The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
It is "but for a moment." Dean Swift complains that the influence of a lie is often mischievously lasting; so often does it happen that if a lie be believed, only for an hour, it has done its work, and there is no further occasion for it. But the inherent mortality of whatever is false is recognised in other proverbs than those of Solomon, e.g., the English proverb, "A lie has no legs." "A lie, in that it is a lie, always carries within itself the germs of its own dissolution. It is sure to destroy itself at last." Carlyle says, "There is no lie in the long run successful. The hour of all windbags does arrive; every windbag is at length ripped, and collapses." "Lies exist only to be extinguished; they wait and cry earnestly for extinction." "Ruin is the great sea of darkness whither all falsehoods, winding or direct, continually flow." "Nothing," affirms a political philosopher, of an earlier and quite another school, "can give stability and durable uniformity to error. Indolence or ignorance may keep it floating, as it were, on the surface of the mind, and sometimes hinder truth from penetrating; or force may maintain it in possession, while the mind assents to it no longer. But such opinions, like human bodies, tend to dissolution from their birth.... Men are dragged into them, and held down in them, by chains of circumstances. Break but these chains, and the mind returns with a kind of intellectual elasticity to its proper object — truth."
(Francis Jacox, B.A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.