Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
and harbors deceit in his heart;
when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
for there are seven abominations in his heart;
though his hatred be covered with deception,
his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly
We are sometimes in the company of those whose outward appearance is deceptive because they are capable of pretending to want to serve God. The reference to seven abominations just means that his heart is full of abomination. Those who harbor darkness hate the light (John 3:19-20), and the truth eventually will come out because his actions will betray him in time. For being “exposed,” look to Proverbs 10:9: “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.”
Continuing on the subject of liars, we look now at the previous verse, verse 23:
Like the glaze covering an earthen vessel
are fervent lips with an evil heart
The Masoretic for this verse uses the words “silver of dross” where the ESV has adapted “glaze.” It is said that this waste product was (and indeed, still is) used to make a glaze that improves the look of cheap pottery. The inference here is that the valueless covering that makes the earthen vessel look good is like the earnest-sounding speech of one with an evil heart – it also has no value.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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