Psalm 55:21
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

Psalm 55:21 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter - Prof. Alexander renders this, "Smooth are the butterings of his mouth." This is in accordance with the Hebrew, but the general meaning is well expressed in our common version. The idea is, that he was a hypocrite; that his professions of friendship were false; that he only used pleasant words - words expressive of friendship and love - to deceive and betray. We have a similar expression when we speak of "honeyed words," or "honeyed accents." This would apply to Ahithophel, and it will apply to thousands of similar cases in the world.

But war was in his heart - He was base, treacherous, false. He was really my enemy, and was ready, when any suitable occasion occurred, to show himself to be such.

His words were softer than oil - Smooth, pleasant, gentle. He was full of professions of love and kindness.

Yet were they drawn swords - As swords drawn from the scabbard, and ready to be used. Compare Psalm 28:3; Psalm 57:4.

Psalm 55:21 Parallel Commentaries

The Arrest
Our study of the closing scenes of the life of our Lord begins at the point where He fell into the hands of the representatives of justice; and this took place at the gate of Gethsemane and at the midnight hour. On the eastern side of Jerusalem, the ground slopes downwards to the bed of the Brook Kedron; and on the further side of the stream rises the Mount of Olives. The side of the hill was laid out in gardens or orchards belonging to the inhabitants of the city; and Gethsemane was one of these.
James Stalker—The Trial and Death of Jesus Christ

Concerning Persecution
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 We are now come to the last beatitude: Blessed are they which are persecuted . . '. Our Lord Christ would have us reckon the cost. Which of you intending to build a tower sitteth not down first and counteth the cost, whether he have enough to finish it?' (Luke 14:28). Religion will cost us the tears of repentance and the blood of persecution. But we see here a great encouragement that may
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Cross References
Psalm 12:2
They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.

Psalm 28:3
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.

Psalm 35:20
For they do not speak peace, But they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land.

Psalm 57:4
My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows And their tongue a sharp sword.

Psalm 59:7
Behold, they belch forth with their mouth; Swords are in their lips, For, they say, "Who hears?"

Psalm 62:4
They have counseled only to thrust him down from his high position; They delight in falsehood; They bless with their mouth, But inwardly they curse. Selah.

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

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