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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:22

 

 

Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 12:22

Lying lips are abomination to the Lord.

On lying

Man excels the rest of the creatures in the power of communicating thoughts one to another. The creatures are taught, by nature, almost immediately, how to supply their wants. But we are purposely formed to need and to give help in everything, through the whole of our days; and therefore some ready and extensive method of signifying mutually whatever passes within our minds was peculiarly necessary for us. Without this no person would have more knowledge of anything than he could attain of himself. The pleasure and benefits of society would be reduced to a narrow compass, and life hang upon our hands joyless and uncomfortable. Articulate speech, our more distinguishing property, is our chief medium of intercourse. As every blessing may be fatally misused, so there is hardly any bad purpose which language may not be made to serve. It can be turned from its original design of giving right information to those with whom we converse to the opposite one of leading them wrong.

I. What things are to be reputed lies and what not.

1. Since actions and gestures, as well as words, may be employed to express what we think, they may also be employed to express what we do not think, which is the essence of a lie. Some of our actions are naturally significative. But we have never consented to make our actions in general signs of our intentions, as we have our words. If persons interpret our actions they may deceive them not. Such actions as have no determinate sense appropriated to them by agreement, explicit or implied, can be no violations of sincerity; but such as have are subject to just the same rules with words; and we may be guilty of as gross falsehoods in the former as in the latter.

2. Words having acquired their significations by the mutual acquiescence of mankind may change them by the same method. Illustrate by words”humble” and “servant.” The high-strained expressions of civility which are so common, however innocent now, proceeded originally from a mean and fawning and fallacious disposition in those who began them, and tended to nurse up vanity and haughtiness in those to whom they were addressed. As for phrases, of which custom hath changed or annihilated the signification, though, after this is done, they are no longer lies, yet they were lies all the time it was doing; and every new step taken in the same road will be a new lie till everybody finds it out and learns the fashionable interpretation of it. Great care must therefore be taken to prevent our “language running into a lie.”

3. As to all figures of speech, fables, allegories, feigned histories, and parables, those for instance of our blessed Saviour, and others in Scripture, intended only to convey instruction more agreeably or efficaciously, there is evidently no room to condemn these as deceits. But the case is widely different when persons, with all the marks of seriousness, affirm what they will afterwards despise and ridicule others for believing. These are plainly designed falsehoods, and in a greater or less degree, injurious ones. This is “foolish talking, and jesting not convenient.”

4. Concerning ambiguous phrases, which in one acceptation express our meaning truly, but in another do not, it must be observed that when we are bound, by promise or otherwise, to declare what we know or believe in any case, we are bound to declare it in such terms as are likely to be well understood. And even when we are not thus bound we should speak of things, if we can safely, with plainness and simplicity. There may be reason for reservedness towards some persons, even in trifles. When silence will not conceal a thing which ought to be concealed, it must be allowable to speak upon the subject in such a manner as to leave that part in obscurity which is not fit to be revealed. When we design only to keep a man ignorant of a fact it is his own fault if he will also believe a fancy. But if we go further, and lay snares for him; if we give assurances which, in their obvious and universal acceptation, are false, but only have a latent forced construction, in which, after all, they just may be true, this is equivocation, and cannot be defended.

II. The pleas which are urged to justify some sorts of direct lying. Some say that speech was given to mankind solely for their common benefit; nor consequently is it ever used amiss when it contributes to that end. This opinion they try to confirm by several instances of falsehoods which good persons are recorded in Scripture to have uttered knowingly. But some actions may be praised in holy writ on the whole without the least intention of approving the circumstances of insincerity, or other imperfections, with which they were accompanied. Others say that because of our mutual relation we ought to consult our mutual advantage; and where adhering to truth will not promote this, falsehood may be justly substituted. But we feel a natural reluctance in our consciences to lying and deceiving, as such, without looking forward to consequences. What are those instances in which, on balancing the two sides of the account, violation of truth is more beneficial than detrimental to mankind? But what can be said in relation to cases of peril to property or life? Is falsehood then justifiable? The only answer is that the cases are rare, and extreme, and even then doubtfully wise. Better suffer than lie. Take the case of the sick. Prevarication is sometimes even necessary. It must be owned that, in many of the above-mentioned cases there are sometimes difficulties, with which we have much more cause to pray God that we may never be tried than to be confident that we shall judge and act rightly if we are. But the arguments, were they ever so specious, for the lawfulness of fraud in seemingly harmless cases, can never prove it lawful in others of a nature quite contrary. The extreme danger of men’s proceeding in falsehood to very pernicious lengths, if once they begin, is a most unanswerable objection against its being permitted in any degree at all. (Abp. Secker.)

Lying

It is possible to speak against truth and yet not lie, provided we speak in good faith. It is speaking in bad faith, with conscious purpose of deceiving, that is a lie. Take the text on the broad general ground that lying is abomination to the Lord. Take the word in its honest downright form; do not let us shelter ourselves under smooth expressions--equivocation, prevarication, dissembling, simulation, untruthfulness--longer words, by which men try to take the edge from unpleasant facts--but which all in the end point to the same thing, a want of sincerity. Whatever you may do to soften off the epithet and description, there remains the text in all its decision and boldness. Nor is the verdict of man less decisive. Even while they practise it men condemn lying. Perjury is a crime branded by all governments, heathen as well as Christian. We apply the word “true” to all that is good and worthy. Is not our instinctive feeling that truth is the object most worthy of attaining? Its opposite must be proportionally odious. Consider the mischief which lying occasions to society. It is by mutual confidence, by faith in the honesty and purity of each other’s motives, that we live on together. No peace can be where there is no trust. See some of the sorts of lies which prevail nowadays.

1. White lies--lies glossed over and decorated by fashion; specious habits of talk, and conventional phrases; justified by necessity, expediency, or the like.

2. Slander. This is not peculiar to our age--witness the cases of Mephibosheth, Naboth, Jeremiah, the blessed Lord Himself, all victims of false accusation--but it is not rare in our age.

3. Lies to screen our faults. These are more natural and intelligible. To escape the consequences of a sin by hiding it seems a tangible advantage; but is it? Do we gain by cloking one fault with another? Every right-minded man would have a thousand times more pity for one who owned his fault and asked forgiveness than for one who tried to elude detection. We are disgusted with the man who has no self-respect, and no respect for us, who in using a lie deems us simple enough to be cajoled, and considers the doubling of his sin preferable to owning himself in the wrong. This is said of sins against our fellow-men: how much more forcibly it applies to sins against God.

4. Two other modes of lying frequently come before the clergyman.

The nature, malignity, and pernicious effects of falsehood and lying

Nothing in nature is so universally decried, and yet so universally practised, as falsehood. A mighty, governing lie goes round the world, and has almost banished truth out of it. The greatest annoyance and disturbance of mankind has been from one of these two things, force or fraud; and force often allies with fraud. It is the tongue that drives the world before it. It is hard to assign any one thing but lying, which God and man so unanimously join in the hatred of; and it is hard to tell whether it does a greater dishonour to God, or mischief to man.

I. The nature of a lie, and the proper essential malignity of all falsehood. A lie is an outward signification of something contrary to, or at least beside the inward sense of the mind. It is a false signification, knowingly and voluntarily used. There are said to be three different kinds of lie.

1. The pernicious lie, uttered for the hurt or disadvantage of our neighbour.

2. The officious lie, uttered for our own, or our neighbour’s advantage.

3. The ludicrous and jocose lie, uttered by way of jest, and only for mirth’s sake, in common converse. The unlawfulness of lying is grounded upon this, that a lie is properly a sort of species of injustice, and a violation of the right of that person to whom the false speech is directed.

II. The pernicious effects of lying.

1. It was this introduced sin into the world; and by lying sin is still propagated and promoted.

2. To it is due all the misery and calamity that befalls mankind. That which brought sin into the world necessarily brings with it sorrow.

3. Lying tends utterly to dissolve society. The band that knits together and supports all compacts is truth and faithfulness. Without mutual trust there could not only be no happiness, but indeed no living in this world.

4. Deceit and falsehood most peculiarly indispose the hearts of men to the impressions of religion. The very life and soul of all religion is sincerity.

III. The rewards or punishments that will assuredly attend, or at least follow, this base practice.

The Bible warning against lying

Three reasons why we ought to mind this warning.

I. Because of what God thinks about it. There is hardly any form of wickedness against which God has spoken so often and so strongly in the Bible as He has against lying. To know what God thinks about lying should lead us to mind the warning against it.

II. Because of what men think of it. Somebody asked Aristotle what a man could gain by lying. His answer was “that no one will believe him when he speaks the truth.”

III. Because of the punishment which must follow lying after death. Whatever the effect of our lying in this life may be, it will soon be over. The consequences must follow us after death. (R. Newton, D.D.)

Schoolboy honour

There can be no question that men and women would be far better than they are if they had been better brought up. If men and women were themselves better, they would give their children a higher moral training. I feel bound to bring forward a definite charge of neglect of parental and tutorial duty against parents and teachers in general. The charge is this: Parents and teachers too often either connive at, or openly encourage, what is called, in unconscious irony, “school-boy honour.” What can be said in favour of those sentiments out of which “school-boy honour” springs?

1. There is something inexpressibly petty and mean in tale-bearing; in the habit of running to a parent or master with every little complaint of personal injury or wrong inflicted. It is good for the young to learn to bear small wrongs and pains from each other, and to learn also how to settle their own quarrels.

2. There is something mean and cowardly in reporting on the sly the offences committed by others. This is bad for the informer, who grows into conceit and priggishness. The sly informer, the whisperer, is really a traitor. He plays and consorts on equal terms with the rest, who are altogether unconscious that they have a spy among them. Any one whose sense of duty leads him to “tell” must have the moral courage to warn the offender previously, to make his charge publicly, and to be willing to bear all the consequences of his conscientious act.

3. School-boy honour may represent the noble sentiments of brotherhood and comradeship. Under existing circumstances, the caste, or class-feeling, or clanship among boys, demands some principle of mutual loyalty and defence. Boys ought, within certain limits, to stand by each other. I give all the praise it deserves to school-boy honour. But in its practical working, and in the extremes to which mutual protection is carried, it is full of evil, corrupting to the morals, and tending to obliterate the fine sense of right and wrong which is often native to the boy’s mind.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 12:22". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-12.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"Lying lips are an abomination to Jehovah; But they that deal truly are his delight."

This verse is quite similar to Proverbs 11:20, and our comments there are applicable here.


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 12:22". "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

Lying lips are abomination to the Lord,.... Such that speak lies in common talk; and that deliver out doctrinal lies, false doctrines, lies in hypocrisy, as are the doctrines of Rome; these are abominable unto God; as being contrary to his nature as the God of truth; contrary to the Scriptures of truth he has endited; contrary to the truth of the Gospel he has published; contrary to his Son, who is truth itself; and to the Spirit of truth, which leads into all truth, as it is in Jesus; wherefore an abomination and a lie are joined together, Revelation 21:27;

but they that deal truly are his delight; or the objects of "his good will" and pleasure, as the wordF9רצונו "est beneplacitum ejus", Vatablus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "accepti sunt ei", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. signifies; they are grateful and acceptable to him; he is well-pleased with them, and delights in them. Not only such that speak the truth, but "do the truth"F11עשי אמונה "facientibus veritatem", Pagninus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "facientes veritatem", Montanus; "qui faciunt veritatem", Cocceius. , as the words may be rendered; whose words and actions, doctrine and life, agree together: it is not enough to embrace, profess, or preach the truth, but he must practise it; see John 3:21; he must deal truly with God and men, or faithfully, as the Targum and Vulgate Latin version; he must be true to his word and promises, and faithfully perform what he has agreed unto. Or, "that work faith"; that work the work of faith, that faith which works by love; that live on Christ and his righteousness; such are well pleasing to God; without which faith it is impossible to please him, Hebrews 11:6.


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 12:22". "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

deal truly — or, “faithfully,” that is, according to promises (compare John 3:21).


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 12:22". "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

22 Lying lips are an abhorrence to Jahve,

And they that deal truly are His delight.

The frame of the distich is like Proverbs 11:1, Proverbs 11:20. אמוּנה is probity as the harmony between the words and the inward thoughts. The lxx, which translates ὁ δὲ ποιῶν πίστεις , had in view עשה אמונים ( עשׂה אמוּנים , cf. Isaiah 26:2); the text of all other translations agrees with that commonly received.


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 12:22". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-12.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

We are here taught, 1. To hate lying, and to keep at the utmost distance from it, because it is an abomination to the Lord, and renders those abominable in his sight that allow themselves in it, not only because it is a breach of his law, but because it is destructive to human society. 2. To make conscience of truth, not only in our words, but in all our actions, because those that deal truly and sincerely in all their dealings are his delight, and he is well pleased with them. We delight to converse with, and make use of, those that are honest and that we may put a confidence in; such therefore let us be, that we may recommend ourselves to the favour both of God and man.


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 12:22". "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

Make conscience of truth, not only in words, but in actions.


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 12:22". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

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

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL NOTES.—

Pro . Speaketh, literally "breathes."

Pro . Speaketh, literally "babbles." Health, "healing."

Pro . A moment, literally "while I wink."

MAIN HOMILETICS OF THE PARAGRAPH.—Pro , and Pro 12:22

WOUNDING AND HEALING

I. The mischief that may be done by a lying tongue.

1. In a legal matter. It is the duty of a witness to testify exactly what he knows, and no more nor less. If a man speaks deceitfully he may bring much misery upon the innocent, whom his straightforward testimony would have acquitted. And he may do this by withholding truth as well as by uttering direct falsehood. The first is "showing forth deceit" as well as the last.

2. In common conversation. The word "speaketh," in Pro , is "babbleth," and seems to point to those who are great talkers, and who are not careful what they say. (See Homiletics on chap. Pro 10:19-21, page 168.) In both these cases words may inflict a more deadly wound than a sword. If spoken to a man they may break his heart, if spoken of him they may kill his reputation, which no sword of steel can touch, and which to the best men is much more precious than bodily life. A lying or even a babbling tongue can pierce a much more vital organisation than flesh and blood—it can enter the human spirit, and hurt it in its most sensitive part; or by slander it can destroy all the joy of a man's earthly life. And as a sword can in a moment sever the spirit and the body of a man, and work such ruin and misery as can never be done away with, so a lying tongue may by one word, or one conversation, do mischief that can never be undone. The sword of steel can divide human friends locally; but it cannot sever their love; it tends rather to increase and brighten the flame; but a word of slander may do all this, and estrange those who were bound in the tenderest ties, until the God of Truth shall bring the truth to light. Though the lying tongue is comparatively "but for a moment," yet in a moment it can deal a thrust that will last as long as life. It can open a wound whence will flow out all the joy of life, as the heart's blood flows from a mortally wounded man.

II. Its judgment and its destiny. It is an abomination in the sight of a God of Truth, and, therefore, its life is comparatively short—it is "but for a moment" compared with the eternal duration of truth. A lying man or devil is the very antipodes of the Divine character. All truthful men instinctively shrink from a liar as the sensitive plant withdraws from the human touch. How much more must he be held in abhorrence by Him who is a "God of Truth, and without iniquity" (Deu ). Christ characterises lying as the cardinal sin of the greatest sinner in the universe (Joh 8:44). It was his lying tongue that "brought death into the world, and all our woe," and so spoiled the Paradise which God had prepared for man. How then can lying be any other than an abomination to Him? But, because it is so, its doom is fixed. It is destined to destruction by the victory of truth, as the night is destroyed by the overcoming light of day. (On this subject see also Homiletics on Chap. Pro 10:18, page 166.)

III. The blessed results of a truthful and wisely-governed tongue.

1. It will "show forth righteousness." A man who speaks the truth shows forth righteousness in two ways—

(1) in his own character. He reveals himself to be a righteous man. He gives a living example of uprightness and integrity.

(2) He helps on righteousness in the world. By being a faithful witness he furthers the ends of justice and righteousness—he helps on the just administration of the law.

2. It will heal wounds inflicted by the untruthful tongue. In nature we have a two-fold exhibition of power. The hurricane comes and breaks the branches of the tree, and strips off its leaves; but a more beneficent power clothes it again with beauty. So the tongue of a fool strips a man of what made life beautiful to him—takes away his good name, or breaks bonds of close friendship—but wise and kind words have a healing power in them—they help to cheer the wounded spirit, and enable the bowed head to lift itself again. Such a tongue of healing had the Divine Son of God, who came "to heal the broken in heart" (Isa ), and to restore the friendship between God and man, which was first broken by the slandering tongue of the devil—that great slanderer of God to man, and of man to God" (Gen 3:5; Job 1:10). To Him the "Lord God gave the tongue of the learned, that He might know how to speak a word in season to him that was weary (Isa 50:4). The tongue of all true servants of God is an instrument of healing, for they are enabled to tell to their fellow-men "words whereby they may be saved" (Act 10:14).

IV. God's estimation of it and its destiny. It is "God's delight," Pro . Whatever gives delight to a noble and benevolent man must be a blessing to humanity, and everything will delight him that tends to minister blessing to the world. This is pre-eminently true of the good God. Truth is the great need of the race—truth in word and deed and thought. To this end Christ came into the world "to bear witness of the truth" (Joh 18:37), because that alone is the cure for the world's woes. Then every man who is true must bless humanity and consequently delight God. A good father rejoices to see his own excellencies of character appear in his son, and the Father of the good likewise delights to see His children copy Him in "dealing truly." (See also on chap. Pro 11:1, page 191.) And because it is God's delight it will last for ever. Truth of any kind will be established in the course of time. If a man proclaim a scientific truth, however much he may be laughed at and disbelieved at first, his "lip," or his words, will be established in the end. The words of Galileo, when he uttered the truth, that the earth moved round the sun, have long since been "established." Time only is needed for any truth to take root-hold—it can never be overturned, whether it be physical or moral truth. Many truths which were scoffed at by most men, when they were first promulgated, are now regarded as truisms by almost everybody. And the lips that uttered them are now established and held in honour. Such men, for instance, as Cromwell and Milton, when they declared that the right of private judgment in religious matters, the freedom of the press, etc., were the right of every man, are now established in the estimation of this nation, and the truths which they uttered are regarded by all Englishmen as undoubted facts. "This," says F. W. Robertson, "is man's relation to the truth. He is but a learner—a devout recipient of a revelation—here to listen with open ear devoutly for that which he shall hear; to gaze and watch for that which he shall see. Man can do no more. He cannot create truth; he can only bear witness to it; he can only listen and report that which is in the universe. If he does not repeat and witness to that, he speaketh of his own, and forthwith ceases to be true.… Veracity is another thing. Veracity is the correspondence between a proposition and a man's belief. Truth is the correspondence of the proposition with fact." It is to such witness-bearers—especially to those who witness concerning moral truth—that the promise of the text applies.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

Pro . He who is brought to a spiritual discernment of the "truth" "breathes" it like his breath, instinctively and unconsciously. (See Critical Notes.) And he who does this not simply "covers shame" (Pro 12:16), but causes others to, for he advertises righteousness—i.e., publishes it. This, therefore, is the meaning of the sentence: "He that breathes forth truth publishes righteousness"—i.e., saving righteousness: and does it like uttering forth his breath. While the "deceived" (false) witness; literally, the witness of falsehood; aphrase which is ambiguous, because it might mean a witness to falsehood (see chap. Pro 6:9)—the "deceived witness"—i.e., the man who sees or witnesses falsehood instead of truth, "publishes (understood) delusion"—i.e., is a constant fountain of deceit to other men. This sense of the witness of falsehood is necessary to many proverbs (chap Pro 14:5), and saves a number from tautological or truistic interpretations.—Miller.

There is more here than lies upon the surface. It might seem enough for a faithful witness to speak truth. But no—he must show forth righteousness; what is just, as well as what is true. The best intentioned purpose must not lead us to conceal what is necessary to bring the cause to a righteous issue.—Bridges.

The words read at first almost like a truism; but the thought which lies below the surface is that of the inseparable union between truth and justice. The end does not justify the means, and only he who breathes and utters truth makes the righteous cause clear. Plumptre.

He that speaketh, ordinarily, in his common speech, that which is true, will show righteousness—that is, will carry himself justly, and further righteousness with his testimony, when he shall be publicly called thereunto. There must be a training of the tongue to make it fit for equity and justice, as of the hands, and other parts of the body, to make them skilful in handling a weapon and bearing of arms.… No man is competent for any work that is public unless his former upright and honest conversation commend him unto it. The rule which our Saviour gives in another case will hold as firmly in this. "He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much" (Luk ). For, first, the mouth of the man is the mouth of the man's treasure. That which he speaketh he best loveth. That which is most in the lips hath greatest place in the heart. If, therefore, the truth be dear unto him, he will certainly show it forth when he shall stand forth before God and His substitute for that purpose, and so do a good service of love and piety; but if he have any fellowship with falsehood he will now take part with it, being void of the fear of God, and afraid to displease man. Secondly, no man exerciseth the truth at any time conscionably, but by the spirit of truth, and that directing men's hearts at other times, in matters of less weight, will not fail them at their greatest need, when they are to perform a duty of so great importance; and so, on the other hand, Satan hath the disposing of their tongues that give themselves to lying. He is their father, he teacheth them their trade, and tasketh them in their work, and they be wholly at his commandment, and who doubteth but he will command them to be on his side, and to take against the truth, so far as a knowledge of the truth shall make against his practices.—Dod.

Pro . Wit, when not chastened and controlled by an amiable disposition, often wounds deeply. Jibes, jests, irony, raillery, and sarcasm, fly about. No matter what the wounds, or where they be inflicted, if the wit be but shown. A happy hit, a clever, biting repartee, will not be suppressed for the sake of the feelings, or even the character of a neighbour, or, as it may happen, a friend. The man of wit must have his joke, cost what it may. The point may be piercing in the extreme; but if it glitters it is enough; to the heart it will go.—Wardlaw.

Abimelech and his fellow priests were killed with the tongue, as with a rapier; so was Naboth and his sons; so was our Saviour Christ Himself. An honest mind is ever more afflicted with words than blows. You shall find some, saith Erasmus, that if they be threatened with death can despise it; but to be belied they cannot brook, nor from revenge contain themselves. How was David enraged by Nabal's railings! Moses, by the people's murmurings! Jeremiah by the derisions of the rude rabble! (chap. Pro .)—Trapp.

Among all the complaints which the godly, and God's own spirit make against the wicked in the Scriptures, they seldom complain of anything more than of their virulent and pestiferous mouths (Psa ; Psa 52:2; Pro 25:18; Rom 3:13). First, they cause swords to be drawn, and blood to be shed, and men to be slain, and much mischief to be wrought. Secondly. The sword, or any other weapon, can only hurt them that are present, and in places near to it; but the stroke of the tongue will light most dangerously upon them that are absent; no place or distance can help against it, and one man may do mischief to a great multitude.—Dod.

Pro . Liars need to have good memories. A lying tongue soon betrays itself. "No lie reaches old age," says Sophocles.—Fausset.

The verse has been differently rendered. "The tongue of truth is ever steady: but the tongue of falsehood is so but for a moment" (Hodgson). There is unvarying consistency in the one case; for truth is always in harmony with itself; while there is shifting evasion, vacillation, contradiction, in the other.—Wardlaw.

Who will gainsay the martyr's testimony—"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, play the man! We shall this day light such a candle in England as I trust shall never be put out."—Bridges.

The Christian shall utter for ever just the things that he utters on earth. Miller.

Pro . Not merely they that speak truly, but they that deal truly. Deeds of true dealing must confirm words of fair speaking.—Fausset.

A lie is a thing absolutely and intrinsically evil; it is an act of injustice and a violation of our neighbour's rights. The vileness of its nature is equalled by the malignity of its effects; it first brought sin into the world, and is since the cause of all those miseries and calamities that disturb it; it tends utterly to overthrow and dissolve society, which is the greatest temporal blessing and support of mankind; it has a strange and peculiar efficacy above all other sins to indispose the heart to religion. It is as dreadful in its punishments as it has been pernicious in its effects.—South.

Honesty is just truth in conduct; and truth is honesty in words.—Wardlaw.

Such as speak the truth in uprightness will not vary in their talk, but tell the same tale again, and be like to themselves in that which they shall say; whereas liars be in and out, affirming and denying, and speaking contradictions in the same matter. Only true men are constant in their words. First, their matter will help their memory, for that which is truth once will be truth ever. Secondly, the same Spirit that worketh a love and conscience of the truth, whereby men are made to be true, doth never cease to be the same, therefore, as it seasoneth the heart and guideth it at the first, so it will establish it, and direct the lips to the end. For sincerity and uprightness is of all things most durable, and least subject to alteration or change. And that St. Paul assigneth for a cause of his invariable constancy, that he minded not those things that he did mind according to the flesh, whereby there should be with him, yea, yea, and nay, nay (2Co ).—Dod.

Truth is always consistent with itself, and needs nothing to help it out; it is always near at hand, and sits upon our lips, and is ready to drop out before we are aware; whereas a lie is troublesome, and sets a man's invention upon the rack, and one trick needs a good many more to make it good. It is like building upon a false foundation, which constantly needs props to shore it up, and proves at last more chargeable than to have raised a substantial building at first upon a true and solid foundation.—Tillotson.

Dare to be true, nothing can need a lie:

A fault which needs it most grows two thereby.

—Herbert.

God "desireth truth in the inward parts" (Psa ), and all His are "children that will not lie" (Isa 63:8); they will rather die than lie. As they "love in the truth" (2Jn 1:1) so they "speak the truth in love" (Eph 4:15), and are therefore dear to the Father in truth and love (2Jn 1:3), especially since they "do truth" as well as speak it (1Jn 1:6), and do not more desire to be truly good than they hate to seem to be so only.—Trapp.

God doth never hate anything that is not hateful, and that must needs be odious which He abhorreth, and especially when it is abomination. Ye may know by their companions among whom they are marshalled what account he maketh of them (see Rev ).… That truth which is acceptable to God consisteth both in speaking and doing.

1. His Spirit doth make every man that hath attained to the one to be able to do the other. That which St. John setteth down in a more general manner doth strongly confirm this particular point. "If any man sin not in word, he is a perfect man, and able to bridle all the body." His meaning is that some be absolute without sin in word, and perfect, without infirmity in goodness; but that many be gracious without sinfulness, though they have their slips in speeches; and sincere, without wickedness, though they have their frailties in behaviour.

2. Both are infallible and essential fruits of regeneration, and the Apostle doth thereby persuade us thereby to declare ourselves to be of the number of the saints, and faithful, saying, "Cast off lying, and let him that stole steal no more" (Eph ; Eph 4:28).

3. Both are required of them that would know and manifest themselves to be natural members of the Church in this world, and inheritors of salvation in the life to come. (See Psa .)—Dod.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-12.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips [are] abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly [are] his delight.

Ver. 22. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord.] Who hath therefore threatened to "cut them off," [Psalms 12:3] and to broil them on "coals of juniper," [Psalms 120:4] which burn sweetly, fiercely, lastingly; and to make them eat their false words, as Master Lewes of Manchester made the summoner that came to cite his wife eat the citation, by setting a dagger to his heart. (a)

But they that deal truly are his delight.] He "desireth truth in the inward parts," [Psalms 51:6] and all his are "children that will not lie"; [Isaiah 63:8] they will rather die than lie; Nec prodam, nec mentiar, said Firmus in Augustine; Non ideo negare volo, ne peream; sed ideo mentiri nolo, ne peccem, said that good woman upon the rack mentioned by Jerome. As they "love in the truth," [2 John 1:1] so they "speak the truth in love," [Ephesians 4:15] and are therefore dear to the Father in truth and love, [2 John 1:3] especially since they "do truth" as well as speak it, [1 John 1:6] and do not more desire to be truly good than they hate to seem to be so only.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-12.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 22. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord, He loathes liars and deceivers; but they that deal truly, practicing uprightness always, are His delight.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-12.html. 1921-23.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Proverbs 12:22

I. To tell lies is pitiful and mean. Nobody who is honourable and high-minded will stoop to do it. Even when we suffer for telling the truth, it is far better to have the courage to stick to it.

II. Lying is a hateful thing, because it has brought so much misery into the world. The safety and happiness of God's children depend on their telling the truth.

III. Lying is wicked. Wrong-doing consists in disobeying God's holy laws, and since He so positively bids us tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, we commit sin every time that we fail to do it.

IV. Another reason why lying should be abhorred is because it is dangerous. Even when God does not punish liars in this world, they will not escape in the next. Hear what the Bible says about it: "All liars have their portion in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone" (Revelation 21:8).

J. N. Norton, The King's Ferry-boat, p. 33.


References: Proverbs 12:22.—R. Newton, Bible Warnings, p. 114. Proverbs 12:26.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 178; H. Thompson, Concionalia: Outlines for Parochial Use, 2nd series, p. 419. Proverbs 13:12.—W. Arnot, Laws from Heaven, 1st series, p. 347. Proverbs 13:15.—Ibid., p. 352; R. Newton, Bible Warnings, p. 91. Proverbs 13:16-21.—R. Wardlaw, Lectures on Proverbs, vol. i., p. 347. 13—J. Irons, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. xv., p. 333.




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Bibliography
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/proverbs-12.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 12:22. Lying lips are abomination to the Lord "The Lord (says Melancthon on this verse) recommends to us the love and care of truth, both in doctrines concerning himself, and in arts, and all honest covenants and contracts: for truth being among the chiefest and most conspicuous virtues, therefore the contrary vice is condemned by an expressive word, תועבה toeibah, abomination: that is, such an evil as God detests with a singular indignation (for idols are called תועבות toeiboth, abominations); which is principally true of such lies as are invented on purpose to destroy men's fame; and much more of such as are devised for the taking away their the ruin of their lives, and families."


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". 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

That deal truly; that speak and act sincerely and truly. He implies, that although lying lips alone are sufficient to purchase God’s hatred, yet truth in a man’s speech is not sufficient to procure God’s favour, unless there be also truth and justice in his actions.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". 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

22. Lying lips — On this verse Melanchthon comments: “Truth being among the most conspicuous of virtues, therefore the opposite vice is condemned by an expressive word, abomination.”

They that deal truly — Those who practise fidelity. Compare Proverbs 11:20; Psalms 5:6; Isaiah 9:15; Revelation 22:15.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-12.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

"When words can"t be trusted, then society starts to fall apart. Contracts are useless, promises are vain, the judicial system becomes a farce, and all personal relationships are suspect." [Note: Wiersbe, p118.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-12.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 12:22. Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord — “The Lord,” says Melancthon, on this verse, “recommends to us the love and care of truth, both in doctrines concerning himself, and in arts, and all honest covenants and contracts: for truth being among the chiefest and most conspicuous virtues, therefore the contrary vice is condemned by an expressive word, abomination, that is, such an evil as God detests with a singular indignation; (for idols are called abominations;) which is principally true of such lies as are invented on purpose to destroy men’s fame, and much more of such as are devised for taking away their lives, and for the ruin of their families.”


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-12.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

abomination, &c. See note on Proverbs 3:32.

they that deal truly are, &c. Some codices, with Septuagint, read "is" (singular) = he that dealeth, &c.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". "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

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight. Not merely they that speak truly, but "they that deal truly" are God's "delight." Deeds of true dealing must confirm words of fair sneaking.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-12.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.
Lying
6:16,17; Psalms 5:6; Isaiah 9:15; Ezekiel 13:19,22; Revelation 21:8; 22:15
but
11:1,20; 15:8; Jeremiah 9:24

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 12:22". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-12.html.

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