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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:19

 

 

Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment.

Adam Clarke Commentary

A lying tongue is but for a moment - Truth stands for ever; because its foundation is indestructible: but falsehood may soon be detected; and, though it gain credit for a while, it had that credit because it was supposed to be truth.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-12.html. 1832.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 12:19

The lip of truth shall be established for ever.

Truthfulness

I. The righteousness of truth (Proverbs 12:17). The highest and only proper use of speech is to show the right. It may be used to set forth--

1. Right views of God (Psalms 11:2; John 17:25-26; Romans 3:21-22).

2. Right views of personal experience (Psalms 66:16).

3. Right estimates of character. Testimonials should be given with great caution.

4. Right statements as to the value of articles of merchandise.

5. Right expositions of Scripture. Some “wrest” the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:16); others make them void by their traditions (Mark 7:13); others handle them deceitfully (2 Corinthians 4:2); but the God-taught expositor aims at “the manifestation of the truth.”

II. The wholesomeness of truth (Proverbs 12:18). Foolish speech often wounds, but in the word of wisdom is healing. Healthy doctrine produces healthy living, and thus it becomes its own advocate.

III. The stability of truth (Proverbs 12:19). “Truth, like cork, will be uppermost one time or other, though an effort be made to keep it under water.” Time is on the side of truth, and so is eternity. There has been an abundant establishment of--

1. The testimony of prophets.

2. Words spoken by the opponents of error. Lies often die hard, but sooner or later they die surely.

IV. The safety of truth. We may be afraid to be wrong, but should never be afraid to be right.

V. The reward of truth (Proverbs 12:22.) (H. Thorne.)

The lip of truth

There was once a little boy named Duncan. The boys used to call him “True Duncan” because he would never tell a lie. One day he was playing with an axe in the schoolyard. The axe was used for cutting wood for the schoolroom fire in winter. While Duncan was chopping a stick, the teacher’s cat, “Old Tabby,” came and leaped on to the log of wood where Duncan was at work. He had raised the axe to cut the wood, but it fell on the cat and killed her. What to do he knew not. She was the master’s pet cat, and used to sit on a cushion at his side while he was hearing the boys’ lessons. Duncan stood looking at poor Tabby. His face grew red and the tears stood in his eyes. All the boys came running up, and every one had something to say. One of them was heard whispering to the others, “Now, boys, let us see if Duncan can’t make up a fib as well as the rest of us.” “Not he,” said Tom Brown, who was Duncan’s friend, “not he, I’ll warrant. Duncan will be as true as gold.” John Jones stepped up and said, “Come, boys, let us fling the cat into the lane, and we can tell Mr. Cole that the butcher’s dog killed her. You know that he worried her last week.” Some of them thought that would do very well. But Duncan looked quite angry; his cheek swelled and his face grew redder than before. “No, no,” said he. “Do you think I would say that? It would be a lie--a lie!” Each time he used the word his voice grew louder. Then he took up the poor thing and carried her into the master’s room. The boys followed to see what would happen. The master looked up and said, “What? is this my poor Tabby killed? Who could have done me such an injury?” All were silent for a little while. As soon as Duncan could get his voice he said, “Mr. Cole, I am very sorry I killed poor Tabby. Indeed, sir, I am very sorry, I ought to have been more careful, for I saw her rubbing herself against the log. I am more sorry than I can tell, sir.” Every one expected to see Mr. Cole get very angry, take down his cane and give Duncan a sound thrashing. But instead of that he put on a pleasant smile and said, “Duncan, you are a brave boy. I saw and heard all that passed in the yard from my window above. I am glad to see such an example of truth and honour in my school.” Duncan took out his handkerchief and wiped his eyes. The boys could not keep silence any longer, and when Tom Brown cried, “Three cheers for True Duncan!” they all joined and made the schoolhouse ring with a mighty hurrah. The teacher then said, “My boys, I am glad you know what is right and that you approve it, though I am afraid some of you could not have done it. Learn from this time that nothing can make a lie necessary. Suppose Duncan had taken your evil advice and come to me with a lie, it would have been instantly detected, and instead of the honour of truth he would have had only the shame of falsehood.” (Sunday School.)

But a lying tongue is but for a moment.--

The doomed life of a lie

It is “but for a moment.” Dean Swift complains that the influence of a lie is often mischievously lasting; so often does it happen that if a lie be believed, only for an hour, it has done its work, and there is no further occasion for it. But the inherent mortality of whatever is false is recognised in other proverbs than those of Solomon, e.g., the English proverb, “A lie has no legs.” “A lie, in that it is a lie, always carries within itself the germs of its own dissolution. It is sure to destroy itself at last.” Carlyle says, “There is no lie in the long run successful. The hour of all windbags does arrive; every windbag is at length ripped, and collapses.” “Lies exist only to be extinguished; they wait and cry earnestly for extinction.” “Ruin is the great sea of darkness whither all falsehoods, winding or direct, continually flow.” “Nothing,” affirms a political philosopher, of an earlier and quite another school, “can give stability and durable uniformity to error. Indolence or ignorance may keep it floating, as it were, on the surface of the mind, and sometimes hinder truth from penetrating; or force may maintain it in possession, while the mind assents to it no longer. But such opinions, like human bodies, tend to dissolution from their birth . . . Men are dragged into them, and held down in them, by chains of circumstances. Break but these chains, and the mind returns with a kind of intellectual elasticity to its proper object--truth.” (Francis Jacox, B.A.)

Skill in telling lies

The lying tongue succeeds indeed, but its success is momentary; it flashes and expires; it has a clear, straightforward story to tell, but events come, and cross-examine that story, and set it in proper distance and perspective; alliances to which the story owed its consistency are broken up, and evil men begin to divulge secrets regarding one another; piece by piece the story falls asunder, and at the end it is found that it was the fabrication of a malignant genius. Be sure you are true yourselves, and have a true purpose in view, and all discrepancies, inconsistencies, and difficulties will ultimately be smoothed down, and men will be brought to acknowledge the integrity of your heart. Be as skilful as you please in the way of telling lies, arrange everything with consummate cunning, hire all your allies, bribe your spies, and make your way clear by abundance of gold, and yet in the long run your confederates will turn against you, and they to whom you have given most money will be glad to expose your cupidity and falsehood. (J. Parker, D.D.)

Truth more enduring than falsehood

Truth wears well. Time tests it, but it right well endures the trial. If, then, I have spoken the truth, and have for the present to suffer for it, I must be content to wait. If also I believe the truth of God, and endeavour to declare it, I may meet with much opposition, but I need not fear, for ultimately the truth must prevail. What a poor thing is the temporary triumph of falsehood! “A lying lip is but for a moment!” It is a mere gourd, which comes up in a night, and perishes in a night; and the greater its development, the more manifest its decay. On the other hand, how worthy of an immortal being is the avowal and defence of that truth which can never change; the everlasting gospel, which is established in the immutable truth of an unchanging God! An old proverb says, “He that speaks truth shames the devil.” Assuredly he that speaks the truth of God will put to shame all the devils in hell, and confound all the seed of the serpent which now hiss out their falsehoods. Oh, my heart, take care that thou be in all things on the side of truth, both in small things and great; but specially on the side of Him by whom grace and truth have come among men! (C. H. Spurgeon.)


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 12:19". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"The lip of truth shall be established forever; But a lying tongue is but for a moment."

"True lips establish testimony; but a hasty witness has an unjust tongue."[27] The permanence of truth as contrasted with error is stated here. "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again, But wounded error writhes in pain"[28]


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-12.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The lip of truth shall be established for ever,.... The man that speaks truth is and will be established in his credit and reputation among men; he is uniform and all of a piece, and what he says is believed; truth, though it may be opposed, will prevail against lies and falsehood; the word of truth, the Gospel of Christ, will stand for ever; the ministers of truth and righteousness will be continued to the end of the world; Christ, who is truth itself, abides the same to day, yesterday, and for ever;

but a lying tongue is but for a moment; if a liar speaks truth for once, he does not continue in it long, but quickly returns to his former course; or rather the lie he tells is very short lived, it is soon discovered, and he comes into contempt and disgrace, and loses all his credit and reputation among men of honour and honesty, and is sometimes suddenly snatched away by death, as Ananias and Sapphira; all error and heresy in a short time will cease and be no more; and antichrist, whose coming is with lying wonders, the direct opposite of the lip of truth, will be brought to ruin in a moment. Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, who are followed by some Christian interpreters, as Montanus, and some in Vatablus, render it, "but", or "for ever, I will cause the lying tongue to cease", or "be at rest" from speaking; as if they were the words of God, threatening to cut off the lying tongue; but Jarchi and Gersom render it "for a moment", or a very short time, as we and others do; or, "whilst one winks"F6עד ארגיעה "at dum nictem", Schultens. , in the twinkling of an eye; so soon is such a person removed.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-12.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Words of truth are consistent, and stand all tests, while lies are soon discovered and exposed.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

19 The lip of truth endures for ever,

But the lying tongue only while I wink with the eye.

None of the old translators understood the phrase ועד־ארגּיעה ; the Venet . also, which follows Kimchi's first explanation, is incorrect: ἕως ῥήξεως , till I split (shatter) it (the tongue). Abulwalîd is nearer the correct rendering when he takes ארגיעה as a noun = רגע with He parag . Ahron b. Joseph is better in rendering the phrase by: until I make a רגע , and quite correct if רגע (from רגע = Arab. raj' , which is used of the swinging of the balance) is taken in the sense of a twinkling of the eye (Schultens: vibramen ); cf. Orelli's Die hebr. Synonyme der Zeit und Ewigkeit , p. 27f., where the synonyms for a twinkling of the eye, a moment, are placed together. עד (properly progress) has in this phrase the meaning, while, so long as, and the cohortative signifies, in contradistinction to ארגיע , which may also denote an unwilling movement of the eyelids, a movement proceeding from a free determination, serving for the measurement of a short space of time, Ewald, §228a. ארגיעה , Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44, where Ewald takes כי ארגיעה (when I...) in the same sense as אד־ארגיעה here, which is more appropriate than the explanation of Hitzig, who regards כי as opening the principal clause, and attaches to הרגיע the quite too pregnant signification “to need (for an action) only a moment.” The lip of truth, i.e. , the lip which speaketh truth, endures for ever (for truth, אמת = אמנתּ , is just the enduring); but the tongue of falsehood is only for a moment, or a wink of the eye, for it is soon convicted, and with disgrace brings to silence; for a post-bibl. Aram. proverb says: קוּשׁטא קאי שׁקרא לא קאי , the truth endures, the lie endures not (Schabbath 104a), and a Hebrew proverb: השּׁקר אין לו רגלים , the lie has no feet (on which it can stand).

(Note: Vid ., Duke's Rabbin. Blumenlese (1844), p. 231.)


Copyright Statement
The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-12.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

Be it observed, to the honour of truth, that sacred thing, 1. That, if truth be spoken, it will hold good, and, whoever may be disobliged by it and angry at it, yet it will keep its ground. Great is the truth and will prevail. What is true will be always true; we may abide by it, and need not fear being disproved and put to shame. 2. That, if truth be denied, yet in time it will transpire. A lying tongue, that puts false colours upon things, is but for a moment. The lie will be disproved. The liar, when he comes to be examined, will be found in several stories, and not consistent with himself as he is that speaks truth; and, when he is found in a lie, he cannot gain his point, nor will he afterwards be credited. Truth may be eclipsed, but it will come to light. Those therefore that make a lie their refuge will find it a refuge of lies.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

If truth be spoken, it will hold good; whoever may be disobliged, still it will keep its ground.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-12.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

A moment — Liars, though they may make a fair shew for a season, yet are quickly convicted.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 12:19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue [is] but for a moment.

Ver. 19. The lips of truth shall be established for ever.] Veritas odium parit: Truth breeds hatred: a good mistress she is, but he that follows her too close at heels, may hap have his teeth struck out. He that prizeth truth, shall never prosper by the possession or profession thereof, saith Sir Walter Raleigh. (a) This is most true, for the most part, of "the truth of the gospel," [Galatians 2:5] "the doctrine according to godliness" [1 Timothy 6:3] - "sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly"; [Revelation 10:9] very pleasant in itself, but the publishing of it, whereby the fruit of it might come to the rest of the members, is full of trouble and anguish. How many faithful witnesses of the truth have lost their lives in the defence of it! All which notwithstanding, "the lips of truth shall be established," saith the Spirit here. ‘Great is the truth, and shall prevail.’ He that loseth his life in Christ’s cause, shall find it in heaven; "his name" also "shall be famous upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed."

The lying tongue is but for a moment.] As is to be seen in Gehazi, in Ananias and Sapphira, in Doeg, and others; - "God [Psalms 52:5] shall likewise destroy thee for ever, and root thee out of the land of the living." Did he not deal so by Julian, Ecebolius, Latomus, Bomelius, Pendleton, Harding, and others, both ancient and modern, renegades and apostates? "How are they brought into desolation as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terror." [Psalms 73:19]


Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-12.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 19. The lip of truth shall be established forever, for truth, although trodden to the earth, will ever rise again; but a lying tongue is but for a moment, the falsehood being readily exposed and therefore losing its power.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-12.html. 1921-23.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 12:19. The lip of truth shall be established The LXX read, True lips establish testimony; but a hasty witness hath an unrighteous tongue. Houbigant renders it, Perpetuity is in the lip of truth; the tongue of falsehood is for a point of time.


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-12.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The speaker of truth is constant, and always agreeable to himself, and his words, the more and longer they are tried, the more doth the truth of them appear; whereas liars, though they may make a fair show for a season, yet are easily and quickly convicted of falsehood.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

19. Lying tongue… for a moment — Hebrew, until I can wink; the twinkling of an eye. The sense is: He that speaks truth is safe, but a liar shall quickly perish. On first clause compare Zechariah 1:5-6; Matthew 24:35.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-12.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Frameth. He studies how to escape detection. Hebrew, "a lying tongue is but for a moment;" it is presently discovered.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

lip. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for what is spoken. Illustration: Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 14:30, Numbers 14:38).

but for a moment. Illustrations: Ahab (1 Kings 22:30, 1 Kings 22:37; Hananiah (Jeremiah 28:2, Jeremiah 28:11. Compare verses: Proverbs 12:15-17); Gehazi (2 Kings 5:22, 2 Kings 5:25, 2 Kings 5:27. 2 Kings 10:9); Ananias (Acts 5:5, Acts 5:10. Acts 21:6).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

The lip of truth shall be established forever. He whose lips speak truth shall be established forever in the favour of God and of man.

But a lying tongue is but for a moment - literally, 'is while I give a wink:' note, Jeremiah 49:19. Liars need to have good memories. A lying tongue soon betrays itself. 'No lie reaches old age,' says Sophocles. A lie is soon or late discovered, and truth emerges.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(19) A lying tongue is but for a moment.—Being detected and silenced by the providence of God, (Comp. Psalms 64:7-8.)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
lip
Zechariah 1:4-6; Matthew 24:35
but
19:9; Job 20:5; Psalms 52:5; Acts 5:3-10

Copyright Statement
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-12.html.

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