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

1. Literal Sense:

In addition to frequent references to man and animals, "Their food was yet in their mouths" (Ps 78:30); "And Yahweh opened the mouth of the ass" (Nu 22:28); "Save me from the lion's mouth" (Ps 22:21), etc., the term is often used in connection with inanimate things: mouth of a sack (Ge 42:27); of the earth (Ge 4:11; Nu 26:10); of a well (Nu 29:2,3,8,10); of a cave (Jos 10:18,22,27); of Sheol (Ps 141:7); of the abyss (Jer 48:28); of furnace (Aramaic tera`, Da 3:26); of idols (Ps 115:5; 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" (Lu 1:70; Ac 1:16); "Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be slain at the mouth of witnesses" (Nu 35:30; compare De 17:6; Mt 18:16; Heb 10:28); "I will give you mouth and wisdom" (Lu 21:15); "fool's mouth" (Pr 18:7).

(2) "Mouth" also denotes "spokesman": "He shall be to thee a mouth" (Ex 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 (De 18:18; Mic 3:5). "To have words put into the mouth" means to have instructions given (De 31:19; 2Sa 14:3; Jer 1:9; Ex 4:11-16). "The fruit of the mouth" (Pr 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 (La 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" (Jud 18:19; Job 29:9; 40:4; Mic 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 (Ps 35:21; Isa 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 (1Sa 2:1; Eze 33:22; 2Co 6:11; Eph 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" (Isa 11:4), and the Messiah declares "He hath made my mouth like a sharp sword" (Isa 49:2; compare Re 2:16; 19:15,21). Great anguish, such as dying with thirst, is expressed by "the tongue cleaving to the roof of the mouth" (Hebrew chekh, Job 29:10; Ps 137:6; compare 22:15).

H. L. E. Luering

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