Proverbs on the Tongue

Yesterday’s sermon was on The Wisdom of Words from the book of Proverbs. If you weren’t able to join us for worship, be sure to listen to the sermon on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, or watch it online here.

We weren’t able to cover all the proverbs on the tongue in the sermon, but it is a helpful exercise to read through the various proverbs on the subject, and that’s exactly what’s listed below. Take a few minutes to read these “Proverbs on the Tongue,” and maybe read them with a pen and notebook nearby. Write down your thoughts as you read. What specifically stands out? How do you need to apply these to your life?


Proverbs 4:23–24
[23] Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flows the springs of life.
[24] Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.

Proverbs 6:16–19
[16] There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
[17] haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
[18] a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
[19] a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.

Proverbs 8:6–8
[6] Hear, for I will speak noble things,
and from my lips will come what is right,
[7] for my mouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
[8] All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
[9] They are all straight to him who understands,
and right to those who find knowledge.

Proverbs 9:7
[7] Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.

Proverbs 9:13
[13] The woman Folly is loud;
she is seductive and knows nothing.

Proverbs 10:6
[6] Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Proverbs 10:11
[11] The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Proverbs 10:18–21
[18] The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
and whoever utters slander is a fool.
[19] When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
[20] The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
[21] The lips of the righteous feed many,
but fools die for lack of sense.

Proverbs 10:31–32
[31] The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
[32] The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.

Proverbs 11:9
[9] With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.

Proverbs 11:11–13
[11] By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
[12] Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
but a man of understanding remains silent.
[13] Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 12:6
[6] The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the mouth of the upright delivers them.

Proverbs 12:13–14
[13] An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,
but the righteous escapes from trouble.
[14] From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.

Proverbs 12:17–19
[17] Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness utters deceit.
[18] There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
[19] Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Proverbs 12:22
[22] Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Proverbs 12:23
[23] A prudent man conceals knowledge,
but the heart of fools proclaims folly.

Proverbs 12:25
[25] Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
but a good word makes him glad.

Proverbs 13:3
[3] Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 14:3
[3] By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,
but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

Proverbs 14:5
[5] A faithful witness does not lie,
but a false witness breathes out lies.

Proverbs 14:25
[25] A truthful witness saves lives,
but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.

Proverbs 15:2
[2] The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

Proverbs 15:4
[4] A gentle tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 15:7
[7] The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the hearts of fools.

Proverbs 15:23
[23] To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
and a word in season, how good it is!

Proverbs 15:26
[26] The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD,
but gracious words are pure.

Proverbs 16:21
[21] The wise of heart is called discerning,
and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

Proverbs 16:23–24
[23] The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
[24] Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 16:27–28
[27] A worthless man plots evil,
and his speech is like a scorching fire.
[28] A dishonest man spreads strife,
and a whisperer separates close friends.

Proverbs 17:7
[7] Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
still less is false speech to a prince.

Proverbs 17:27–28
[27] Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
[28] Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 18:2–4
[2] A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.
[3] When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
and with dishonor comes disgrace.
[4] The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

Proverbs 18:6–8
[6] A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
and his mouth invites a beating.
[7] A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
and his lips are a snare to his soul.
[8] The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.

Proverbs 18:13
[13] If one gives an answer before he hears,
it is his folly and shame.

Proverbs 18:21
[21] Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 19:1
[1] Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.

Proverbs 19:5
[5] A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will not escape.

Proverbs 19:9
[9] A false witness will not go unpunished,
and he who breathes out lies will perish.

Proverbs 20:19
[19] Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

Proverbs 21:6
[6] The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.

Proverbs 21:23
[23] Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 22:10–11
[10] Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
[11] He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious,
will have the king as his friend

Proverbs 23:9
[9] Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
for he will despise the good sense of your words.

Proverbs 23:15–16
[15] My son, if your heart is wise,
my heart too will be glad.
[16] My inmost being will exult
when your lips speak what is right.

Proverbs 24:23–26
[23] These also are sayings of the wise.
Partiality in judging is not good.
[24] Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
[25] but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
and a good blessing will come upon them.
[26] Whoever gives an honest answer
kisses the lips.

Proverbs 25:11–14
[11] A word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
[12] Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
[13] Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
he refreshes the soul of his masters.
[14] Like clouds and wind without rain
is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.

Proverbs 25:15
[15] With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
and a soft tongue will break a bone.

Proverbs 25:20
[20] Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
and like vinegar on soda.

Proverbs 25:23
[23] The north wind brings forth rain,
and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.

Proverbs 26:4–5
[4] Answer not a fool according to his folly,
lest you be like him yourself.
[5] Answer a fool according to his folly,
lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Proverbs 26:18–19
[18] Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
[19] is the man who deceives his neighbor
and says, “I am only joking!”

Proverbs 26:20–28
[20] For lack of wood the fire goes out,
and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
[21] As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
[22] The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.
[23] Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart.
[24] Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
[25] when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
[26] though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
[27] Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
[28] A lying tongue hates its victims,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Proverbs 27:2
[2] Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips.

Proverbs 27:5–6
[5] Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
[6] Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
profuse are the kisses of an enemy.

Proverbs 27:14
[14] Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
rising early in the morning,
will be counted as cursing.

Proverbs 29:9
[9] If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

Proverbs 29:20
[20] Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 30:10
[10] Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.

Proverbs 30:32–33
[32] If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
or if you have been devising evil,
put your hand on your mouth.
[33] For pressing milk produces curds,
pressing the nose produces blood,
and pressing anger produces strife.

Proverbs 31:8–9
[8] Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
[9] Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:26
[26] She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.