Psalm 55:21
Parallel Verses
New International Version
His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.

New Living Translation
His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!

English Standard Version
His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

New American Standard Bible
His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.

King James Bible
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
His buttery words are smooth, but war is in his heart. His words are softer than oil, but they are drawn swords.

International Standard Version
His mouth is as smooth as butter, while war is in his heart. His words were as smooth as olive oil, while his sword is drawn.

NET Bible
His words are as smooth as butter, but he harbors animosity in his heart. His words seem softer than oil, but they are really like sharp swords.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
They were troubled by the passion of his Person and by the anger of his heart; his words were softer than oil and effective as spearheads.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
His speech is smoother than butter, but there is war in his heart. His words are more soothing than oil, but they are like swords ready to attack.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

King James 2000 Bible
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

American King James Version
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

American Standard Version
His mouth was smooth as butter, But his heart was war: His words were softer than oil, Yet were they drawn swords.

Douay-Rheims Bible
they are divided by the wrath Of his countenance, and his heart hath drawn near. His words are smoother than oil, and the same are darts.

Darby Bible Translation
Smooth were the milky [words] of his mouth, but his heart was war; his words were softer than oil, yet are they drawn swords.

English Revised Version
His mouth was smooth as butter, but his heart was war: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

Webster's Bible Translation
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

World English Bible
His mouth was smooth as butter, but his heart was war. His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

Young's Literal Translation
Sweeter than honey hath been his mouth, And his heart is war! Softer have been his words than oil, And they are drawn swords.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

55:16-23 In every trial let us call upon the Lord, and he will save us. He shall hear us, and not blame us for coming too often; the oftener the more welcome. David had thought all were against him; but now he sees there were many with him, more than he supposed; and the glory of this he gives to God, for it is he that raises us up friends, and makes them faithful to us. There are more true Christians, and believers have more real friends, than in their gloomy hours they suppose. His enemies should be reckoned with, and brought down; they could not ease themselves of their fears, as David could, by faith in God. Mortal men, though ever so high and strong, will easily be crushed by an eternal God. Those who are not reclaimed by the rod of affliction, will certainly be brought down to the pit of destruction. The burden of afflictions is very heavy, especially when attended with the temptations of Satan; there is also the burden of sin and corruption. The only relief under it is, to look to Christ, who bore it. Whatever it is that thou desirest God should give thee, leave it to him to give it in his own way and time. Care is a burden, it makes the heart stoop. We must commit our ways and works to the Lord; let him do as seemeth him good, and let us be satisfied. To cast our burden upon God, is to rest upon his providence and promise. And if we do so, he will carry us in the arms of his power, as a nurse carries a child; and will strengthen our spirits by his Spirit, so that they shall sustain the trial. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved; to be so shaken by any troubles, as to quit their duty to God, or their comfort in him. He will not suffer them to be utterly cast down. He, who bore the burden of our sorrows, desires us to leave to him to bear the burden of our cares, that, as he knows what is best for us, he may provide it accordingly. Why do not we trust Christ to govern the world which he redeemed?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 21. - The words of his mouth wore smoother than butter; literally, smooth were the butters of his mouth - i.e., his flattering utterances. But war was in his heart; literally, but his heart was war. His words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords; i.e. keen, cutting - according to our own idiom, "like daggers."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter,.... Such were the words of Ahithophel, when in counsel with David; and such the words of Judas, when he said to Christ, "hail, master", and kissed him, Matthew 26:49;

but war was in his heart; even a civil war, rebellion against his prince; that was what Ahithophel meditated in his heart; and nothing less than to take away the life of Christ was designed by Judas. The words may be rendered, "they were divided" (e); that is, his mouth and his heart: "his mouth was butter, and his heart war"; the one declared for peace, when the other intended war; see Jeremiah 9:8;

his words were softer than oil; at one time full of soothing and flattery:

yet were they drawn swords: at another time sharp and cutting, breathing out threatening and slaughter, destruction and death.

(e) Sept. "divisi sunt", V. L. Hammond.



Psalm 55:21 Additional Commentaries
Context
Cast Your Cares on the Lord
20He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has violated his covenant. 21His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords. 22Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.…
Cross References
Psalm 12:2
Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts.

Psalm 28:3
Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who do evil, who speak cordially with their neighbors but harbor malice in their hearts.

Psalm 35:20
They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land.

Psalm 57:4
I am in the midst of lions; I am forced to dwell among ravenous beasts-- men whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

Psalm 59:7
See what they spew from their mouths-- the words from their lips are sharp as swords, and they think, "Who can hear us?"

Psalm 62:4
Surely they intend to topple me from my lofty place; they take delight in lies. With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse.

Psalm 120:7
I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.

Proverbs 5:3
For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil;

Proverbs 5:4
but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword.
Treasury of Scripture

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

The words

Psalm 28:3 Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, …

Psalm 57:4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on …

Psalm 62:4 They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight …

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

Proverbs 5:3,4 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth …

Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue …

Proverbs 26:24-26,28 He that hates dissembles with his lips, and lays up deceit within him…

Matthew 26:25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it …

Luke 20:20,21 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves …

war

John 13:2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of …

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