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Matthew 12:34

    Matthew 12:34 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    You offspring of snakes, how are you, being evil, able to say good things? because out of the heart's store come the words of the mouth.

    Webster's Revision

    Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    World English Bible

    You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 12:34

    O generation of vipers - These are apparently severe words; but they were extremely proper in reference to that execrable people to whom they were addressed: the whole verse is an inference from what was spoken before.

    Out of the abundance (περισσευματος, the overflowings) of the heart - Wicked words and sinful actions may be considered as the overflowings of a heart that is more than full of the spirit of wickedness; and holy words and righteous deeds may be considered as the overflowings of a heart that is filled with the Holy Spirit, and running over with love to God and man.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 12:34

    O generation of vipers! - Christ here applies the argument which he had suggested in the previous verse. They were a wicked race; like poisonous reptiles, with a corrupt and evil nature. They could not be expected to speak good things - that is, to speak favorably of him and his works. As the bad fruit of a tree was the proper effect of its "nature," so were their words about him and his works the proper effect of their nature. The "abundance" or fullness of the "heart" produced the words of the lips. "Vipers" are a poisonous kind of serpents, not often a yard long, and about an inch thick, having a flat head. The males have two large teeth, through which a most deadly poison is thrown into the wound made by the bite. They are an emblem of malignity and mischief. These were strong expressions to be used by the meek and lowly Jesus; but they were not the effect of anger and malice; they were a declaration of the true character of the people with whom he was conversing - a declaration most justly deserved. See the notes at Matthew 3:7.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 12:34

    12:34 In another kind likewise, the tree is known by its fruit - Namely, the heart by the conversation.