A person who hates disguises himself with his lips,
and he places deceit in his inner being; Bible

“A person who hates.” Some versions, commentators, and lexicons (cp. HALOT), see this phrase as meaning, “an enemy” (cp. NAB; NIV2011; Douay-Rheims; NRSV). People who hate others, and enemies, often disguise the truth by lying.

“places deceit.” The literal Hebrew is “places deceit.” Seen in that light, the deceit, and the feelings behind it, are seen as something tangible that the person who hates has to deal with. From God’s perspective, he could let them go by forgiving whoever he hates. However, instead of doing that he decides to place that deceit inside himself, where it stays and darkens his heart. This verse shows that people make a decision about their feelings; feelings do not “just happen” to people. Events happen to people, but then the person decides how to mentally deal with that event. If the person does not decide to give their problems to God and forgive people, but “places” any anger, bitterness, etc., within themselves, holding it in their mind until it seeps into their heart, then eventually those thoughts and feelings will become part of the person’s personality and influence the way they think and feel. At that time, feelings that come out will “just seem to come from nowhere,” but they are not “from nowhere,” they have been placed in the mind and then settle in there.

Commentary for: Proverbs 26:24