Psalm 12:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
those who say, "By our tongues we will prevail; our own lips will defend us--who is lord over us?"

New Living Translation
They say, "We will lie to our hearts' content. Our lips are our own--who can stop us?"

English Standard Version
those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

New American Standard Bible
Who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?"

King James Bible
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They say, "Through our tongues we have power; our lips are our own--who can be our master?""

International Standard Version
those who say, "By our tongues we will prevail; our lips belong to us. Who is master over us?"

NET Bible
They say, "We speak persuasively; we know how to flatter and boast. Who is our master?"

New Heart English Bible
who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail. Our lips are our own. Who is lord over us?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Who have said, “Our tongue will prevail; our lips are our Lord.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
that has said, "We will overcome with our tongues. With lips such as ours, who can be our master?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
Who have said: 'Our tongue will we make mighty; Our lips are with us: who is lord over us?'

New American Standard 1977
Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail;
            Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Who have said, With our tongue we will prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

King James 2000 Bible
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

American King James Version
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

American Standard Version
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; Our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who have said: We will magnify our tongue; our lips are our own; who is Lord over us?

Darby Bible Translation
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail, our lips are our own: who [is] lord over us?

English Revised Version
Who have said, with our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

Webster's Bible Translation
Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

World English Bible
who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail. Our lips are our own. Who is lord over us?"

Young's Literal Translation
Who said, 'By our tongue we do mightily: Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?'
Study Bible
Help, for the Godly are No More
3May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things; 4Who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?" 5"Because of the devastation of the afflicted, because of the groaning of the needy, Now I will arise," says the LORD; "I will set him in the safety for which he longs."…
Cross References
Psalm 13:4
And my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.

Psalm 73:8
They mock and wickedly speak of oppression; They speak from on high.

Psalm 73:9
They have set their mouth against the heavens, And their tongue parades through the earth.

Hosea 7:16
They turn, but not upward, They are like a deceitful bow; Their princes will fall by the sword Because of the insolence of their tongue. This will be their derision in the land of Egypt.

Hosea 10:3
Surely now they will say, "We have no king, For we do not revere the LORD. As for the king, what can he do for us?"
Treasury of Scripture

Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

With

Jeremiah 18:18 Then said they, Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; …

James 3:5,6 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. …

our own. Heb. with us
who

Genesis 3:5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes …

Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to …

Job 21:14,15 Therefore they say to God, Depart from us; for we desire not the …

Jeremiah 2:31 O generation, see you the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness …

Daniel 3:15 Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, …

2 Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that …

(4) With our tongue.--This is the proud saying just mentioned, and is plainly a boast of the power possessed by those who have the ear of persons in authority, and can adroitly "make the worse appear the better cause"; or being themselves in high places, can, like Angelo in Measure for Measure, defy the accusations of their victims:--

"Who will believe thee, Isabel?

My place in the State

Will so your accusation overweigh

That you shall stifle in your own report,

And smell of calumny."

But there is great difference of opinion as to the proper rendering, "with our tongues will we prevail." Some render, "we are masters of our tongues"; others, "with our tongues we confederate": i.e., "our tongues are our allies." The last rendering agrees best with the next clause.

Our lips are our own.--Literally, are with us: i.e., on our side. (Comp. 2Kings 9:32.)

Verse 4. - Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; or, through our tongues are we powerful; i.e. whatever we desire we can accomplish through our tongues - by persuasion, or by menaces, or by skill in argument. Success in pleading before courts of law is, perhaps, included. Our lips are our own; literally, are with us; i.e. are on our side, are our helpers ("Nobis auxilio et praesto sunt," Michaelis). Who is lord over us? Who, i.e., can interfere with us and impede our action? They do not believe in any righteous Judge and Controller of the world, who can step in to frustrate their plans, upset their designs, and bring them to ruin (see Psalm 10:4, 11; Psalm 14:1). Who have said, with our tongue will we prevail,.... Either through the eloquence of them, or the outward force and power with which they are backed. The sense is, as we say, so shall it be; our words are laws, and shall be obeyed, there is no standing against them; our edicts and decrees shall everywhere be regarded: or "we will make one to prevail", or "have the dominion" (g); meaning antichrist, the man of sin; for all this is true of the tongues of the antichristian party, and of their laws, edicts, and decrees and which have obtained everywhere, and by which the wicked one has been established in his tyrannical power and authority;

our lips are our own, or "with us" (h): we will say what we please, and make what laws and decrees we think fit, and impose them upon men; and so change times and laws without control, Daniel 7:25;

who is Lord over us? which is the very language and conduct of antichrist, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, 2 Thessalonians 2:4; and is indeed the language of the hearts and lives of all wicked and ungodly men, sons of Belial, men without any yoke or restraint; who walk, and are resolved to walk, after the imagination of their own evil hearts; not knowing the Lord, and being unwilling to obey him, or to be restrained by him; see Exodus 5:2.

(g) "prevalere ac dominare, faciemus, scil. aliquem regem, dominum", Cocceius. (h) "nobiscum", Musculus, Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Ainsworth. 12:1-8 The psalmist begs help of God, because there were none among men whom he durst trust. - This psalm furnishes good thoughts for bad times; a man may comfort himself with such meditations and prayers. Let us see what makes the times bad, and when they may be said to be so. Ask the children of this world, What makes the times bad? they will tell you, Scarcity of money, decay of trade, and the desolations of war, make the times bad: but the Scripture lays the badness of the times on causes of another nature, 2Ti 3:1, c.: perilous times shall come, for sin shall abound; and of this David complains. When piety decays times really are bad. He who made man's mouth will call him to an account for his proud, profane, dissembling, or even useless words. When the poor and needy are oppressed, then the times are very bad. God himself takes notice of the oppression of the poor, and the sighing of the needy. When wickedness abounds, and is countenanced by those in authority, then the times are very bad. See with what good things we are here furnished for such bad times; and we cannot tell what times we may be reserved for. 1. We have a God to go to, from whom we may ask and expect the redress of all our grievances. 2. God will certainly punish and restrain false and proud men. 3. God will work deliverance for his oppressed people. His help is given in the fittest time. Though men are false, God is faithful; though they are not to be trusted, God is. The preciousness of God's word is compared to silver refined to the highest degree. How many proofs have been given of its power and truth! God will secure his chosen remnant, however bad the times are. As long as the world stands, there will be a generation of proud and wicked men. But all God's people are put into the hands of Christ our Saviour; there they are in safety, for none can pluck them thence; being built on Him, the Rock, they are safe, notwithstanding temptation or persecution come with ever so much force upon them.
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