Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Job 20:12

    Job 20:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, Though he hide it under his tongue,

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Though evil-doing is sweet in his mouth, and he keeps it secretly under his tongue;

    Webster's Revision

    Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, Though he hide it under his tongue,

    World English Bible

    "Though wickedness is sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 20:12

    Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth - This seems to refer to the secret sins mentioned above.

    Hide it under his tongue - This and the four following verses contain an allegory; and the reference is to a man who, instead of taking wholesome food, takes what is poisonous, and is so delighted with it because it is sweet, that he rolls it under his tongue, and will scarcely let it down into his stomach, he is so delighted with the taste; "he spares it, and forsakes it not, but keeps it still within his mouth," Job 20:13. "But when he swallows it, it is turned to the gall of asps within him," Job 20:14, which shall corrode and torture his bowels.

    Barnes' Notes on Job 20:12

    Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth - Though he has pleasure in committing it, as he has in pleasant food. The sense of this and the following verses is, that though a man may have pleasure in indulgence in sin, and may find happiness of a certain kind in it, yet that the consequences will be bitter - as if the food which he ate should become like gall, and he should cast it up with loathing. There are many sins which, from the laws of our nature, are attended with a kind of pleasure. Such, for illustration, are the sins of gluttony and of intemperance in drinking; the sins of ambition and vanity; the sins of amusement and of fashionable life. To such we give the name of "pleasures." We do not speak of them as "happiness." That is a word which would not express their nature. It denotes rather substantial, solid, permanent joy - such joy as the "pleasures of sin for a season" do not furnish. It is this temporary "pleasure" which the lovers of vanity, fashion and dress, seek, and which, it cannot be denied, they often find. As long ago as the time of Zophar, it was admitted that such pleasure might be found in some forms of sinful indulgence and yet even in his time that was seen, which all subsequent observation has proved true, that such indulgence must lead to bitter results.

    Though he hide it under his tongue - It is from this passage, probably, that we have derived the phrase, "to roll sin as a sweet morsel under the tongue," which is often quoted as if it were a part of Scripture. The "meaning" here is, that a man would find pleasure in sin, and would seek to prolong it, as one does the pleasure of eating that which is grateful to the palate by holding it long in the mouth, or by placing it under the tongue.

    Wesley's Notes on Job 20:12

    20:12 Mouth - To his taste; though it greatly please him for the present. Hide - As an epicure doth a sweet morsel, which he keeps and rolls about his mouth, that he may longer enjoy the pleasure of it.
    Book: Job