Psalm 58:4
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,

New Living Translation
They spit venom like deadly snakes; they are like cobras that refuse to listen,

English Standard Version
They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear,

New American Standard Bible
They have venom like the venom of a serpent; Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,

King James Bible
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They have venom like the venom of a snake, like the deaf cobra that stops up its ears,

International Standard Version
Their venom is like a poisonous snake; even like a deaf serpent that shuts its ears,

NET Bible
Their venom is like that of a snake, like a deaf serpent that does not hear,

New Heart English Bible
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; like a deaf viper that stops its ear,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Their venom is like a snake's or that of a cockatrice, or like a deaf asp that covers its ears.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They have poisonous venom like snakes. They are like a deaf cobra that shuts its ears

JPS Tanakh 1917
Their venom is like the venom of a serpent; They are like the deaf asp that stoppeth her ear;

New American Standard 1977
They have venom like the venom of a serpent;
            Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; they are like the deaf adder that stops her ear,

King James 2000 Bible
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stops its ear;

American King James Version
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stops her ear;

American Standard Version
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: They are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear,

Douay-Rheims Bible
Their madness is according to the likeness of a serpent: like the deaf asp that stoppeth her ears:

Darby Bible Translation
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: [they are] like the deaf adder which stoppeth her ear;

English Revised Version
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

Webster's Bible Translation
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

World English Bible
Their poison is like the poison of a snake; like a deaf cobra that stops its ear,

Young's Literal Translation
Their poison is as poison of a serpent, As a deaf asp shutting its ear,
Study Bible
God Judges the Earth
3The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth. 4They have venom like the venom of a serpent; Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear, 5So that it does not hear the voice of charmers, Or a skillful caster of spells.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:33
"Their wine is the venom of serpents, And the deadly poison of cobras.

Psalm 140:3
They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; Poison of a viper is under their lips. Selah.

Ecclesiastes 10:11
If the serpent bites before being charmed, there is no profit for the charmer.

Jeremiah 8:17
"For behold, I am sending serpents against you, Adders, for which there is no charm, And they will bite you," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 19:15
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Behold, I am about to bring on this city and all its towns the entire calamity that I have declared against it, because they have stiffened their necks so as not to heed My words.'"

Zechariah 7:11
"But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing.
Treasury of Scripture

Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stops her ear;

poison

Psalm 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison …

Ecclesiastes 10:11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used …

James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

like [heb.] according to the likeness of a serpent.

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 …

the deaf

Jeremiah 8:17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which …

adder or asp.-- Pethenm is no doubt the baeten of the Arabians, which M. Forskal describes as spotted with black and white, about one foot in length, nearly half an inch thick, oviparous, and its bite almost instant death. It is the aspic of the ancients, and is so called the literati of Cyprus, though the common people call it [], deaf.

Job 20:14,16 Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him…

Isaiah 11:8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the …

(4) Their poison . . .--Better, they have a venom like, &c. The term for serpent is the generic n?chash.

The most forcible images of determined wickedness, and of the destruction it entails, now follow. The first is supplied by the serpent, the more suggestive from the accumulated evil qualities of which that animal has from the first been considered the type. Here the figure is heightened, since the animal is supposed to have been first tamed, but suddenly darts forth its fangs, and shows itself not only untamed, but untameable.

Adder.--Heb., pethen, translated asp in Deuteronomy 32:33; Job 20:14; Isaiah 11:8 (and here by the LXX.) In the Bible Educator iv. 103, the pethen is identified with the Egyptian cobra, the species upon which the serpent charmers practise their peculiar science.

Deaf.--So Jeremiah 8:17 refers to various kinds of serpents that "will not be charmed." Here, however, it would seem as if the poet were thinking of some individual of a species, generally tractable, that obstinately resists the spells and incantations of the charmer.

The image of the deaf adder was a favourite with Shakespeare, who, no doubt, derived it from this psalm.

"Pleasure and revenge

Have ears more deaf than adders to the voice

Of any true decision."

Troilus and Cressida, iii. 2.

(Comp. 2 Hen. VI., iii. 2.)

Verse 4. - Their poison is like the poison of a serpent (comp. Psalm 140:3; Song of Sirach 25:15). They are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear. The "adder" was supposed to be deaf, on account of its being very difficult to charm. It was thought obstinately to set itself against the charmer, and, as it were, stop its ears against him. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent,.... Either their "wrath" and fury, as the word (x) may be rendered, against God, his people, and even one another, is like that of a serpent when irritated and provoked; or their mischievous and devouring words are like the poison of asps under their lips, Romans 3:13; or the malignity of sin in them is here meant, which, like the poison of a serpent, is latent, hid, and lurking in them; is very infectious to all the powers and faculties of the soul, and members of the body; and is deadly and incurable, without the grace of God and blood of Christ;

they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; the adder is a kind of serpent, in Hebrew called "pethen"; hence the serpent "Python". This is not, deaf naturally, otherwise it would have no need to stop its ear, but of choice; and naturalists (y) observe, that it is quicker of hearing than of sight. Jarchi indeed says, when it grows old it becomes deaf in one of its ears, and it stops its other ear with dust, that it may not hear the voice of the charmer; though others say (z) it stops one ear with its tail, and lays the other to the ground; but these seem fabulous. David speaks of it figuratively, that it acts as if it was deaf, regarding no enchantments, but bites notwithstanding; these having no influence on it, which, if they had any, could not be hindered by its deafness; and he compares wicked men to it, who are wilfully deaf to all good counsel and advice given them (a).

(x) Sept. "furor", V. L. (y) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 23. (z) Isidor. Hispal. Origin. l. 12. c. 4. (a) Vid. Gataker. Adversaria, c. 8. p. 70, &c. 4. stoppeth her—literally, "his."

ear—that is, the wicked man (the singular used collectively), who thus becomes like the deaf adder which has no ear.58:1-5 When wrong is done under the form of law, it is worse than any other; especially it is grievous to behold those who profess to be children of God, joining together against any of his people. We should thank the Lord for merciful restraints; we should be more earnest in seeking renewing grace, more watchful over ourselves, and more patient under the effects of fallen nature in others. The corruption of their nature was the root of bitterness. We may see in children the wickedness of the world beginning. They go astray from God and their duty as soon as possibly they can. And how soon will little children tell lies! It is our duty to take pains to teach them, and above all, earnestly to pray for converting grace to make our children new creatures. Though the poison be within, much of it may be kept from breaking forth to injure others. When the Saviour's words are duly regarded, the serpent becomes harmless. But those who refuse to hear heavenly wisdom, must perish miserably, for ever.
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