“Whoso” in Proverbs: Part 7

“Whoso” in Proverbs: Part 7

In our continuation of this series on the study of the passages in which the word “whoso” is found, we will look at a subject about which the Bible perhaps says more than any other. Recall that “whoso” appears 27 times in Proverbs, which is half of all its appearances in Scripture (KJV).

As recorded in Proverbs 21:23, Solomon stated, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” As noted in previous studies from this book, the proverbial statements found therein are for the most part generalities, and not to be taken as universal or without exception. However, this and similar statements regarding one’s speech are as close to universal as such statements could be. For anyone who has lived for any length of time, the knowledge that the tongue can certainly get one into “hot water” quickly does not come as surprising news. It is for this reason that the Scriptures likely speak more to this subject than any other. Inspiration addresses the issue many times through the words of Solomon (i.e. Prov. 4:24; 5:2-3; 6:2, 12, 16-19; 7:21; 10:11; etc.). Many other Bible writers addressed it as well, none more forcefully so than James, the half-brother of our Lord (Jas. 3).

As Solomon stated and James elaborated, the “keeping of the tongue” is a proposition much easier said than done. James stated that man has been able to control large horses with tiny bits (Jas. 3:3), harness the force of wind and wave and direct mighty ships through such with small rudders (Jas. 3:4), and tame and utilize a vast array of wild animals (Jas. 3:7). However, this small, seemingly insignificant member of each one’s body never reaches a point where it can be declared to be “tamed” (Jas. 3:8). It is something about which each must keep constant vigil.

As we close these brief thoughts on this subject, we return to the wise words and weighty warnings of Solomon. “…The mouth of the foolish is near destruction” (Prov. 10:14). “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise” (Prov. 10:19). “The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips…” (Prov. 12:13). “…Grievous words stir up anger” (Prov. 10:19). “A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin” (Prov. 26:28).

Indeed, as can be seen by these and numerous other similar statements, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.”



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