|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:14-27 The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.
Verse 24. - The following admonitions of this chapter bear reference to the outward conduct of life. They continue the subject of ver. 23 by showing how the guarding of the heart is to be done. There is the most; intimate connection between the heart as the fountain of the moral life and of the conduct of life, which, though determined by the condition of the heart, in its turn reacts upon the heart as the moral centre, and keeps it pure. Thus the subject is treated from its two sides. On vers. 24 and 25 Hitzig remarks that they "warn against an arbitrary perverting of the moral judgment into which evil passions so easily betray, and admonish not to give misdirection to thought within the department of morality." A froward mouth, and perverse lips; literally, perverseness of mouth and waywardness of lips (ikk'shuth peh vulzuth s'phathayim). "Perversity of mouth" is fraudulent, deceitful speech; that which twists, distorts, perverts, or misrepresents what is true, and hence falsehood (Proverbs 4:24; Proverbs 6:12; Proverbs 19:1). The σκολιὸν στόμα of the LXX., i.e. the "tortuous mouth," in a metaphorical sense. The phrase is very similar in meaning with the parallel "waywardness of lips," which means speech which turns aside from what is true and right, the noun lazuth being derived from lazah, or luz, "to bend aside." The tongue is the unruly member (James 3:2). Speech is the index of the mind (Lapide). Vigilance over the heart is vigilance over the mouth, inasmuch as "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matthew 12:34). The admonition may have a twofold application, and may mean either do not indulge in this kind of speech yourself, exercise an unremitting jealousy over every propensity to it; or have no dealings with those who are guilty of it, as in Psalm 101:5.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Put away from thee a froward mouth,.... A mouth speaking froward and perverse things; things contrary to right reason, to the law of God, and Gospel of Christ; blasphemies against God or men; every thing that is untrue, unchaste, unjust, foolish, and filthy; all swearing, lying, and everything that is repugnant to truth and justice. Some understand it of men that are liars, blasphemers, and froward persons, who are to be shunned and avoided, and to be debarred the houses and society of good men;
and perverse lips put far from thee; do not make use of them thyself, nor keep company with men of such a character. Much the same thing is meant as before.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. a froward mouth—that is, a mouth, or words of ill nature. The Hebrew word differs from that used (Pr 2:15; 3:32).
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