Psalm 58:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Their venom is like the venom of a snake, like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,

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

Darby Bible Translation
Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: [they are] like the deaf adder which 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,

Psalm 58:4 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Their poison is like the poison of a serpent - When they bite, they convey poison into the wound, as the serpent does. They not only injure you by outward acts, but by their malevolence they poison your reputation. They do you as much evil as they can, and propagate the worst reports that others may have you in abhorrence, treat you as a bad and dangerous man; and thus, as the poison from the bite of the serpent is conveyed into the whole mass of blood, and circulates with it through all the system, carrying death every where; so they injurious speeches and vile insinuations circulate through society, and poison and blast your reputation in every place. Such is the slanderer, and such his influence in society. From such no reputation is safe; with such no character is sacred; and against such there is no defense. God alone can shield the innocent from the envenomed tongue and lying lips of such inward monsters in the shape of men.

Like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear - It is a fact that cannot be disputed with any show of reason, that in ancient times there were persons that charmed, lulled to inactivity, or professed to charm, serpents, so as to prevent them from biting. See Ecclesiastes 10:11; Jeremiah 8:17. The prince of Roman poets states the fact, Virg. Ecclesiastes 8. ver. 71.

Frigidus in prati cantando rumpitur anguis.

"In the meadows the cold snake is burst by incantation."

The same author, Aen. vii., ver. 750, gives us the following account of the skill of Umbro, a priest of the Marrubians: -

Quin et Marru bia venit de gente sacerdos,

Fronde super galeam, et felici comptus oliva,

Archippi regis missu, fortissimus Umbro;

Vipereo generi et graviter spirantibus hydris,

Spargere qui somnos cantuque manuque solebat,

Mulcebatque iras, et morsus arte levabat.

"Umbro, the brave Marubian priest, was there,

Sent by the Marsian monarch to the war.

The smiling olive with her verdant boughs


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Psalm 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.

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 deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

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, he said to them, O generation of vipers...

Matthew 23:33 You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?

the deaf

Jeremiah 8:17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, said the LORD.

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 weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

Of Internal Acts
Of Internal Acts Acts are distinguished into External and Internal. External acts are those which bear relation to some sensible object, and are either morally good or evil, merely according to the nature of the principle from which they proceed. I intend here to speak only of Internal acts, those energies of the soul, by which it turns internally to some objects, and averts from others. If during my application to God I should form a will to change the nature of my act, I thereby withdraw myself
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

Faith the Sole Saving Act.
JOHN vi. 28, 29.--"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." In asking their question, the Jews intended to inquire of Christ what particular things they must do, before all others, in order to please God. The "works of God," as they denominate them, were not any and every duty, but those more special and important acts, by which the creature might secure
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

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

Cross References
Deuteronomy 32:33
Their wine is the venom of serpents, the deadly poison of cobras.

Psalm 140:3
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent's; the poison of vipers is on their lips.

Ecclesiastes 10:11
If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.

Jeremiah 8:17
"See, I will send venomous snakes among you, vipers that cannot be charmed, and they will bite you," declares the LORD.

Jeremiah 19:15
"This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.'"

Zechariah 7:11
"But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and covered their ears.

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