13 keep your tongue(A) from evil
    and your lips from telling lies.(B)

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Psalm 39[a]

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

I said, “I will watch my ways(A)
    and keep my tongue from sin;(B)
I will put a muzzle on my mouth(C)
    while in the presence of the wicked.”

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  1. Psalm 39:1 In Hebrew texts 39:1-13 is numbered 39:2-14.

Set a guard over my mouth,(A) Lord;
    keep watch over the door of my lips.(B)

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We all stumble(A) in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say(B) is perfect,(C) able to keep their whole body in check.(D)

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.(E) Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.(F) Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire,(G) a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body,(H) sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.(I)

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.(J)

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.(K) 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs?(L) Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

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10 For,

“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.

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