New American Standard Bible
Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword. They aimed bitter speech as their arrow,
King James Bible
Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
Darby Bible Translation
Who have sharpened their tongue like a sword, and have aimed their arrow, a bitter word;
World English Bible
who sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their arrows, deadly words,
Young's Literal Translation
Who sharpened as a sword their tongue, They directed their arrow -- a bitter word.
Psalm 64:3 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Who whet their tongue like a sword - Who sharpen their tongue; that is, they utter words that will cut deep, or penetrate the soul. The idea is that of slander or reproach - the same idea which we have in Shakespeare (Cymbeline):
Whose edge is sharper than the sword."
And bend their bows ... - That is, they prepare for this - as they make ready to shoot who bend their bows, and fix their arrows on the string. The idea here is, that this was deliberate, or was the result of counsel and purpose. It was not an outbreak of mere passion and excitement; it was by fixed design and careful preparation. See Psalm 11:2, note; Psalm 58:7, note.
Even bitter words - We apply the same term bitter now to words of malice and reproach.
The piety of the Old Testament Church is reflected with more clearness and variety in the Psalter than in any other book of the Old Testament. It constitutes the response of the Church to the divine demands of prophecy, and, in a less degree, of law; or, rather, it expresses those emotions and aspirations of the universal heart which lie deeper than any formal demand. It is the speech of the soul face to face with God. Its words are as simple and unaffected as human words can be, for it is the genius …
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament
For, behold, the wicked bend the bow, They make ready their arrow upon the string To shoot in darkness at the upright in heart.
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.
Let them flow away like water that runs off; When he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts.
They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; Poison of a viper is under their lips. Selah.
"They bend their tongue like their bow; Lies and not truth prevail in the land; For they proceed from evil to evil, And they do not know Me," declares the LORD.
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