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Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
– Proverbs 26:23[V]erses 23-26 focus on hypocritical speech. The word for burning means flaming and can be put for fervency, or we might say passion. It is passionate and earnest speech that covers the motives of a wicked heart. The saying refers to hypocrisy or deception. Scholars debate the precise meaning of the words for silver dross, but the image is clear enough. The picture is of a clay vessel glazed over to appear brilliant and solid. The intention would be to sell it as a pure and strong vessel in order to get a higher price. It’s a common enough deception we’ve all probably encountered. We should equally beware of fair speech (Proverbs 10:18).
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