Matthew 12:34
Parallel Verses
New International Version
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

New Living Translation
You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

English Standard Version
You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

New American Standard Bible
"You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

King James Bible
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Brood of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil? For the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.

International Standard Version
You children of serpents! How can you say anything good when you are evil? The mouth speaks about what overflows from the heart.

NET Bible
Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say anything good, since you are evil? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Offspring of vipers! How can you who are evil speak good things? For from the fulness of the heart the mouth speaks.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You poisonous snakes! How can you evil people say anything good? Your mouth says what comes from inside you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

King James 2000 Bible
O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

American King James Version
O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

American Standard Version
Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Douay-Rheims Bible
O generation of vipers, how can you speak good things, whereas you are evil? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Darby Bible Translation
Offspring of vipers! how can ye speak good things, being wicked? For of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

English Revised Version
Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Webster's Bible Translation
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

Weymouth New Testament
O vipers' brood, how can you speak what is good when you are evil? For it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks.

World English Bible
You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

Young's Literal Translation
'Brood of vipers! how are ye able to speak good things -- being evil? for out of the abundance of the heart doth the mouth speak.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:33-37 Men's language discovers what country they are of, likewise what manner of spirit they are of. The heart is the fountain, words are the streams. A troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring, must send forth muddy and unpleasant streams. Nothing but the salt of grace, cast into the spring, will heal the waters, season the speech, and purify the corrupt communication. An evil man has an evil treasure in his heart, and out of it brings forth evil things. Lusts and corruptions, dwelling and reigning in the heart, are an evil treasure, out of which the sinner brings forth bad words and actions, to dishonour God, and hurt others. Let us keep constant watch over ourselves, that we may speak words agreeable to the Christian character.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 34. - The first clause is in Matthew only. O generation (ye offspring, Revised Version) of vipers (Matthew 3:7, note). Observe that the figure of the tree had also been used by the Baptist (Matthew 3:10). How can ye. It is against nature. Being evil; i.e. inherently worthless (Matthew 6:13, note); cf. πονηροὶ ὄντες, Matthew 7:11. Speak good things. For out of the abundance; i.e. even to overflowing (περίσσευμα: cf. Mark 8:8, of what remained after all were filled). Of the heart the mouth speaketh. In Ephesians 4:29 there is apparently a reminiscence of this saying in connexion with our ver. 33 (cf. also James 3:10-12).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

O generation of vipers,.... Though they boasted of their being the seed of Abraham, yet their immediate ancestors were no other than vipers, deceitful, hurtful, poisonous creatures; and they were exactly like them: for though they made a fair show in the flesh, and outwardly appeared righteous, yet were inwardly full of the poison of wickedness, envy and malice; and which their pestilential breath, their blasphemy against the Spirit, fully discovered; and gave just cause and reason for so severe a reproof, and such resentment, as here made by Christ.

How can ye, being evil, speak good things? This is not to be expected, nor is it commonly and constantly done; an evil man may sometimes speak good things, or which seem to be so; but these are not his common talk; as he is, so, for the most part, is his language; his speech betrays him: and since these men were by nature evil, were destitute of the Spirit and grace of God, had no good thing in them, how should any good thing come out of them? And since they were so full of wickedness, spite and malice, it is no wonder that they belched out such blasphemous expressions concerning the miracles of Christ;

for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh: a phrase much like this is used by the Septuagint, in Ecclesiastes 2:15. "I spoke abundance", or "much in my heart"; "for the fool out of his abundance speaketh": as there is abundance of folly in him, there is much delivered out by him; and where there is abundance of wickedness in the heart, if the grace of God is wanting to restrain it, much of it will come out by the lips; as is a man's heart, ordinarily is his language.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

34. O generation of vipers—(See on [1281]Mt 3:7).

how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh—a principle obvious enough, yet of deepest significance and vast application. In Lu 6:45 we find it uttered as part of the discourse delivered after the choice of the apostles.

Matthew 12:34 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Tree Recognized by its Fruit
33"Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34"You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35"The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 24:13
As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 16:23
The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.

Isaiah 9:17
Therefore the Lord will take no pleasure in the young men, nor will he pity the fatherless and widows, for everyone is ungodly and wicked, every mouth speaks folly. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised.

Isaiah 32:6
For fools speak folly, their hearts are bent on evil: They practice ungodliness and spread error concerning the LORD; the hungry they leave empty and from the thirsty they withhold water.

Matthew 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Matthew 12:35
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

Matthew 15:18
But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

Matthew 23:33
"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

Luke 3:7
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

Luke 6:45
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

John 8:44
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 5:4
Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.

James 3:2
We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
Treasury of Scripture

O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

generation.

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, …

Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation …

Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, …

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you …

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the …

how.

1 Samuel 24:13 As said the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceeds from the …

Psalm 10:6,7 He has said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never …

Psalm 52:2-5 The tongue devises mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully…

Psalm 53:1 The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, …

Psalm 64:3,5 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot …

Psalm 120:2-4 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue…

Psalm 140:2,3 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered …

Isaiah 32:6 For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work …

Isaiah 59:4,14 None calls for justice, nor any pleads for truth: they trust in vanity, …

Jeremiah 7:2-5 Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, …

Romans 3:10-14 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…

James 3:5-8 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. …

for.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that …

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