They are not very nice (Rom 3:13)

“Their throats

Are an open grave.

They use their tongues

To deceive.

The poison

Of a cobra snake

Is under their lips.”

τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν, ταῖς γλώσσαις αὐτῶν ἐδολιοῦσαν, ἰὸς ἀσπίδων ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν·

Paul said that their throats (ὁ λάρυγξ αὐτῶν) were an open grave (τάφος ἀνεῳγμένος).  They used their tongues (ταῖς γλώσσαις αὐτῶν) to deceive (ἐδολιοῦσαν).  The venom (ἰὸς) of a cobra snake (ἀσπίδων) was under their lips (ὑπὸ τὰ χείλη αὐτῶν).  Only the Pauline letters used these words λάρυγξ, that means the throat or gullet, the word ἐδολιοῦσαν, that means to deceive, act deceitfully, or use fraud, and the word ἀσπίδων, that means an asp, a hooded-snake, or a cobra.  Thus, Paul made the obvious comparison to David in Psalm 5:9.  David had said that there was no truth in the mouths of this enemies.  Their hearts were destruction.  Their throats were open graves.  They flattered with their tongues.  David attacked his enemies, the wicked ones because they were liars with cruel destructive hearts.  Their throats were like open graves.  They flattered everyone.  David wanted them to confess and bear their guilt.  He wanted vengeance.  He wanted them to fall because of their many transgressions.  Paul assumed the same argument here.  The comparison to a cobra snake is from Psalm 140:3, where David once again complained.  He wanted to be delivered from evil men, who were violent, planning evil things in their minds and stirring up wars continually.  They had made their tongue sharp like a snake’s tongue.  Under their lips was the poison of snakes.  Paul used the Psalms as his way of pointing out the wickedness of all humans.  Do you think the psalms show the perversity of mankind?

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