Psalm 120:3
(3) What shall . . .?--Literally, What will he give to thee, and what will he add to thee, deceitful tongue? where it is better, as in the Authorised Version, to take the subject as indefinite, and so render by the passive. Thus we get in substance the following question: "What more can be added to thee (i.e., in the way of epithet), besides lying and false, thou deceitful tongue?" the answer is given by suggesting the usual metaphors of malicious speech, "the warrior's sharpened arrows" (Jeremiah 9:8; Psalm 57:4); "fire" (James 3:6). Only here both images are elaborated. For the Hebrew word give with the sense of comparison, see 1Samuel 1:16, "Count (Heb., give) not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial." Gesenius compares the use of the Greek ???????, instead of ????????. So, too, the word "add" has a similar sense (1Kings 10:7; see margin).

Verse 3. - What shall be given unto thee? rather, what shall he (i.e. God) give to thee? Or, in other words - What punishment will God inflict on thee for thy false speaking? Or what shall be done unto thee? literally, or what shall he add to thee? Compare the common phrase, "God do so unto me, and more also" (1 Samuel 3:17; 1 Samuel 14:44). Thou false tongue. The "false tongue" is apostrophized, as if it were a living person.

120:1-4 The psalmist was brought into great distress by a deceitful tongue. May every good man be delivered from lying lips. They forged false charges against him. In this distress, he sought God by fervent prayer. God can bridle their tongues. He obtained a gracious answer to this prayer. Surely sinners durst not act as they do, if they knew, and would be persuaded to think, what will be in the end thereof. The terrors of the Lord are his arrows; and his wrath is compared to burning coals of juniper, which have a fierce heat, and keep fire very long. This is the portion of the false tongue; for all that love and make a lie, shall have their portion in the lake that burns eternally.What shall be given unto thee?.... Or, "what shall it give unto thee?" (s) That is, what shall the deceitful tongue give unto thee, O my soul? or to thee, to anyone that hears and reads this psalm? It is capable of giving thee a deal of trouble, of doing thee a deal of mischief; and of injuring thy character, and hurting thy peace and comfort, if permitted;

or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? or, "what shall the false tongue add unto thee?" (t) it shall increase thy sorrows and distress: or rather, what gain, profit, and advantage, shall the deceitful tongue get to itself by its lies and deceit? none at all; it may do harm to others, but gets no good to itself; see Isaiah 28:15; Or, "what shall he (God) give unto thee?" (u) or, "what shall he add unto thee, thou false tongue?" so Jarchi. What punishment will not he inflict upon thee, who hates lying lips? what plagues will not he add unto thee, who knows all the deceit that is in thee, and spoken by thee? The answer is as follows:

(s) "quid dabit tibi", Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus, Gejerus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (t) "et quid addet tibi", Montanus, Castalio; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. (u) "Quid inferat tibi (Deus) aut quem rem adhibeat tibi, O lingua dolosa?" Tigurine version.

Psalm 120:2
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