Thursday, September 20, 2007



Proverbs 10:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander is a fool.

Already this does not look good does it!? I think it is that fool part at the end which is so disturbing. But hey. It is your choice whether to be one or not simply by keeping your mouth closed or your keyboard silent.

In the first phrase of this verse, we have the word hideth and that is actually the same Hebrew word for concealeth which was looked at in the Proverbs 11 post. The word hatred is more than just a passive dislike. In Numbers 35:20 it is tied to the idea of physical violence. In Ecclesiastes 9:1, it is contrasted with the word love which is more than just an emotion but an emotion that moves one to action. With love, the action is positive. With hate, the action is negative. In this same chapter of Proverbs, once again the word hate is contrasted with love and here we see hatred tied with strife and love with covering. The word lying is in reference to untruth. Such spoken words have no truthful foundation and as such have NO value. In essence, the person full of hatred tries to hide it by telling you all is well. They may even use such phrases as, "you have nothing to worry about", "I have your best interest in mind" or even the worst, "I love you in the Lord" when their heart is decrying just the opposite. The implication is that even though man may not know the heart, God does.

But this verse covers more than just the one who lies to cover hatred. It also speaks of those who spread the truth with a negative twist and/or for ungodly purposes. This word slander is used in Numbers 13:32; 14:36,37. In those passages, it is translated, evil report. Now when you look at their report, they bring back the truth so far as it related to the land. They said it was a land flowing with milk and honey but they also said that the people in the land were giants and great men of statue and the way that they said it was to cause despair upon the people. In fact, their report led the people to murmur. They were not interested in encouraging the people, they were trying to discourage them and to even turn the people against Moses which to a degree was successful. In Genesis 37:2 it is used of Joseph's account to his father about his brothers. It is used in Jeremiah 20:10 where the people were slandering Jeremiah and hoping to catch him in a trap. In Psalm 31:13 slander is once again tied in with the concepts of fear and deceit. Slander may have an element of truth or even be the truth but the purpose in sharing it is to cause fear and grumbling and it would also be a fair statement that those involved in such are usually doing it to cause destruction for those they speak against.

What does the Scripture say about such people? Those who lie to cover the opposite of what they say and those who slander to cause great harm, dissension and destruction? The Bible says they are fools. In Ecclesiastes 2:13-14, the fool is said to be in darkness while the wise is in light. Ecclesiastes 5:1 records that fools act rashly and do evil. In Ecclesiastes 10:2, the fools heart is in his left hand while the wise man's heart is in the right. Proverbs 1:7 tells us that the fool despises wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 10:23 tells us that a fool delights in causing trouble and as such, he is a liability to his circle of influence. In Proverbs 13:20, God warns that being a companion to fools will lead to brokenness and destruction. By no means is this an exhaustive list of the fool. You cannot read Proverbs and Ecclesiastes without noticing the word fool unless of course you are one.

Gossip, particularly of the slanderous sort is meant to be destructive towards those it is spoken of and it will lead to the destruction of those participating in it. It should not be participated in by those who claim the name of Jesus. The epistle of James is truly correct when he notes how such a little member as the tongue can kindle such a great fire. Like a rudder steers a ship, so your tongue steers you. If you are not sure that what you are about to say is slander or gossip, you either need to remain silent in speech or keyboard OR hey, here is a novel idea, try telling them about the love of Jesus instead.

For the first in this series, go HERE.
For the third in this series, go HERE.
For the fourth in this series, go HERE.

*NOTE* The following references were used and are used by this writer.
Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament(1980). Harris, Archer Jr., and Waltke.

The Complete Word Study Dictionary, Old Testament(2003). Baker and Carpenter.

Yes, I know that is not Turabian format. That is one of the neat things about this being my blog.

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