King James Bible
Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
WHAT IS IN GOD’S RIGHT HAND?
WHAT IS IN GOD’S LEFT HAND?
PSALM 50:16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
FACE TO FACE WITH GOD: HUMAN IMAGES OF GOD IN THE BIBLE
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5. “The Mouth Of The Lord Has Spoken” (Isa 1:20, MT): God’s Mouth and Our Witness
This familiar prophetic declaration (e.g., Isa. 1:20, MT) reflects the fact that the mouth is used figuratively to express various thoughts and activities. Following our examination of the face in chapter four, in this chapter we shall examine several different parts of the face that also occur in well-known figurative expressions. Thus we shall consider the mouth, lips, and tongue as well as activities that take place in relation to them such as speaking and tasting.
Each of these facial features is commonly employed in familiar figurative expressions. For example, many things are said to have a mouth such as a cave or a river where it empties into another body of water. When someone is discouraged, he may say that he is “down in the mouth.” If we say that something that someone has said is a “mouthful,” in any case that this person has pronounced a long word, or a series of words that are difficult to say, or perhaps that he has expressed a valid opinion or needful suggestion. A person who is a “loud mouth,” however is not appreciated for his loud irritating talk. He is liable to be viewed as “mouthy.” Someone who has “mouthed off” has spoken in a disrespectful manner.
The lip likewise appears in figures. It can describe the tip of a problem or an edge of an object. We commonly “smack our lips” to express satisfaction, particularly at the thought of some savory dish. If we “keep a stiff upper lip,” we display courage or steadfastness in the face of danger, pressure, or difficulty. A father who tells his child, “I don’t want ‘any of your lip,’” may be reminding him or her that he will stand for no disobedience or disrespect.
The tongue can describe a language or a distinctive shape, such as a narrow strip of land protruding into water. Shoes are said to have a tongue. The tongue also is used in various matters involving speech. If we “bite our tongue,” we refrain from speaking that which we would like to say. If we “hold our tongue,” we remain quiet, but if we “find our tongue,” we express our opinion. Something that is “on the tip of my tongue,” may indicate that I cannot quite recall that which I wish to say. A “tongue twister” is a phrase that is difficult to say. Someone who is said to speak “with a forked tongue” is understood to speak deceitfully. A person with a “glib tongue” talks in a smooth or flattering manner. If someone speaks that which is “on everyone’s tongue,” he or she may be expressing a prevailing opinion or simply gossiping. The mother who gives her child a severe scolding is said to give him or her a “tongue lashing.”
Relative to the mouth is the matter of taste. If someone has an appetite or desire for something, he or she is said to “have a taste” for it. Someone who has “good taste” has an appreciation for the lovelier or finer things of life, or acts in a decorous manner. The opposite is expressed as acting “in bad taste” or as being “tasteless.” The lady who is dressed “in good taste” does so in a stylish manner or modestly.
One can “have a taste” (or desire) for many things. What pleases a person is “to his taste.” A certain object, activity, or result may be so desirable or anticipated so strongly that the person “can just taste it.” “Just a taste,” however, indicates a small amount of something or a slight experience with something such as a job skill, activity, or condition such as freedom or danger. A person who has “tasted” freedom, however, has experienced it.
Even the teeth appear in contemporary idiomatic speech. Thus the teeth may betray a broad grin or “toothy smile.” A lady can be so beautifully attired that she is “dressed to the teeth.” Well-equipped military forces, which are fully prepared for combat, are “armed to the teeth.” If a speaker “casts something in another’s teeth,” he slanders or insults him, or possibly issues a public reproach. One can stand firm “in the teeth” of a storm, a difficulty, or prevailing opinion. If we are absorbed with a field of interest, we have found something we can “sink our teeth into.”
“My Mouth Is Filled With Your Praise” (Ps. 71:8, MT)
The image of the mouth can occur in a number of settings indicating an opening of some kind.