He hath not slandered by his tongue, He hath not done to his friend evil; And reproach he hath not lifted up Against his neighbour.
Psalm 15:3 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
He that backbiteth not with his tongue - לא רגל על לשנו lo ragal al leshono, "he foots not upon his tongue."
4. He is one who treats his neighbor with respect. He says nothing that might injure him in his character, person, or property; he forgets no calumny, he is author of no slander, he insinuates nothing by which his neighbor may be injured. The tongue, because of its slanderous conversation, is represented in the nervous original as kicking about the character of an absent person; a very common vice, and as destructive as it is common: but the man who expects to see God abhors it, and backbites not with his tongue. The words backbite and backbiter come from the Anglo-Saxon bac, the back, and to bite. How it came to be used in the sense it has in our language, seems at first view unaccountable; but it was intended to convey the treble sense of knavishness, cowardice, and brutality. He is a knave, who would rob you of your good name; he is a coward, that would speak of you in your absence what he dared not to do in your presence; and only an ill-conditioned dog would fly at and bite your back when your face was turned. All these three ideas are included in the term; and they all meet in the detractor and calumniator. His tongue is the tongue of a knave, a coward, and a dog. Such a person, of course, has no right to the privileges of the Church militant, and none of his disposition can ever see God.
Nor doeth evil to his neighbor -
5. He not only avoids evil speaking, but he avoids also evil acting towards his neighbor. He speaks no evil of him; he does no evil to him; he does him no harm; he occasions him no wrong. On the contrary, he gives him his due. See under the second particular.
Nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour -
6. The word חרפה cherpah, which we here translate a reproach, comes from חרף charaph, to strip, or make bare, to deprive one of his garments; hence חרף choreph, the winter, because it strips the fields of their clothing, and the trees of their foliage. By this, nature appears to be dishonored and disgraced. The application is easy: a man, for instance, of a good character is reported to have done something wrong: the tale is spread, and the slanderers and backbiters carry it about; and thus the man is stripped of his fair character, of his clothing of righteousness, truth, and honesty. All may be false; or the man, in an hour of the power of darkness, may have been tempted and overcoxne; may have been wounded in the cloudy and dark day, and deeply mourns his fall before God. Who that has not the heart of a devil would not strive rather to cover than make bare the fault? Those who feed, as the proverb says, like the flies, passing over all a man's whole parts to light upon his wounds, will take up the tale, and carry it about. Such, in the course of their diabolic work, carry the story of scandal to the righteous man; to him who loves his God and his neighbor. But what reception has the tale-bearer? The good man taketh it not up; לא נשא lo nasa, he will not bear it; it shall not be propagated from him. He cannot prevent the detractor from laying it down; but it is in his power not to take it up: and thus the progress of the slander may be arrested. He taketh not up a reproach against his neighbour; and the tale-bearer is probably discouraged from carrying it to another door. Reader, drive the slanderer of your neighbor far away from you: ever remembering that in the law of God, as well as in the law of the land, "the receiver is as bad as the thief."
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Psalm 101:5-8 Whoever privately slanders his neighbor, him will I cut off: him that has an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer...
Exodus 23:1-33 You shall not raise a false report: put not your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness...
Leviticus 19:16 You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people: neither shall you stand against the blood of your neighbor...
Jeremiah 9:4-9 Take you heed every one of his neighbor, and trust you not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant...
Romans 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness to all men.
James 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brothers. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law...
1 Peter 2:1,2 Why laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings...
1 Samuel 24:11 Moreover, my father, see, yes, see the skirt of your robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and killed you not...
Isaiah 56:2 Blessed is the man that does this, and the son of man that lays hold on it; that keeps the sabbath from polluting it...
Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Romans 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Romans 13:10 Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
3 John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that does good is of God: but he that does evil has not seen God.
taketh up. or, receiveth or, endureth
Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yes, strife and reproach shall cease.
Proverbs 25:3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings is unsearchable.
Psalm 15:3 Parallel CommentariesCasts Companion Evil Fellow Fellowman Friend Good Lifted Neighbor Neighbour Reproach Slander Slandered Slandereth Tongue WrongCasts Companion Evil Fellow Fellowman Friend Good Lifted Neighbor Neighbour Reproach Slander Slandered Slandereth Tongue WrongTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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