Man, who drinks iniquity like water!

Psalm 10:7
His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness.

Proverbs 19:28
A rascally witness makes a mockery of justice, And the mouth of the wicked spreads iniquity.

Jeremiah 2:19
"Your own wickedness will correct you, And your apostasies will reprove you; Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter For you to forsake the LORD your God, And the dread of Me is not in you," declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
Treasury of Scripture

Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

wickedness

Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinks iniquity like water?

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that …

Proverbs 9:17,18 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant…

Proverbs 20:17 Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall …

Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you …

he hide

Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue …

Psalm 109:17,18 As he loved cursing, so let it come to him: as he delighted not in …

(12) Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth.--He draws a picture of the wicked man after the pattern of a gourmand or glutton, which, if it were intended to apply to Job, was a fresh instance of heartless cruelty, as well as of an entire want of discernment of character, and of unfitness for the office of judge he was so ready to assume. It is possible that the reproach here aimed at Job was that of inordinate love of riches, which Zophar extracts from the bare fact of his having been a wealthy man.

Verses 12, 13. - Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth; i.e. though the wicked man delight in his wickedness, and gloat over it, and keep the thought of it in his mind, as a gourmand keeps, so long as he can, a delicious taste in his mouth; though he, as it were, hide it under his tongue, in order not to let it escape him; though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth, yet, notwithstanding all this, disgust and nausea arrive in course of time (see the next two verses). It is, perhaps, the most surprising among the phenomena of wickedness that men can gloat over it, voluntarily recur to it, make a boast of it, recount signal instances of it to their friends, and seem to find a satisfaction in the recollection. One would have expected that shame and self-disapproval and fear of retribution would have led them to dismiss their wicked acts from their thoughts as soon as possible. But certainly the fact is otherwise. Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth,.... Which may respect some particular sin, and by the context it seems to be the sin of covetousness, or of getting riches in an unlawful way, which is very sweet and pleasing to wicked men, while they are in such pursuits that succeed; and so Mr. Broughton renders it by "wrong"; though it may be applied to sin in general, which is "wickedness", or an evil (q), being contrary to the pure and holy nature, will, and law of God; and it is evil in its effects on men, it having deprived them of the image and glory of God, and exposed them to his wrath, to the curses of his law, and to eternal deaths. Now this is "sweet" to an unregenerate man, who minds and savours the things of the flesh, whose taste is not changed, but is as it was from his birth, and who calls sweet bitter, and bitter sweet; such a man has the same delight in sin as a man has in his food, drinks up iniquity like water, and commits sin with greediness; for it is natural to him, he is conceived, born, and brought up in it; besides, some sins are what are more particularly called constitution sins, which some are peculiarly addicted to, and in which they take a peculiar delight and pleasure; these are like the right hand or right eye, and they cannot be persuaded, at any rate, to part with them:

though he hide it under his tongue; not for the sake of concealing it, nor by denying, dissembling, or excusing it, but for the sake of enjoying more pleasure in it; as a gluttonous man, when he has got a sweet morsel in his mouth, do not let it go down his throat immediately, but rolls it under his tongue, that he may have all the pleasure of it he can; so a wicked man devises sin in his heart, keeps it on his mind, revolves it in his thoughts, and his meditation on it is sweet; and he is so far from hiding it from others, that he openly declares it, freely tells of it, and takes pleasure in so doing: "fools make a mock at sin"; it is their diversion and recreation.

(q) "malum", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c. 12. be—"taste sweet." Sin's fascination is like poison sweet to the taste, but at last deadly to the vital organs (Pr 20:17; Job 9:17, 18).

hide … tongue—seek to prolong the enjoyment by keeping the sweet morsel long in the mouth (so Job 20:13).20:10-22 The miserable condition of the wicked man in this world is fully set forth. The lusts of the flesh are here called the sins of his youth. His hiding it and keeping it under his tongue, denotes concealment of his beloved lust, and delight therein. But He who knows what is in the heart, knows what is under the tongue, and will discover it. The love of the world, and of the wealth of it, also is wickedness, and man sets his heart upon these. Also violence and injustice, these sins bring God's judgments upon nations and families. Observe the punishment of the wicked man for these things. Sin is turned into gall, than which nothing is more bitter; it will prove to him poison; so will all unlawful gains be. In his fulness he shall be in straits, through the anxieties of his own mind. To be led by the sanctifying grace of God to restore what was unjustly gotten, as Zaccheus was, is a great mercy. But to be forced to restore by the horrors of a despairing conscience, as Judas was, has no benefit and comfort attending it.
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