From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

A — 1: Γλῶσσα (Strong'S #1100 — Noun Feminine — glossa — gloce'-sah )

is used of (1) the "tongues ... like as of fire" which appeared at Pentecost; (2) "the tongue," as an organ of speech, e.g.,  Mark 7:33;  Romans 3:13;  14:11;  1—Corinthians 14:9;  Philippians 2:11;  James 1:26;  3:5,6,8;  1—Peter 3:10;  1—John 3:18;  Revelation 16:10; (3) (a) "a language," coupled with phule, "a tribe," laos, "a people," ethnos, "a nation," seven times in the Apocalypse,  Revelation 5:9;  7:9;  10:11;  11:9;  13:7;  14:6;  17:15; (b) "the supernatural gift of speaking in another language without its having been learnt;" in  Acts 2:4-13 the circumstances are recorded from the viewpoint of the hearers; to those in whose language the utterances were made it appeared as a supernatural phenomenon; to others, the stammering of drunkards; what was uttered was not addressed primarily to the audience but consisted in recounting "the mighty works of God;" cp.   Acts 2:46; in 1Cor., chapters 12 and 14, the use of the gift of "tongues" is mentioned as exercised in the gatherings of local churches;  1—Corinthians 12:10 speaks of the gift in general terms, and couples with it that of "the interpretation of tongues;" chapt. 14 gives instruction concerning the use of the gift, the paramount object being the edification of the church; unless the "tongue" was interpreted the speaker would speak "not unto men, but unto God,"   1—Corinthians 14:2; he would edify himself alone,  1—Corinthians 14:4 , unless he interpreted,  1—Corinthians 14:5 , in which case his interpretation would be of the same value as the superior gift of prophesying, as he would edify the church,  1—Corinthians 14:4-6; he must pray that he may interpret,  1—Corinthians 14:13; if there were no interpreter, he must keep silence,  1—Corinthians 14:28 , for all things were to be done "unto edifying,"  1—Corinthians 14:26 . "If I come ... speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you," says the Apostle (expressing the great object in all oral ministry), "unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching?" ( 1—Corinthians 14:6 ). "Tongues" were for a sign, not to believers, but to unbelievers,  1—Corinthians 14:22 , and especially to unbelieving Jews (see  1—Corinthians 14:21 ): cp. the passages in the Acts.

 1—Corinthians 13:8 1—Corinthians 14:6

A — 2: Διάλεκτος (Strong'S #1258 — Noun Feminine — dialektos — dee-al'-ek-tos )

"language" (Eng., "dialect"), is rendered "tongue" in the AV of  Acts 1:19;  2:6,8;  21:40;  22:2;  26:14 . See Language.

B — 1: Κλαύδιος (Strong'S #2804 — Noun Masculine — heteroglossos — klow'-dee-os )

is rendered "strange tongues" in  1—Corinthians 14:21 , RV (heteros, "another of a different sort," see Another , and A, No. 1), AV, "other tongues."

C — 1: Ἑβραϊστί (Strong'S #1447 — Adverb — hebraisti — heb-rah-is-tee' )

(or ebraisti, Westcott and Hort) denotes (a) "in Hebrew,"  Revelation 9:11 , RV (AV, "in the Hebrew tongue"); so  Revelation 16:16; (b) in the Aramaic vernacular of Palestine,  John 5:2 , AV, "in the Hebrew tongue" (RV, "in Hebrew"); in  John 19:13,17 , AV, "in the Hebrew" (RV, "in Hebrew"); in  John 19:20 , AV and RV, "in Hebrew;" in  John 20:16 , RV only, "in Hebrew (Rabboni)."

 John 19:20 Acts 21:37

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [2]

Speech is one of the most powerful forces human beings have available to them, for by their words they can bring great benefit or do great damage ( Proverbs 12:18;  Proverbs 12:25;  Proverbs 15:1;  Proverbs 15:4;  James 3:5;  James 3:9). What they say and the way they say it are therefore matters of the highest importance. Yet all people have difficulty with them. The person who can control the tongue can control the whole self ( James 3:1-4;  James 3:7-8; cf.  Psalms 141:3).

Control of the tongue

The root of people’s problem with the tongue is the evil heart within them. Sin has corrupted human nature, and the wrong within people shows itself in an uncontrolled tongue ( Mark 7:21-23;  James 3:6). Christians, being indwelt by the Spirit, have divine help in resisting the pressures of the old nature. The Spirit teaches them to control the tongue and makes them realize the inconsistency of using the same tongue to bless God and curse their fellows ( Galatians 5:17;  Galatians 5:22;  Ephesians 4:30-31;  Colossians 4:6;  Titus 2:8;  James 1:26;  James 3:9-12; see Blessing ; Curse ; Malice ; Praise ).

Wrong use of the tongue does not have to be as obvious as cursing in order to be damaging. It may consist only of idle chatter, because even that can easily involve harmful gossip ( Proverbs 11:9;  Proverbs 11:13;  Proverbs 26:18-22;  Ecclesiastes 5:3; see Gossip ). Since the more a people speak the more likely they are to sin, wise people will limit their words and control the way they expresses them. Fools, by contrast, talk at length and so proclaims their folly ( Proverbs 10:19;  Proverbs 12:23;  Proverbs 15:2;  Proverbs 17:27-28;  Proverbs 18:2;  Proverbs 18:6-7;  2 Corinthians 11:16-19;  Ephesians 5:4; see Boasting ; Foolishness ).

Although people may control their words, such control must be sincere. If they simply uses smooth words to hide evil feelings, they are hypocrites ( Psalms 41:5-6;  Psalms 55:21;  Proverbs 10:18;  Proverbs 26:23-25;  Matthew 22:15-18;  Matthew 23:28; see Hypocrisy ). They must be truthful and straightforward with the words they use. The cunning twisting of words can be merely a form of lying ( Proverbs 12:19;  2 Corinthians 4:2;  Ephesians 4:25;  1 Peter 3:10; see Lie ). While people should always speak the truth, they should do so in a spirit of love. Their words give an indication of the quality of their character ( Proverbs 10:11;  Proverbs 10:20-21;  Proverbs 16:23;  Ephesians 4:15;  James 1:19; see Truth ).

Christian witness

Words are an indication of people’s relationship with Christ. They may confess Christ as Lord, or deny all knowledge of him ( Romans 10:9;  Matthew 26:70-74; see Confession ; Denial ). But a confession of faith may be false ( 1 Timothy 1:19), and a denial of Christ may be a temporary failure that a person soon corrects ( John 21:15-17). Everyday speech, rather than an occasional public declaration, is often a better indication of a person’s spiritual condition. Such everyday speech will be used as evidence on the day of judgment ( Matthew 12:36-37).

Christian preachers in particular have to be careful with their words. They know that words are persuasive ( Proverbs 16:21), and therefore they must be careful not to use their speaking abilities to gain control over people. They should want people to have their faith rooted in God and his Word, not in the preacher and his style ( 1 Corinthians 2:1-5;  1 Corinthians 3:5-7;  2 Corinthians 4:2;  2 Corinthians 11:6;  1 Thessalonians 2:4; see Preaching ).

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [3]

Physiologically, the tongue (γλῶσσα) is accessory both to the sense of taste and to the faculty of speech, but in the literature of apostolic Christianity ( e.g.  1 Corinthians 14:9) it is connected with speech alone.*[Note: Similarly, in the OT, taste is not specially connected with the tongue ( Job 20:12 refers to the mouth as a whole), but with the palate (çÇêÀ). For the more scientific Greek view, see Aristotle, de Anima, ii. 10.]Here, as in primitive thought generally, to which the nervous system and the more minute structure of the tissues were unknown, the tongue was thought to possess an inherent faculty of speech, and the ethical qualities attaching to what was said were attributed to the organ itself (ethnic parallels in J. G. Frazer, GB [Note: B Golden Bough (J. G. Frazer).]2, London, 1900, ii. 421, 422, note). As, in the OT, the tongue is said to concoct deceit ( Psalms 50:19), and iniquity is said to be in it ( Job 6:30) or under it ( Psalms 10:7), so, in the NT, it is said to defile the whole body, to be a restless evil, full of deadly poison ( James 3:6;  James 3:8). This vivid language is not adequately characterized by saying, with Mayor, ‘The tongue is of course merely the innocent instrument employed by the free will of man’ ( The Epistle of St. James 3 , London, 1910, p. 220). That which seems to us to be ‘odd and exaggerated’ in the language of St. James really marks the difference between ancient and modern psychology. When joy ( Acts 2:26;  Acts 2:1 Clem. xviii. 15), arrogance (1 Clem. lvii. 2), deceit ( Romans 3:13;  Romans 3:1 Clem. xxxv. 8) are connected with the tongue, a psycho-physical idea underlies the usage, which springs from the conception of the organ as an integral part of the whole personality.

Early Christian ethics seems to have found it necessary to emphasize the control of the tongue; it is even made the sine qua non of religion ( James 1:26) and the condition of life ( 1 Peter 3:10;  1 Peter 3:1 Clem. xxii. 3; cf.  Psalms 34:13). It is particularly urged on women (1 Clem. xxi. 7, Hermas, Vis . II. ii. 3). Evidently ‘the scourge of the tongue’ (1 Clem. lvi. 10; cf.  Job 5:21) was a very real evil in early Christian communities. We may also note the rebuke of hypocrisy and insincerity, as shown by the contrast between the inner life and its outer expression: ‘let us not love in word, neither with the tongue’ ( 1 John 3:18). On confession itself great emphasis was naturally placed ( Romans 14:11; see also articleMouth); it is felt that the truth of the inner life will instinctively utter itself in the testimony of the spoken word: ‘As the fountain gushes out its water, so my heart gushes out the praise of the Lord and my lips utter praise to Him, and my tongue His psalms’ ( Odes of Solomon , xl. 4, 5).

The word ‘tongue’ occurs in a figurative sense in  Acts 2:3 (tongues of fire; cf.  Isaiah 5:24) and  Revelation 5:9, etc. (= language). On the phenomena of glossolalia , which St. Paul regards chiefly as a sign to unbelievers ( 1 Corinthians 14:21f.), see articles Tongues, Gift of, and Holy Spirit.

Literature-The Commentaries; see also articles Man and mouth.

H. Wheeler Robinson.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words [4]

Lâshôn ( לְשֹׁנָה , Strong'S #3956), “tongue; language; speech.” This word is thought to have the root meaning “to lick,” but this is a conjecture. The noun occurs in Ugaritic, Akkadian ( Lishanu ), Phoenician, and Arabic. In the Hebrew Old Testament it appears 115 times, mainly in the poetic and, to a lesser extent, in the prophetical books. The first occurrence is in Gen. 10:5: “By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations.” The basic meaning of lâshôn is “tongue,” which as an organ of the body refers to humans (Lam. 4:4) and animals (Exod. 11:7; Job 41:1)The extended meaning of the word as an organ of speech occurs more frequently. A person may be “heavy” or “slow” of tongue or have a stammering “tongue” (Exod. 4:10); or he may be fluent and clear: “The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly” (Isa. 32:4). And see the description of the “tongue” in Ps. 45:1: “My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” The word is often better translated as “speech,” because of the negative and positive associations of lâshôn. Especially in the wisdom literature the manner of one’s “speech” is considered to be the external expression of the character of the speaker. The fool’s “speech” is unreliable (Ps. 5:9), deceitful (Ps. 109:2; 120:2-3; Prov. 6:17), boastful (Ps. 140:11), flattering (Prov. 26:28), slanderous (Ps. 15:3), and subversive (Prov. 10:31). The “tongue” of the righteous man heals (Prov. 15:4). While the “tongue” may be as sharp as sword (Ps. 57:4), it is a means of giving life to the righteous and death to the wicked: “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof” (Prov. 18:21; cf. 21:23; 25:15). The biblical authors speak of divine inspiration as the Lord’s enabling them to speak: “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (2 Sam. 23:2; cf. Prov. 16:1). “Tongue” with the meaning “speech” has as a synonym peh , “mouth” (Ps. 66:17), and more rarely sapah , “lip” (Job 27:4).

A further extension of meaning is “language.” In Hebrew both sapah and lâshôn denote a foreign “language”: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people” (Isa. 28:11). The foreigners to the “language” are well described in these words: “Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand” (Isa. 33:19).

Lâshôn also refers to objects that are shaped in the form of a tongue. Most important is the “tongue of fire,” which even takes the character of “eating” or “devouring”: “Therefore as the [tongues of fire] devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff …” (Isa. 5:24). The association in Isaiah of God’s appearance in judgment with smoke and fire gave rise to a fine literary description of the Lord’s anger: “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire” (Isa. 30:27). Notice the words “lips” and “tongue” here with the meaning of “flames of fire,” even though the language evokes the representation of a tongue (as an organ of the body) together with a tongue (of fire). Also a bar of gold (Josh. 7:21) and a bay of the sea (Isa. 11:15) shaped in the form of a tongue were called lâshôn.

The Septuagint translation is glossa (“tongue; language”).

Webster's Dictionary [5]

(1): ( n.) The clapper of a bell.

(2): ( n.) Speech; words or declarations only; - opposed to thoughts or actions.

(3): ( n.) A people having a distinct language.

(4): ( n.) The lingual ribbon, or odontophore, of a mollusk.

(5): ( n.) The proboscis of a moth or a butterfly.

(6): ( n.) The lingua of an insect.

(7): ( n.) Any small sole.

(8): ( n.) That which is considered as resembing an animal's tongue, in position or form.

(9): ( n.) A projection, or slender appendage or fixture; as, the tongue of a buckle, or of a balance.

(10): ( n.) A projection on the side, as of a board, which fits into a groove.

(11): ( n.) A point, or long, narrow strip of land, projecting from the mainland into a sea or a lake.

(12): ( n.) The pole of a vehicle; especially, the pole of an ox cart, to the end of which the oxen are yoked.

(13): ( n.) A language; the whole sum of words used by a particular nation; as, the English tongue.

(14): ( n.) A short piece of rope spliced into the upper part of standing backstays, etc.; also. the upper main piece of a mast composed of several pieces.

(15): ( n.) Same as Reed, n., 5.

(16): ( n.) Honorable discourse; eulogy.

(17): ( n.) The power of articulate utterance; speech.

(18): ( v. t.) To speak; to utter.

(19): ( v. t.) To chide; to scold.

(20): ( v. t.) To modulate or modify with the tongue, as notes, in playing the flute and some other wind instruments.

(21): ( v. t.) To join means of a tongue and grove; as, to tongue boards together.

(22): ( v. i.) To talk; to prate.

(23): ( v. i.) To use the tongue in forming the notes, as in playing the flute and some other wind instruments.

(24): ( n.) an organ situated in the floor of the mouth of most vertebrates and connected with the hyoid arch.

(25): ( n.) Discourse; fluency of speech or expression.

Holman Bible Dictionary [6]

 Jeremiah 5:15 Isaiah 66:18 Psalm 64:2-3 Psalm 45:1 Proverbs 10:20 Proverbs 17:20 Proverbs 12:18 Proverbs 18:21 Proverbs 21:6 Proverbs 21:23 Proverbs 25:23 Proverbs 26:28 Proverbs 28:23 James 3:3-8 Psalm 34:13 Psalm 37:30 Psalm 109:2 Psalm 120:2 Psalm 140:2-3 Isaiah 59:3

The tongue was seen to play a central role in the expression of a person's religious commitment. The tongue could be used to praise God ( Psalm 35:28;  Psalm 51:14;  Psalm 71:24;  Romans 14:11;  Philippians 2:11 ). On the other hand, the tongue could cause separation from God ( Job 15:4-5;  Psalm 39:1;  Psalm 78:35-37 ). The potential for good or bad which is part of human nature is actualized through the tongue ( James 3:9-10 ).

The word tongue is used, of course, in the basic sense of the term to refer to the organ of eating and drinking (  Judges 7:5;  Isaiah 41:17 ). Tongue is, also, used figuratively to refer to objects in the material world which resemble the tongue in shape ( Isaiah 11:15 ). See Spiritual Gifts; Tongues, Gift of.

Jeff Cranford

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [7]

This word is used as a type in a great many ways. Many writers use it to express many and varied meanings.

We shall observe some of them here.

 Psalm 45:1 (a) It is used as a pen because it makes impressions on hearts.

 Psalm 57:4 (a) It is used as a sword because it cuts into people's souls. (See  Psalm 64:3).

 Psalm 73:9 (a) It is like a detective searching people's lives.

 Proverbs 10:20 (a) It is like silver because it produces valuable results.

 Proverbs 15:4 (a) It is like a tree because it adds to the joys of life.

 Isaiah 30:27 (a) It is like fire which destroys evil things in the lives of others.

 Jeremiah 9:3 (a) It is like a bow because it sends forth sharp words. (See  Jeremiah 9:8).

 Revelation 5:9 (a) The tongue is used for language in its general aspect. (See  Genesis 10:5).

Tongues have many descriptions:

The lying tongue  Psalm 109:2;  Proverbs 6:17.

The false tongue  Psalm 120:3.

The sharpened tongue  Psalm 140:3.

The froward tongue  Proverbs 10:31.

The wholesome tongue  Proverbs 15:4.

The naughty tongue  Proverbs 17:4.

The perverse tongue  Proverbs 17:20.

The soft tongue  Proverbs 25:15.

The backbiting tongue  Proverbs 25:23.

The stammering tongue  Isaiah 33:19.

The fiery tongue  James 3:6.

Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection [8]

I saw a terrible fire some time ago, or rather I saw the reflection of it in the sky, the heavens were crimsoned with it. It burned a large manufactory to the ground, and the firemen had hard work to save the buildings which surrounded it. They poured streams of water on it from fifteen engines, but it licked it up, and would have its course till the walls gave way. That terrible fire was kindled by a farthing rushlight! Some years ago, I saw the black ashes of what the night before was a cheerful farm-yard, with its hay-ricks, corn-stacks, stables, and cow-sheds; and lying about upon them were the carcasses of a number of miserable horses and bullocks, which had perished in the flames. All that was done by a Lucifer match! In America the Indians strike a spark from a flint and steel, and set fire to the dry grass, and the flames spread and spread until they sweep like a roaring torrent over prairies as large as England, and men and cattle have to flee for their lives. 'Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!' And the tongue is a fire! A few rash words will set a family, a neighborhood, a nation, by the ears; they have often done so. Half the law-suits, and half the wars have been brought about by the tongue.: James Bolton

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [9]

This word is taken in three different senses.

1. For the material tongue, or organ of speech,   James 3:5 .

2. For the tongue or language that is spoken in any country,   Deuteronomy 28:49 . ( See Language . )

3. For good or bad discourses,   Proverbs 12:18;  Proverbs 17:20 . Tongue of the sea signifies a gulf. To gnaw the tongue,  Revelation 16:10 , is a token of fury, despair, and torment. The gift of tongues was that which God granted to the apostles and disciples assembled at Jerusalem on the day of pentecost, Acts 2. The tongue of angels, a kind of hyperbole made use of by St. Paul,  1 Corinthians 13:1 .

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [10]

Duties Of The "

1. To glorify God by magnifying his name.

2. To sing his praises.

3. To declare to others God's goodness.

4. To pray to him for what we want.

5. To make open profession of our subjection to him.

6. To preach his word.

7. To defend the truth.

8. To exhort men to particular duties.

9. To confess our sins to God.

10. To crave the advice of others.

11. To praise that which is good in others.

12. To bear witness to the truth.

13. To defend the cause of the innocent and just.

14. To communicate to others the same good impressions we have received."

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

( לָשׁוֹן , Lash6Nd Γλῶσσα ) is used in Scripture in various senses.

1. It stands, Literally, for the human tongue ( Judges 7:5;  Job 27:4;  Psalms 35:28;  Psalms 39:1;  Psalms 39:3;  Psalms 51:14;  Psalms 66:17;  Proverbs 15:2;  Zechariah 14:12;  Mark 7:33;  Mark 7:35;  Luke 1:64;  Luke 16:24;  Romans 3:13;  1 Corinthians 14:9;  James 1:26;  James 3:5-6;  James 3:8;  1 Peter 3:10;  Revelation 16:10; Eccles. 17:6;  Wisdom of Solomon 10:21;  2 Maccabees 7:4); and so for the tongue of the dog ( Psalms 68:23), of the viper ( Job 20:16), of idols ( Baruch 6:8); the tongues of the seven brethren cut out ( 2 Maccabees 7:4;  2 Maccabees 7:10; comp.  Proverbs 10:20).

Various explanations have been offered why (in the passage first cited above) Gideon's three hundred followers should have been selected because they lapped water out of their hands, standing or perhaps moving onward, while they who stayed and "bowed down to drink" were rejected. Josephus says that the former thereby showed their timorousness and fear of being overtaken by the enemy, and that these poor-spirited men were chosen on purpose to illustrate the power of God in the victory (Ant. 5, 6, 3).

On  Mark 7:33;  Mark 7:35, Dr. A. Clarke offers the interpretation that it was the deaf and stammering man himself who put his own fingers into his ears to intimate his deafness; spat or emptied his mouth that the Savior might look at his tongue; touched his own tongue to intimate that he could not speak; looked up to heaven as imploring divine aid; and groaned to denote his distress under his affliction; and that our Savior simply said, "Be opened" (Commentary ) . This explanation certainly clears the passage of some obscurities.

 James 3:8, Dr. Macknight translates, "But the tongue of men no one can subdue;" that is, the tongue of other men, for the apostle is exhorting the Christian to subdue his own (comp.  James 3:13). He observes that (Ecumenius read the passage interrogatively, as much as to say, "Wild beasts, birds, serpents, marine animals, have been tamed by man, and can no man tame the tongue?'"

2. It is Personified. "Unto me every tongue shall swear," that is, every man ( Isaiah 45:23; comp.  Romans 14:11;  Philippians 2:11;  Isaiah 54:17). The tongue is said to rejoice ( Acts 2:26); to meditate ( Psalms 52:2); to hate ( Proverbs 26:28); to be bridled ( James 1:26); to be tamed (3:8; comp.  Sirach 28:18, etc.). It is apostrophized ( Psalms 120:3).

3. It is used by Metonymy for speech generally. Let us not love in tongue only" ( 1 John 3:18 comp. Γλώσση Φίλος , Theogn. 63, 13;  Job 6:30;  Job 15:5;  Proverbs 6:24); a soft tongue," i.e. soothing language ( Proverbs 25:15); "accuse not a servant to his master," literally "hurt not with thy tongue" ( Proverbs 30:10); "the law of kindness is in her tongue," i.e. speech ( Proverbs 31:26;  Isaiah 3:8;  Isaiah 1:4;  Wisdom of Solomon 1:6). On the "confusion of tongues," (See Babel); (See Ethnology); (See Language), etc.

4. For a Particular Language or dialect spoken by any particular people. "Every one after his tongue" ( Genesis 10:5;  Genesis 10:20;  Genesis 10:31); So also in  Deuteronomy 28:49;  Esther 1:22;  Daniel 1:4;  John 5:2;  Acts 1:19;  Acts 2:4;  Acts 2:8;  Acts 2:11;  Acts 26:14;  1 Corinthians 12:10;  1 Corinthians 13:1;  1 Corinthians 14:2;  Revelation 16:16).

5. For the People speaking a language ( Isaiah 66:18;  Daniel 3:4;  Daniel 3:7, etc.;  Revelation 5:9;  Revelation 7:9;  Revelation 10:11;  Revelation 11:9;  Revelation 14:6;  Revelation 17:15).

6. It is Used Figuratively for anything resembling a tongue in shape. -Thus, " a wedge of gold," literally a "tongue" ( Joshua 7:21;  Joshua 7:24; Γλῶσσα Μία Χρυσῆ ; Vulg. Regula Aurea ) . The French still say, un Lingot Dor, "a little tongue of gold," whence, by corruption, our word " ingot," "The bay that looketh southward," literally "tongue" ( Joshua 15:2;  Joshua 18:19); "a tongue of fire" ( Isaiah 5:24; comp.  Acts 2:3;  Isaiah 11:15).

7. Some of the Hebrew Idioms, Phrases, etc., formed of this word are highly expressive. Thus, "an evil speaker" ( Psalms 140:11; אַישׁ לָשׁוֹן , literally "a man of tongue;" comp.  Sirach 8:3, and see  Ecclesiastes 10:11, Hebrew, or margin); "a forward" or rather "false tongue" ( Proverbs 10:31; לְשׁוֹן תִּהְפֻּכוֹת , "a tongue of revolvings" ); "a wholesome tongue" ( Proverbs 15:4; לָשׁוֹן מִרַפֵּא , literally "the healing of the tongue," reconciliation, etc.; Sept. Ἴασις Γλώσσης , Lingua Placabilis ); "A backbiting tongue" ( Proverbs 25:23; סֵתֶר , secret); "slow of speech" ( Exodus 4:10; כְּבֹד לָשׁוֹן , literally "heavy of tongue," unfit to be an orator, Βραδύγλωσσος ; contrast  Sirach 4:29); " the tongue of the stammerer" ( Isaiah 32:4), i.e. rude, illiterate (comp. 35:6; on  Isaiah 28:11, see Lowth). In  Isaiah 33:19, it means a foreign language, which seems gibberish to those who do not understand it (comp.  Ezekiel 3:5); "the tongue of the learned" ( Isaiah 1:4), i.e. of the instructor. The lexicons will point out many other instances.

8. Some Metaphorical expressions are highly significant. Thus,  Hosea 7:16, "the rage of the tongue," i.e. verbal abuse; "strife of tongues" ( Psalms 31:20); scourge of the tongue" ( Job 5:21, (See Execration); comp.  Sirach 26:6;  Sirach 28:17); "snare of the slanderous tongue" ( Sirach 51:2); on the phrase "strange tongue" ( Isaiah 28:11), see Lowth, notes on  Isaiah 28:9-12, and afterwards the vivid -rendering of the Vulg.; "to slip with the tongue" ( Sirach 20:18;  Sirach 25:8), i.e. use inadvertent or unguarded speech; "they bend their tongues, their bows, for lies" ( Jeremiah 9:3), i.e. tell determined and malicious falsehoods; "they sharpen their tongues" ( Psalms 104:3), i.e. prepare cutting speeches (comp.  Psalms 57:4) ) "to smooth the tongue" ( Jeremiah 23:31), employ flattering language; "to smite with the tongue" ( Jeremiah 18:18), i.e. to traduce-if it should not be rendered, "On the tongue," alluding to a punishment for false witness; to lie in wait with the tongue" ( Sirach 5:14); "to stick out the tongue" ( Isaiah 57:4), i.e. to mock; "against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue" ( Exodus 11:7), i.e. none shall hurt them; but both Sept. and Vulg. have "not a dog belonging to the children of Israel shall howl," which, as opposed to the "great cry" in Egypt over the first-born, means, not one of the children of Israel shall have cause to wail ( Joshua 10:21;  Judith 11:9). "To hide under the tongue" means to have in the mouth, whether spoken of hidden wickedness ( Job 20:12; comp.  Psalms 10:7) or delicious language ( Song of Solomon 4:11); "the word of God in the tongue" denotes inspiration ( 2 Samuel 23:2); "to divide the tongues of the wicked" is to raise up dissensions among them ( Psalms 55:9; comp.  2 Samuel 15:34;  2 Samuel 17:14-15). "The tongue cleaving to the palate" signifies profound attention ( Job 29:10) or excessive thirst ( Lamentations 4:4; comp. 22:16); "to cause the tongue to cleave to the palate" is to inflict supernatural dumbness ( Ezekiel 3:26;  Psalms 137:6). To gnaw one's tongue is a sign of fury, despair, and torment ( Revelation 16:10).

9. Some beautiful Comparisons occur. "An evil tongue is a sharp sword" ( Psalms 57:4); "the tongue of the wise is health" ( Proverbs 12:18); "like choice silver" ( Proverbs 10:20), i.e. his words are solid, valuable, sincere.

10. The Vices of the tongue are specified in great variety: flattery ( Psalms 5:9; Proverbs 28:33); backbiting ( Psalms 15:3), literally "run about with the: tongue" ( Proverbs 25:23); deceit (Psalm 1:19); unrestrained speech ( Psalms 73:9); lying ( Psalms 109:2); "a lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it" ( Proverbs 26:28; comp. Tacit. Agr. 42," Proprium humani ingenii est, odisse quem laeseris" ). "They have taught their tongue to speak lies. and weary themselves to commit iniquity" ( Jeremiah 9:5) words which beautifully illustrate the fact that falsehood and vice are not natural, but are a restraint and compulsion upon nature: "double-tongued" ( 1 Timothy 3:8), Δίλογος , saying one thing to this man and another to that (comp.  Sirach 5:9;  Sirach 5:14;  Sirach 28:13). The retribution of evil-speakers is represented as brought on themselves ( Isaiah 64:8).

11. The Virtuous uses of the tongue are specified: "keeping the tongue" ( Psalms 34:13;  1 Peter 3:10;  Proverbs 21:23); "ruling the tongue" ( Sirach 19:6;  James 1:26); the origin of the right and wrong use of the tongue traced to the heart ( Matthew 12:34).

12. Mistranslations: as "holding the tongue;" the Hebrews had no such idiom ( Psalms 39:2;  Sirach 20:1;  Sirach 20:7; comp. the Bible and Prayer-book version of  Habakkuk 1:13). In  Ezra 4:7, "the Syrian tongue," literally "in Syriac" ( Esther 7:4). Our mistranslation of  Proverbs 16:1 has misled many: "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord;" literally," Of man are the dispositions of the heart, but a hearing of the tongue is of the Lord."

13. The miraculous Gift Of Tongues, as well as its corresponding gift of interpretation, has been the subject of two opinions. It was promised by Christ to believers: they shall speak Γλώσσαις Καιναῖς ( Mark 16:17); and fulfilled at Pentecost, when the apostles and their companions "began to speak Ἑτέραις Γλώσσαις ( Acts 2:4;  Acts 2:11; comp.  Acts 10:46;  Acts 19:6;  1 Corinthians 12:30;  1 Corinthians 14:2;  1 Corinthians 14:39). In the last passage we have "to pray in a tongue" ( 1 Corinthians 14:14), "to speak words in a tongue" ( 1 Corinthians 14:19), "tongues" ( 1 Corinthians 12:10;  1 Corinthians 12:28;  1 Corinthians 13:8;  1 Corinthians 14:22;  1 Corinthians 14:26). The obvious explanation of most of these passages is, to speak in other living languages, the supernatural acquisition of which demonstrated the truth of the Gospel, and was a means of diffusing it. Some verses in 1 Corinthians 14 :however, have given rise to the notion of a strange, ecstatic, inspired, unearthly language; but these all admit of a different solution. In  1 Corinthians 14:2, "he who speaketh in a tongue" evidently means, he who speaks some foreign living language; the supplied word " unknown" in the A.V. is needless, and misleads the English reader. It is further said that "he edifieth himself" (which, as Macknight justly pleads, required that he should understand himself), and edifieth the Church also if an interpreter were present ( 1 Corinthians 14:28). The apostle says ( 1 Corinthians 14:14), "If I pray in a tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful," which words in English seem to intimate that the speaker might not understand himself; but the words Δὲ Νοῦς Μου sigify "my Meaning" (comp.  1 Corinthians 2:16; Vulg. "sensum Domini" ), or, as Hammond and Schleusner say, "my faculty of thinking upon and explaining to others the meaning of what I utter" (comp.  1 Corinthians 14:15;  1 Corinthians 14:19), though in  1 Corinthians 14:15 some take Τῷ Νοϊ v as a Dativus Commodi, and render "that others may understand." The key to the difficulties of this subject is the supposed absence of an inspired interpreter ( 1 Corinthians 14:28), in which case the gift would not be Profitable to the hearers. The gift of tongues was to cease ( 1 Corinthians 13:8). Irenieus testifies ( 1 Corinthians 5:6) that it subsisted in the Church in his time. When Paul says, that though he should speak with the tongue of men and of angels, it would be nothing without charity, he uses a supposed hyperbole; as when we say, angelical beauty, angelical voice, etc., e.g. "I would have every one set a due value on the gift of tongues; but though a man possessed the most exquisite eloquence, this inestimable gift would be of little use to him, as to salvation, if he be without charity." See Macknight, Notes on 1 Corinthians 14; Oihausen, Comment. on Acts 2, 4; Neander, Hist. of the Apostolic Age, and in Bibl. Repos. 4:249, etc.; Stosch, Archaeol. (Econ. N.T. p. 93; Gataker, ad M. Anton. p. 120; and Ernesti, Lex. Techn. Gr. Rhet. p. 62. (See Spiritual Gifts).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

tung  : Almost invariably for either לשׁון , lāshōn , or γλῶσσα , glṓssa the latter word with the cognates ἑτερόγλωσσος , heteróglōssos , "of strange tongues" (  1 Corinthians 14:21 ), γλωσσώδης , glōssṓdēs , "talkative," English Versions of the Bible "full of tongue" (Sirach 8:3; 9:18), γλωσσοτομέω , glōssotoméō , "to cut out the tongue" (2 Macc 7:4), δίγλωσσος , dı́glōssos , "double-tongued" (Sirach 5:9; 28:13). In  1 Timothy 3:8 , however, "double-tongued" is for δίλογος , dı́logos , literally, "two-worded." Where "tongue" in the King James Version translates διάλεκτος , diálektos ( Acts 1:19;  Acts 2:8;  Acts 21:40;  Acts 22:2;  Acts 26:14 ), the Revised Version (British and American) has "language," while for the King James Version "in the Hebrew tongue" in  John 5:2;  Revelation 9:11;  Revelation 16:16 ( Ἑβραΐστί , Hebraistı́ ) the Revised Version (British and American) has simply "in Hebrew." In addition, in the Old Testament and Apocrypha, the King James Version uses "to hold one's tongue" as a translation for various verbs meaning "to be silent"; the Revised Version (British and American) in the Old Testament writes "to hold one's peace" and in the Apocrypha "to be silent," except in Sirach 32:8, where the King James Version is retained (σιωπάω , siōpáō ).

The various uses of "tongue" in English are all possible also for lāshōn and glōssa , whether as the physical organ (  Exodus 11:7;  Mark 7:33 , etc.) or as meaning "language" ( Genesis 10:5;  Acts 2:4 , etc.) or as describing anything shaped like a tongue ( Isaiah 11:15;  Acts 2:3 , etc.). In addition, both words, especially las̄hōn appear in a wider range of meanings than can be taken by "tongue" in modern English. So the tongue appears as the specific organ of speech, where we should prefer "mouth" or "lips" ( Exodus 4:10;  Psalm 71:24;  Psalm 78:36;  Proverbs 16:1;  Philippians 2:11 , etc.), and hence, "tongue" is used figuratively for the words uttered (  Job 6:30;  Psalm 139:4;  1 John 3:18 , etc.). So the tongue can be said to have moral qualities ( Psalm 109:2;  Proverbs 15:4 , etc.) or to be "glad" ( Acts 2:26 ); to "love with the tongue" ( 1 John 3:18 ) is to love in word only, and to be "double-tongued" (Sirach 5:9; 28:13;  1 Timothy 3:8 is to be a liar. A further expansion of this figurative use has produced expressions that sound slightly bizarre in English, although their meaning is clear enough: e.g., "Who have whet their tongue like a sword" (  Psalm 64:3 ); "His tongue is as a devouring fire" ( Isaiah 30:27 ); "My tongue is the pen of a ready writer" ( Psalm 45:1 ), and, especially, "Their tongue walketh through the earth" ( Psalm 73:9 ).

In  Job 20:12 , "Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue," the figure is that of an uncultured man rolling a choice morsel around in his mouth so as to extract the utmost flavor. In  Psalm 10:7;  Psalm 66:17 (Revised Version margin), however "under the tongue" means "in readiness to utter," while in   Song of Solomon 4:11 , "Honey and milk are under thy tongue," the pleasure of a caress is described. To "divide their tongue" ( Psalm 55:9 ) is to visit on offenders the punishment of Babel. See Tongues , Confusion Of .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

Tongue is used,

literally, for the human tongue. 'Everyone that lappeth the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth' . Various explanations have been offered, why Gideon's three hundred followers should have been selected because they lapped water out of their hands, standing or perhaps moving onward, while they who stayed and 'bowed down to drink' were rejected. Josephus says, that the former thereby showed their timorousness and fear of being overtaken by the enemy, and that these poor-spirited men were chosen on purpose to illustrate the power of God in the victory (Antiq. v. 6. 3).

It is personified. 'Unto me every tongue shall swear,' that is, every man (; comp.; , ).

It is used by metonymy for speech generally. 'Let us not love in tongue only' .

For a particular language or dialect, spoken by any particular people. 'Everyone after his tongue' (;; ).

For the people speaking a language (;; , etc.; ).

It is used figuratively for anything resembling a tongue in shape. Thus, 'a wedge of gold,' literally a 'tongue' .

The miraculous gift of tongues, as well as its corresponding gift of interpretation, has been the subject of two opinions. It was promised by Christ to believers and fulfilled at Pentecost . In; , we have 'to pray in a tongue' , 'to speak words in a tongue' . The obvious explanation of most of these passages is, to speak in other living languages, the supernatural acquisition of which demonstrated the truth of the Gospel, and was a means of diffusing it. Some verses however in 1 Corinthians 14 have given rise to the notion of a strange, ecstatic, inspired, unearthly language; but these all admit of a different solution. In , 'he who speaketh in a tongue' evidently means, he who speaks some foreign living language; the supplied word 'unknown' in the Auth. Vers. is needless, and misleads the English reader. It is further said that 'he edifieth himself' (which, as Macknight justly pleads, required that he should understand himself), and edifieth the church also if an interpreter were present . The key to the difficulties of this subject is the supposed absence of an inspired interpreter , in which case the gift would not be profitable to the hearers. The gift of tongues was to cease .