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The meaning of Mouth in the Bible
(From International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)

mowth (peh, chekh, garon (Psalms 149:6); Aramaic pum, tera (Daniel 3:26); stoma, 71 times, once logos, i.e. "word of mouth," "speech" (Acts 15:27); once we find the verb epistomizo, "to silence," "to stop the mouth" (Titus 1:11)):

1. Literal Sense:

In addition to frequent references to man and animals, "Their food was yet in their mouths" (Psalms 78:30); "And Yahweh opened the mouth of the ass" (Numbers 22:28); "Save me from the lion's mouth" (Psalms 22:21), etc., the term is often used in connection with inanimate things: mouth of a sack (Genesis 42:27); of the earth (Genesis 4:11; Numbers 26:10); of a well (Numbers 29:2-3, Numbers 29:8, Numbers 29:10); of a cave (Joshua 10:18, Joshua 10:22, Joshua 10:27); of Sheol (Psalms 141:7); of the abyss (Jeremiah 48:28); of furnace (Aramaic tera', Daniel 3:26); of idols (Psalms 115:5; Psalms 135:16-17).

2. Figurative Sense:

(1) The "mouth" denotes language, speech, declaration (compare "lips," "tongue," which see): "By the mouth of" is "by means of," "on the declaration of" (Luke 1:70; Acts 1:16); "Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be slain at the mouth of witnesses" (Numbers 35:30; compare Deuteronomy 17:6; Matthew 18:16; Hebrews 10:28); "I will give you mouth and wisdom" (Luke 21:15); "fool's mouth" (Proverbs 18:7). (2) "Mouth" also denotes "spokesman": "He shall be to thee a mouth" (Exodus 4:16).

Numerous are the idiomatic phrases which have, in part, been introduced into English by means of the language of the Bible. "To put into the mouth," if said of God, denotes Divine inspiration (Deuteronomy 18:18; Micah 3:5). "To have words put into the mouth" means to have instructions given (Deuteronomy 31:19; II Samuel 14:3; Jeremiah 1:9; Exodus 4:11-16). "The fruit of the mouth" (Proverbs 18:20) is synonymical with wisdom, the mature utterance of the wise. "To put one's mouth into the dust" is equivalent with humbling one's self (Lamentations 3:29; compare "to lay one's horn in the dust," Job 16:15). Silent submission is expressed by "laying the hand upon the mouth" (Judges 18:19; Job 29:9; Job 40:4; Micah 7:16); compare "to refrain the lips"; see LIP. "To open the mouth wide" against a person is to accuse him wildly and often wrongfully (Psalms 35:21; Isaiah 57:4), otherwise "to open one's mouth wide," "to have an enlarged mouth" means to have great confidence and joy in speaking or accepting good things (I Samuel 2:1; Ezekiel 33:22; II Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 6:19). "To gape upon one with the mouth" means to threaten a person (Job 16:10). Divine rebuke is expressed by the "rod of God's mouth" (Isaiah 11:4), and the Messiah declares "He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword" (Isaiah 49:2; compare Revelation 2:16; Revelation 19:15, Revelation 19:21). Great anguish, such as dying with thirst, is expressed by "the tongue cleaving to the roof of the mouth" (Hebrew chekh, Job 29:10; Psalms 137:6; compare Psalms 22:15).

H. L. E. Luering


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