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Psalms 55:21

    Psalms 55:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    His mouth was smooth as butter, But his heart was war: His words were softer than oil, Yet were they drawn swords.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, but they were sharp swords.

    Webster's Revision

    His mouth was smooth as butter, But his heart was war: His words were softer than oil, Yet were they drawn swords.

    World English Bible

    His mouth was smooth as butter, but his heart was war. His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    His mouth was smooth as butter, but his heart was war: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 55:21

    Were smoother than butter - He was a complete courtier, and a deep, designing hypocrite besides. His words were as soft as butter, and as smooth as oil, while he meditated war; and the fair words which were intended to deceive, were intended also to destroy: they were drawn swords. This is a literal description of the words and conduct of Absalom, as we learn from the inspired historian, 2 Samuel 15:2, etc. He was accustomed to wait at the gate; question the persons who came for justice and judgment; throw out broad hints that the king was negligent of the affairs of his kingdom, and had not provided an effective magistracy to administer justice among the people, and added that if he were appointed judge in the land, justice should be done to all. He bowed also to the people, and kissed them; and thus he stole the hearts of the men of Israel. See the passages referred to above.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 55:21

    The words of his mouth were smoother than butter - Prof. Alexander renders this, "Smooth are the butterings of his mouth." This is in accordance with the Hebrew, but the general meaning is well expressed in our common version. The idea is, that he was a hypocrite; that his professions of friendship were false; that he only used pleasant words - words expressive of friendship and love - to deceive and betray. We have a similar expression when we speak of "honeyed words," or "honeyed accents." This would apply to Ahithophel, and it will apply to thousands of similar cases in the world.

    But war was in his heart - He was base, treacherous, false. He was really my enemy, and was ready, when any suitable occasion occurred, to show himself to be such.

    His words were softer than oil - Smooth, pleasant, gentle. He was full of professions of love and kindness.

    Yet were they drawn swords - As swords drawn from the scabbard, and ready to be used. Compare Psalm 28:3; Psalm 57:4.