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1 7th May 15:16
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Lashon Hara: The Evil Tongue

by Mordechai Silver

You will need Hebrew and Greek fonts to properly view this do***ent.

How do we keep from practicing malicious gossip in the Body of Messiah?

A very prominent problem in the Church and Messianic congregations is
the issue of what Judaism calls Lashon Hara or the Evil Tongue. Lashon
Hara is defined as gossip, slander, murmuring, lying, etc. Judaism has a
whole system in place to deal with this problem and essentially it boils
down to this: if you donıt have something nice to say about someone then
donıt say it at all! And this includes even thinking about it.

The problem within our congregations today is that we think that we are
being righteous when we share what we perceive to be wrong about someone
else. But this is what is at the heart of the problem. It is our
perceptions that cause us to commit Lashon Hara, all in the name of the
Kingdom of Yahweh. We would be better off minding our own business and
reflecting on our actions and words than worrying about everyone else.

So with that in mind let us take a look at what Scripture has to say
about the subject of Lashon Hara.

We are going to start out with first sharing what Scripture has to say
about f****veness and resolving disputes. So you might say that we are
putting the cart before the horse but what our intention is, is to show
how we are supposed to treat one another and then we will proceed on and
show what Scripture has to say about that part of our body called the

Matthew 18:21-22: Then Kefa called to Him, and said, ³My Master, how
many times will my brother sin against me, and I f****ve him? Until
seven times?² And Yeshua said to him, ³I say not to you, until seven
times, but until seventy times seven.²

Now with that in mind let us take a look at the proper Biblical
procedure for resolving disputes.

Matthew 18:15-17: And if your brother sins against you, go and reprove
him between you and him alone, and if he will hear you, you have won
your brother. But if he will not hear you, take to yourself one witness
or two, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be
established [Deuteronomy 19:15]. And if he will not hear them, speak to
him in the assembly, but if he neglects to hear in the assembly, let him
be to you as a heathen or a transgressor.

This is the basis for f****ving one another and how to go about
resolving disputes with brethren. Nowhere do we see any instruction
about sharing our problems with others before we first attempt to
resolve our problem with our brother. And nowhere do we see instruction
allowing us to share gossip about anyone who we are having a problem

Rather than going behind someoneıs back and discussing them with someone
not directly involved in the situation we would be better serving Yahweh
by going one on one straight to our brother. One of the hardest things
to do is to withdraw our words once they have go out from our lips.

Job 27:3-4: But as long as my soul is within me and the spirit of God is
in my nostrils, my lips shall not speak iniquity and my tongue shall not
utter deceit.

3956 !wXl lashown {law-shone'} or* !Xl lashon {law-shone'}
tongue (of men), tongue (literal), tongue (organ of speech), language,
tongue (of animals), tongue (of* fire)

These words come straight from the mouth of Job. We would encourage you
to think about that because of the situations that Job was put through.
If after what he had gone through he could still utter the words that he
would not speak evil or utter lies then we had better reflect on what we
are saying and doing in the Name of Yahweh because we cannot justify
Lashon Hara when Job would not lower himself to doing that.

Psalm 5:10: For there is no sincerity in the mouth of any of them, their
inner [thought] is treacherous; their throat an open grave, their tongue
is glib.

This is pretty intense here in what David in what the writer of this
Psalm is saying. There is no truth coming from their mouths and their
innermost thoughts are treacherous and their throats from which comes
forth their words are compared to an open grave. The words being spoken
here give us a very clear idea of exactly how Yahweh views our words
especially those that come forth as slander or gossip.

And yet we know that many will read what we are writing here and say
that this does not apply to them. All they are doing is sharing what
they have heard themselves but and we say but this is the problem.
Whether they have heard it firsthand for themselves or if they have
heard second or third hand it should never have been repeated except in
the context of what we are shown in Matthew. Anything other than that is
a violation of Scripture as shown us by Yahweh. That is the bottom line
plain and simple!

Psalm 10:7: His mouth is filled with [false] oaths, with deception and
malice; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.

Psalm 15:1-5: A Psalm by David. Yahweh, who may sojourn in Your Tent?
Who may dwell on Your Holy Mountain? 2 One who walks in perfect
innocence, and does what is right, and speaks the truth from his heart;
3 who has no slander on his tongue, who has done his fellow no evil, nor
cast disgrace upon his close one; 4 in whose eyes a contemptible person
is repulsive, but who honors those who fear Yahweh; who can swear to his
detriment without retracting; 5 who lends not his money on interest; and
takes not a bribe against the innocent. The doer of these shall not
falter forever.

When you look at the two passages from Psalms do you see which
individual Yahweh honors and who it is that He says will dwell on His
Holy Mountain? The one whose lips are clean! Do you realize just how
seriously Yahweh takes the sin of slander? This is not just the act of
speaking ill of someone but this involves gossip, things that you have
heard that sound true, but yet they have not been verified and they are
passed on to others. We need to be very careful about what comes out
from our mouths. Remember that our mouths have been compared to the

It is so much more difficult to take back what we have said in anger or
hurt than it is to keep our mouths shut in the first place. No matter
how truthful or right we may think that we are the old adage is true.
Think before you speak!

Psalm 34:14: Guard your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking

Psalm 39:2: I said, ³I will guard my ways from sinning with my tongue, I
will guard my mouth with a muzzle, even while the wicked one stands
before me.²

A very interesting choice of words here in that David says that he will
guard his mouth with a muzzle if necessary. Sometimes I feel like that
but usually itıs after I have spoke when it should be before.

The words that can come from our tongues can bring us to sin. Usually we
say what we are thinking and yet we may not intend it to be so. So what
does this mean for us? That we must learn to train our thoughts as well
as our tongues.

I have a sarcastic way about me and I say things that I should not at
times. My entire family was like this so I could claim that itıs in my
genes but that really would be no excuse but it can serve as an
explanation of my actions. I have been striving most of my adult life to
tame my tongue and have most of the time failed miserably at it. I have
made a concerted effort over the past two years to do better and with
the help of my wife and family and congregation I am doing better but I
still have a long way to go.

No matter how right I feel that I am I am not supposed to strike out at
others in a hurtful way and that is exactly what I have done many times.
Once again the old adage comes to mind. Think before you speak.

Psalm 50:19-23: You dispatched your mouth for evil, and your tongue
adheres to deceit. 20 You sit and speak against your brother, you
slander your motherıs son. 21 These have you done and I kept silent, You
thought that I was like you; I will rebuke you and lay it clearly before
your eyes! 22 Understand this now, you who have forgotten God, lest I
tear you asunder and there be none to rescue. 23 He who offers
confession honors Me; and one who orders [his] way, I will show him the
salvation of God.

Speaking ill of someone is equated with not knowing God. Thatıs pretty
hard people! Yet if we repent we are honoring God and in doing that we
can receive the salvation of God. The salvation that comes through
repentance and acceptance of Yeshua. Repentance is not a one time event.
It is an ongoing cleansing experience. We live it out each and every day
that we are here on this earth. As we live it out before Him we live it
out before our brothers and those who do not know Yahweh or Yeshua.

Psalm 52:4-6: Your tongue devises treachery, like a sharpened razor that
works deceit. 5 You loved evil more than good, falsehood more than
speaking righteousness, Selah. 6 You have loved all devouring words, a
tongue of deceit.

Iıll tell you one thing that is coming out from these passages of
Scripture. The tongue is associated with deceit in that the word of
Yahweh is saying that our tendency is to do evil rather than speak words
of righteousness. Why do you think that is? Think carefully about that.

Our tongues are compared to a sharpened razor. They slice and dice and
leave our brothers and sisters lying in our wake battered and bruised
trying to figure out what it was that hit them. How many times have you
experienced this? We expect this type of behavior from those who we say
are of the world but from fellow believers in the Messiah Yeshua?

My oh my oh my what has come out of the mouths of those who claim to
know Yeshua. We have done more damage to our brothers and sisters in
Messiah and what kind of an example have we been to those who do not
know Yeshua? We need to clean our acts up.

Psalm 57:5: My soul is among lions, I lie with men who are aflame;
people whose teeth are spears and arrows, and whose tongue is a sharp

Razors and swords and evil and deceit. Boy our tongues are not being
described in very flattering terms here and everywhere else in
Scripture. I am only touching the surface in this paper. I would
encourage you t do an in-depth study not only of the tongue but do
associated word studies on gossip, slander, etc. This can be a very
fascinating study and can show us things that we really do not want to
see about ourselves.

We really have to stop and take a close look at ourselves. We spend way
too much time and effort looking at our brothers and sisters when we
should be doubling that effort on ourselves. There is a Scripture that
instructs us to remove the beam from our own eye first before we look on
our brothers and sisters and judge them. Correction in love is one thing
judgment is another.

Psalm 64:3-5: Hide me from the counsel of the wicked, from the assembly
of evildoers, 4 who have sharpened their tongue like the sword, and
drawn their arrow‹a bitter word‹5 to shoot in stealth at the innocent;
suddenly they shoot him and they are unafraid.

Are you beginning to see a pattern forming here? The tongue is as bad as
the sword and can do more damage, in some cases, than the actual weapon
itself. The sword can wound the body and even bring death but the tongue
can bring hurt to the spirit. The body can heal and in time so can the
spirit but a lot of times we leave the person that we have turned our
tongues on in a very vulnerable position and they are very susceptible
to further hurt.

I know of which I speak for I speak, at times, with a Œwicked tongueı.
What I mean is that I say things that can be hurtful when I should not
have. Instead of being physically abusive I am verbally abusive and that
can be more demeaning to the person I aim my words at than actually
physically harming them. I donıt make excuses for myself or my actions
and I have had to, on more than one occasion, ask for f****veness for my

I now try to watch what I say and I slip up from time to time but I have
finally come to the point where, if I can not say something nice about
someone, I try not to say anything at all. I am, by nature, a pessimist,
looking at the cup half empty instead of half full. My reasoning for
this is that if things do not turn out the way I would like them to I am
not that disappointed. But that attitude can carry over and infect every
aspect of your life including not only your relationship with those
close to you and those around you but it will affect your relationship
with God.

Psalm 109:2-5: For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the
deceitful have opened against me, they have spoken to me the language of
falsehood. 3 And with words of hatred they have encircled me, and
attacked me without cause. 4 In return for my love they accuse me but I
was prayer. 5 They placed upon me evil in return for good, and hatred in
return for my love.

Regarding verse 4 the rabbinical commentary says: My love for them was
genuine, as I would pray on their behalf.

In other words despite what evil came upon David he prayed for those
that caused evil to befall him. Where else have we seen this
instruction? In the Brit Chadashah-the Renewed Testament. Pray for those
who spitefully use you. Love your enemy. These words were spoken by our
Messiah Yeshua and they take love to a whole new level. No matter what
evil someone may bring upon us we are to lift them up in prayer. And do
you know what? Praying for those who are against you will bring you
release from the anger that you store up inside of you. Praying for
those who have come against you in word and deed will change you and it
can change the person or persons who hurt you.

I am sure that all of us can relate situations where we have been
slandered and hurt by those that we thought were our friends. If we let
that hurt simmer it will fester like a sore and become infected with
unf****veness on our part. But when we lift them up in prayer and lift
the situation up in prayer Yahweh brings healing to our spirits. In in
bringing healing to our spirits healing can come to our physical beings
as well.

It has been shown that prayer works and can touch our physical bodies as
well as our spirit. Donıt go toe to toe with those who come against you.
Love them and pray for them. Speak only good things about them. If you
speak good of them sooner or later you will begin to see the good in a
bad situation.

Psalm 120:2-3: Yahweh, rescue my soul from lying lips, from a deceitful
tongue. 3 What can He give you, and what can He add to you, O deceitful

5315 Xpn nephesh {neh'-fesh}
soul, self, life, creature, person,* appetite, mind, living being,
desire,* emotion, passion, that which* breathes, the breathing substance
or being, soul, the inner being of* man, living being, living being*
(with life in the blood), the man himself, self, person or individual,
seat of the appetites, seat of* emotions and passions, activity of mind

It is here that we see that the tongue and the words that come forth
from our mouths harm the soul, that which gives us life from where our
emotions come from. When I talk about life being from the soul I mean
that in the sense that the soul is what brings us into being, the life
force, that exists within us. This is that part of Yahweh that exists
within us that make us like Him in the sense that we have the emotions
that our Creator has. But it is the Ruach or Spirit of Yahweh that
brings even more of our Creator into our very makeup, that part that
connects us to our heavenly Father and joins us to the Living Word

Proverbs 10:31: The mouth of a righteous one speaks wisdom, but a
duplicitous tongue will be cut off.

Proverbs 12:19: True speech is established forever, but a false tongue
is only for a moment.

You know I never realized just how much the Bible had to say about the
tongue and the words that we speak with it. The slander or falsehood
that comes from our mouths will not last forever even though in our
society it seems to be the gossip that lasts longer than the truth. What
does that say about our society? Are we a God based society that draws
its laws from the Torah of God or the lies that come from that great
deceiver hasatan?

How many build their foundation on the Rock‹Yeshua and the words that He
gave to us to establish us‹the Torah! The truth is established forever.
That means forever. In this passage the Hebrew word used for ever is not
the one that is usually used. Here it is:

5703 d[ `ad {ad}
perpetuity, for ever, continuing* future, ancient (of past time), for
ever (of future time), of* continuous existence, for ever (of* God's

In most passages that use forever the Hebrew word that is usually used
is Œolamı. But the meaning of the Hebrew word used here, ahd, mirrors
what Œolamı means. It has always existed and will always exist. The
truth will always be while falsehood will not. So it may be that our
society thrives on the falsehoods that abound today but in the end the
truth will be left standing when all is said and done.

Proverbs 15:4: A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but corruption of it
is damage of the spirit.

The tree of life in Hebraic or Jewish thought is equated to the Torah.
But even more than that, we as believers in the Messiah Yeshua, realize
that Yeshua is the Living Torah, the Living Tree of Life, who brings
soothing to our souls and our spirits. The message that He brings is one
of peace that passes all understanding but nevertheless it is a peace
that we so desperately need. But our words of anger and hate and
mistrust and the gossip that we bring into the Body do nothing but tear
the Body of Messiah apart.

Where is the love that we are supposed to have for not only one another
but for those who gossip against us? Where is the f****veness that we
are to freely give? People of Yahweh repent and be f****ven as we
f****ve those who come against us. Yeshua instructed us to f****ve those
who trespass against us and He further instructed us to f****ve seven
times seventy those who trespass against us.

This is not an easy thing to do my friends. F****ving without strings
attached is not easy. Remember that even if you do try to not only
f****ve but apologize for your part in the misunderstanding and it is
not accepted by the other party you have done what you were instructed
to do and now all you can do is turn it over to Yahweh in prayer.

Proverbs 17:4: An evildoer is attentive to iniquitous speech; a false
person listens to a destructive tongue.

Proverbs 17:20: The perverse of heart will not find good, and one
duplicitous in his tongue will fall into evil.

Watch what you say. Solomon is the accepted writer of Proverbs and he
had been blessed by Yahweh with the gift of wisdom. And yet even in that
superior wisdom it did him no good in the end because he followed after
the gods of his many wives and turned away from Yahweh and it was
because of Solomonıs sin that the united Kingdom of Israel was torn in

The words of his wives brought Solomon down from the heights of being
blessed by God to the depths of being lost in idolatry. We need to take
this as an example for us in our lives that one day we can be close to
Yeshua and the next day we can be far away and not realize just how far
we have drifted off course.

This brings to mind the many people that I have known over the years who
while once professing faith in Yeshua come into the truth of what the
Bible really has to say about their Hebraic Roots. But as they journey
from their place in Christianity towards a better and fuller
understanding of their Hebraic or Jewish Roots they begin to look to the
traditions and customs of the Jewish faith while taking their eyes off
of the author of their faith‹Yeshua! Ultimately, and I have personally
seen this, they embrace Judaism and reject Yeshua.

Guard your faith my brother and sisters and cherish what you have. Cling
to Yahweh and Yeshua and call upon the Ruach HaKodesh to fill you up
with the might and power of the Holy One of Israel! Rejoice in your
Messiah Yeshua and give thanks to His Father, Yahweh, who asked Him to
give up His life for us.

Proverbs 18:21: Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who
love [to use] it will eat its fruit.

Truer words were never spoken! Life and death are in our mouths and come
forth from our tongues. Do you try to bring life or death through your
tongue? Do you try to speak kind words or words that bring hurt. I have
spoken words over the years that have brought hurt to many and I have
been on the receiving end of words that have hurt me. We have the power
of life and death in our mouths. We need to keep a tight reign on our
tongues and what we say with it. Build up do not tear down.

Proverbs 25:23: [As] the north wind brings forth rain, [so does]
stealthy slander brings forth an angry face.

Proverbs 26:28: A lying tongue hates those it oppresses, but a smooth
mouth will turn [the hatred] back.

Jeremiah 9:7(8): Their tongue is like a drawn arrow, speaking deceit;
with his mouth one speaks peace with his fellow, but inside of him he
lays his ambush.

Are you seeing just how powerful our tongues are? Do you see just how
much bad our tongues can do when we use them for the purpose of speaking
gossip? These things do not glorify God! Speak the words of truth and
understand that the word of truth is the Torah and the Torah is Yeshua.
Gossip and slander do not come forth from the mouth of the Son of God.
We are called to imitate Him. Are you?

Do your words divide the Body of Messiah or bring it together? Has a
root of bitterness taken hold of you? Has someone who is close to you
spoken words that have hurt you and you have let that resentment take
root in your spirit and now it is festering like an open wound. F****ve!
Even if the offending party does not f****ve you or does not want to
speak with you, f****ve! It will be like a soothing balm to your spirit
once you let go of the root of bitterness. No matter how right you may
feel or justified in your anger let it go.

Allow the Spirit of Yahweh and His love flow through your innermost
being and bring you life everlasting. You must first f****ve before you
can be f****ven. This f****veness from you frees up Yahweh to pour out
His healing love upon you and then allows your prayers to come before
the throne of God.

The tongue brings life or death. Which will it be for you? I choose
life. I choose to tame that wild member of my body and bring it into
submission not just to me but to Yahweh. I choose to allow Yeshua to
work through me not in spite of me.

James 3:5-6, 8: So also, the tongue is a small member and it exalts
itself. Also, a little fire causes large forests to burn. 6 And the
tongue is a fire and the world of sin is like a forest. And the tongue,
though it is [one] among the members, defiles our whole body and sets on
fire the successions of our generations that roll on as wheels; and it
burns also with fire. 8 But the tongue, no man is able to subdue; this
evil, when it is not restrained, is full of the poison of death.

If we take the time to think about the Scriptures that I have presented
to you in this article you will that the tongue and the words that come
from it hold a lot of power for something so small in our body. In this
article I have only scratched the surface on this subject and I hope to
do another article in the next issue of the Journal on gossip. The two
subjects go together and are intricately tied one to the other.

I feel very strongly about gossip and slander and those things that are
associated with it. We have laid out for us in the Bible the means to
resolve any differences that we may have with one another. Why is it
that we cannot follow the Scriptural dictates as shown to us in the Book
of Matthew? They are very simple to do and give us a system that
obviously was used by the Shalichim/Apostles in their dealings with the
congregations that they planted and among themselves. We see Biblical
evidence that a Beit Din or House of Judgment was in place within the
community of believers, at least in Jerusalem. We see that Peter and
Paul both submitted this Beit Din and that James was the head or in
Hebrew the Œnasiı or president of the Beit Din.

If we would order our congregational disputes being resolved around this
format I believe that things would be so much easier. But in doing this
we need to know that our leaders are above reproach and that they are in
submission to the Torah. The Torah is the constitution of Israel. It is
our declaration of independence from the ways of the world and brings us
the freedom that Yahweh offers us. Godıs kingdom is not a democracy. God
is in control. Since He created us who then would know better what it is
that we need? He did not have Moses write down the Torah in order for us
to toss it away.

The Torah is God given and the writers were Ruach inspired. As men we
are fallible as shown to us time and time again throughout the Bible.
But in our weaknesses we see the power of Yahweh shine through. When we
make mistakes we need to humble ourselves before Him and ask to be
f****ven and in turn f****ve those who have wronged us as well as
realizing that we may also be at fault. Admitting that we may be wrong
is not an easy thing to do. Our pride and the way we are taught today is
against us taking any responsibility for our actions. Our way of life
teaches us to exalt ourselves. We are taught, even though it is not
always said, that we can be like gods. Our way of life, our
technological advances, our science, all tell us that we can depend on
ourselves and that to believe in a higher being only makes us weak.

But you know what? Itıs in that weakness that God is exalted. Paul had a
thorn in his flesh that he prayed to God three times to have removed and
God refused. He told Paul that it was in weakness that men would see the
glory and the power of God. We are weak but in Yeshua we are made
strong. The world and even other believers may come against us for our
walk as part of Messianic Israel but in the end our reward will come
from the Author of all Creation not from the author of destruction. The
world will go its own way and pay the price in the end. We are called
not to be citizens of this world but to hold fast to our faith in Yeshua
and the citizenship that we have waiting for us in the Kingdom of God.

Letıs try to remember that we are emissaries of Yeshua sent out like He
sent out the seventy. We are called to be a light* in this world not
just to those who do not know Yeshua but to those who know Him but need
a guide to bring them back to the straight and narrow path. We may know
that the Torah is still valid, the seventh day Sabbath is the day Yahweh
gave to us for our weekly gathering to honor Him, the dietary laws are
still in effect and the bottom line is that we have grace and Torah and
they go hand in hand.

But keep in mind that those who are our brothers and sisters in Messiah
and even those who are not are where we once were. Share with them the
truth but in love and mercy. Extend the Œchesedı, lovingkindness of God
to those you come across in your daily lives. Love your enemies as well
as your friends. Even if we reject Him I believe that Yeshua still loves
us as we are His creation. Though even in that unlimited love rejection
of Yeshua carries a cost. Think before you speak. If you do not have
something nice to say about someone then do not say anything at all. Let
me close with this passage from 1 Peter 3:10-11:*

Therefore, he who desires life and loves to see good days should keep
his tongue from evil and his lips should not speak guile. 11 Let him
turn away from evil and let him do good, and let him seek shalom and let
him pursue it.

Rabbi Mordechai Silver leads Etz-Chayim-Tree of Life Messianic
Congregation ( in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where he
and his wife Sharan reside. He is the director of Am Echad Messianic
Ministries and author of Journey Through the Torah, Volume I and
numerous articles on the two houses of Israel and Torah.

* TNN Online
* 1492 Regal Court, Kissimmee, Florida 34744

This information has been reproduced with the expressed written consent
of its author, Rabbi Mordechai Silver, and his ministry, Etz Chayim-Tree
of Life, P.O. Box 467, Organ NM, 88052,
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