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Psalms 140:3

Context

140:3 Their tongues wound like a serpent; 1 

a viper’s 2  venom is behind 3  their lips. (Selah)

1 tn Heb “they sharpen their tongue like a serpent.” Ps 64:3 reads, “they sharpen their tongues like sword.” Perhaps Ps 140:3 uses a mixed metaphor, the point being that “they sharpen their tongues [like a sword],” as it were, so that when they speak, their words wound like a serpent’s bite. Another option is that the language refers to the pointed or forked nature of a serpent’s tongue, which is viewed metaphorically as “sharpened.”

2 tn The Hebrew term is used only here in the OT.

3 tn Heb “under.”



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