New American Standard Bible
He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
King James Bible
He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
Darby Bible Translation
He that slandereth not with his tongue, doeth not evil to his companion, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour;
World English Bible
He who doesn't slander with his tongue, nor does evil to his friend, nor casts slurs against his fellow man;
Young's Literal Translation
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 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
He that backbiteth not with his tongue - The word "backbite" means to censure; slander; reproach; speak evil of. The Hebrew word - רגל râgal - a verb formed from the word foot, means properly "to foot it," and then "to go about." Then it means to go about as a tale-bearer or slanderer; to circulate reports unfavorable to others. It is not improperly rendered here "backbite;" and the idea is, that it is essential to true piety that one should "not" be a slanderer, or should "not" circulate evil reports in regard to others. On the use of the "tongue," see the note at James 3:2-11.
Nor doeth evil to his neighbor - That does his neighbor no harm. This refers to injury in any way, whether by word or deed. The idea is, that the man who will be admitted to dwell on the holy hill of Zion, the man who is truly religious, is one who does no injury to anyone; who always does that which is right to others. The word "neighbor" usually refers to one who resides near us; and their it denotes all persons who are near to us in the sense that we have business relations with them; all persons with whom we have anything to do. It is used in this sense here as referring to our dealings with other persons.
Nor taketh up a reproach - Margin, "or receiveth," or, "endureth." The idea is that of "taking up," or receiving as true, or readily giving credit to it. He is slow to believe evil of another. He does not grasp at it greedily as if he had pleasure in it. He does not himself originate such a reproach, nor does he readily and cheerfully credit it when it is stated by others. If he is constrained to believe it, it is only because the evidence becomes so strong that he cannot resist it, and his believing it is contrary to all the desires of is heart. This is true religion every where; but this is contrary to the conduct of no small part of the world. There are large classes of persons to whom nothing is more acceptable than reproachful accusations of others, and who embrace no reports more readily than they do those which impute bad conduct or bad motives to them. Often there is nothing more marked in true conversion than the change which is produced in this respect. He who delighted in gossip and in slanderous reports of others; who found pleasure in the alleged failings and errors of his neighbors; who gladly lent a listening ear to the first intimations of this kind, and who cheerfully contributed his influence in giving circulation to such things, augmenting such reports as they passed through his hands - now sincerely rejoices on hearing everybody well spoken of, and does all that can be done consistently with truth to check such reports, and to secure to every man a good name.
LibraryWherefore, that which is Written, "Who Speaketh the Truth in his Heart...
14. Wherefore, that which is written, "Who speaketh the truth in his heart,"  is not so to be taken, as if, truth being retained in the heart, in the mouth one may speak a lie. But the reason why it is said, is, because it is possible that a man may speak with his mouth a truth which profiteth him nothing, if he hold it not in his heart, that is, if what he speaketh, himself believe not; as the heretics, and, above all, these same Priscillianists do, when they do, not indeed believe the catholic …
St. Augustine—Against Lying
Of Evil-Speaking in General.
"You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.
'You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD.
Do not drag me away with the wicked And with those who work iniquity, Who speak peace with their neighbors, While evil is in their hearts.
"You sit and speak against your brother; You slander your own mother's son.
"Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, And do not trust any brother; Because every brother deals craftily, And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
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