Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Proverbs 18:21


Death and life are in the power 1  of the tongue, 2  and those who love its use 3  will eat its fruit.


Pr 10:19; Pr 10:20,21,31; Pr 11:30; Pr 18:4-7; Ec 10:12-14; Isa 57:19; Mt 12:35-37; Ro 10:14,15; 2Co 2:16; 2Co 11:15; Eph 4:29; Col 4:6; Tit 1:10,11; Jas 3:6-9; 2Pe 2:18

NET © Notes

tn Heb “in the hand of.”

sn What people say can lead to life or death. The Midrash on Psalms shows one way the tongue [what is said] can cause death: “The evil tongue slays three, the slanderer, the slandered, and the listener” (Midrash Tehillim 52:2). See J. G. Williams, “The Power of Form: A Study of Biblical Proverbs,” Semeia 17 (1980): 35-38.

tn The referent of “it” must be the tongue, i.e., what the tongue says (= “its use”). So those who enjoy talking, indulging in it, must “eat” its fruit, whether good or bad. The expression “eating the fruit” is an implied comparison; it means accept the consequences of loving to talk (cf. TEV).

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