“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.”
Paul now goes from generalities to particulars; culling from different passages of Scripture passages which speak of depravity as it affects the different members of the body in order to show more affectingly how “from the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness” in us. If the grave is opened, corruption is on display. Paul is point out that corruption comes from the throats of men when they speak.

“Their throat is an open sepulchre”
Literally:  “Their throat {is} a tomb being opened.”-Ready to swallow up and consume,   as the  grave did the body laid in it Psa. 5:9.   What proceeds out of their heart, and finds vent in speech and action through the throat, is like the pestilential breath of an open grave.

This expression is taken literally from Psa. 5:9, from the LXX: (Psa. 5:9); that is, “What proceeds out of their heart, and finds vent in speech and action through the throat, is like the pestilential breath of an open grave.”  The purpose of the psalm is to reprove those who were false, traitorous, slanderous, etc. (Psa. 5:6). The psalmist has the sin of deceit, and falsehood, and slander particularly in view. The expressions here are to be interpreted in accordance with that view and purpose.

                        THROAT:  (Grk.–larygs)-Literally:  “larynx,” referring to their speech; i.e., the filth that spews out of a filthy mouth.

         Doctors look down a patients throat when he is being examined.  We know that the throat and tongue denote the state of our health.  In this verse we see God, as the all-wise Great Physician giving His examination of Homer Saps.  There could be no worse diagnosis than what we see here:  death, decay, moral stench, and all out in the open, not hidden. Open, unhidden and unashamed putridness.  This is how God describes the throat of every one of us in our natural state.
         This and all the following verses to the end of the 18th  are found in the Septuagint (LXX), but not in the Hebrew text; and it is most evident that it was from this version that Paul quoted, as the verses cannot be found in any other place with so near an approximation to the apostle's meaning and words.
         The sentiment here may be, as the grave is ever open to receive all into it, that is, into destruction, so the mouth or the throat of the slanderer is ever open to swallow up the peace and happiness of all. Or it may mean, as from an open tomb there proceeds an offensive and pestilential odor, so from the mouths of slanderous persons there proceeds noisome and ruinous words.           

           OPEN:  (Grk.–taphos)–There can be nothing more horrible than what we have in view here:  death decay, moral stench, unashamed putrid odor; and that not even hidden   but out in the open; exposed for all to behold. UNDERSTAND:  We are seeing Homer Saps as God sees him through His all-holy eyes.. 

“with their tongues they have used deceit”
Literally:  They used deceit with their tongues.”–By their malicious and wicked words they bury, as it were, the reputation of all men.  In their conversation, their promises, etc.

        HAVE USED DECEIT:  (Grk.–edoliousan)–In the Hebrew it literally means, “they smoothed their tongues.”  This is in the perfect tense, which denotes consistency or continuous action in their hypocritical activities..

The whole of this verse appears to belong to their habit of lying, defamation, slandering, etc., by which they wound, blast, and poison the reputation of others. Observe the progress of evil discourse: proceeding out of the heart, through the throat, tongue, lips, till the whole mouth is filled..

            “the poison of asps.”
            Literally: {the} poison of asps”–The asp is a venomous kind of viper (Psa. 5:9; 140:3). 

This is speaking of infectious, deadly backbiting, tale-bearing, evil-speaking, is under (for honey is on) their lips. The venom of falsehood, as deadly to destroy a person just as does the deadly venom of such a serpent.  Those lips which should “drop as an honeycomb,” and “feed man”' and “give thanks unto His name” (Song 4:11; Prov. 10:21; Heb. 13:15), are employed to secrete and “to dart deadly poison.”

           ASPS:  (Grk.–aspis)–The asp, or adder, is a species of viper whose poison is of such potency that it kills almost the instant that it penetrates, and that without remedy. It is small, and commonly lies concealed, often in the sand in a road, and strikes the traveler before he even sees it. This viper is found chiefly in Egypt and   Lybia.

This is taken literally from the Septuagint (LXX) of Psa. 140:3. It is said by ancient writers that the celebrated Cleopatra, rather than be carried a captive to Rome by Octavius Caesar, suffered an asp to bite her in the arm, by which she soon died.

“is under their lips”
Literally: {is} under their lips”–The poison of the serpent is contained in a small sac which is concealed at the root of the fang. When the fang is struck into the flesh, the poison is pressed out, through a small hole in the fang, into the wound.

The sentiment is, that as the poison of the asp is rapid, certain, spreading quickly through the system, and producing death, so the words of the slanderer are deadly, pestiferous, quickly destroying the reputation and happiness of man. They are as subtle, as insinuating, and as deadly to the reputation, as the poison of the asp is to the body. You and I were born with moral poison-sacks like these; and oh how many times do evil people strike others with their venom-words; i.e., use their “snake fangs.”  Wicked men, in the Bible, are often compared to serpents (Matt. 23:33; Gen. 49:17).

“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”

         “Whose mouth”–Paul has not quoted this literally, but has given the sense of the verse.  In this psalm David is describing his bitter enemies. 

“is full of cursing”
{is} full of cursing”–They never speak but in profane oaths, or blasphemies. Reproachful and opprobrious language, such as Shimei used in relation to David  (II Sam. 16:5,7-8). 

            CURSING:  (Grk.–aras)–Literally:  “cursing; to curse.”

As America has become more heathen, or ungodly, and even anti-God, cursing in public (which once would not have been tolerated) has become the norm, instead of the exception, as it once was.  To prove this, you need only to stand upon any street and listen to what has become “normal” speech.  Bitterness and blasphemy  is everywhere; and often from those who think that by “being baptized,” and “joining the church” they are ready to “go to heaven”–and all this without a single thought of being forgiven or born-again.        

“and bitterness”- Evil speaking against their neighbor (Psa. 10:7). In the psalm, deceits. The word bitterness is used to denote severity, harshness, cruelty; reproachful and   malicious words

          BITTERNESS: (Grk.–pikria)Literally: bitterness; bitter envy; bitter feeling; spite.

VERSE  15:
“Their feet are swift to shed blood”

Literally:  “There feet {are} swift to shed blood.”–To carry their owners on a mission of
murder; either actual physical murder or murder of someone’s character or reputation.

The quotation in this and the two following verses is abridged or condensed from Isa. 59:7-8. The expressions occur in the midst of a description of the character of the nation in the time of the prophet. Paul has selected a few expressions out of many, rather making a reference to the entire passage, than a formal quotation.

         SWIFT(Grk.–okeia)–Literally:  “sharp; swift.”  The expression, “their feet are    swift,” etc., denotes the eagerness of the nation to commit crime, particularly deeds of   injustice and cruelty.

They thirsted for the blood of innocence, and hastened to shed it, to gratify their malice, or to satisfy their vengeance. They make use of every means in their power to destroy the reputation and lives of the innocent.

“Destruction and misery are in their ways.”

            DESTRUCTION:  (Grk.–suntrimma)–Literally: “ruin.”  From the Greek verb (suntribō), meaning, “to rub together, to crush.”  Used in the LXX (Lev. 21:19) for “fracture” or break. These people cause the destruction or the ruin of the reputation, happiness, and peace of others.  This Greek word is sed only here in the N.T.       

            MISERY:  (Grk.–talaitpōria)--Literally:  “calamity; ruin; trouble.”  They cause the ruin and misery of others.

“in their ways”
Literally:  {are} in their way”–That is, wherever they go. This is a striking description of  the wicked not only then, but of all times. The tendency of their conduct is to destroy the virtue, happiness, and peace of all with whom they come in contact.

“And the way of peace have they not known”

Literally:  “And they did not know a way of peace”–The way of holiness and blessedness to themselves and others, which can only spring from righteousness, is unknown to them.

This is the case with all who are selfish, and who seek to gain theft own purposes of crime and ambition. They have peace neither in themselves, nor do they allow others to live in peace and quiet. Such persons are brooders and fomenters of discord.   Intent on their plans of evil, they do not know or regard that which is fitted to promote the welfare of themselves or others.

            PEACE: (Grk.–eirēnē)–Literally: “peace; harmony; order; often used in greetings.”  PEACE (shalom) is the common greeting among Jews.

“There is no fear of God before their eyes”–This sums up the entire problem.  In homer saps there is no reverential awe of God within mankind. How graphic is this picture of human depravity, finding its way through each several organ of the body into the lifestyle of mankind.

            FEAR:  (Grk.–phobos)–This Greek word phobos here denotes reverence, awe, or veneration. This is the root from which we get our word, “phobia.”  It is possible that for here Paul meant “terror” instead of “reverence.”

         There is no regard or reverence for the character, authority, and honor of God to restrain them from crimes. Their conduct shows that they are not withheld from the commission of iniquity by any regard to the fear or favor of God. The only thing that will be effectual in restraining men from sin will be a regard to the honor and law of God. This completes their bad character.  To sum it up:  they are downright atheists, at least practically such.  They have no fear of God's judgments, although His eye is upon them in their evil ways.  There is not one article of what is charged against the Jews and Gentiles here that may not be found justified by the histories of both, and in the most ample manner.  And what was true of them in those primitive times is still true today.  With little variation, these are the evils in which the vast mass of mankind still delight and live.
          Look especially at men in a state of warfare; look at the nations of Europe, who enjoy most of the light of God; see what has taken place among them from 1792 to 1814; look at Europe in the Twentieth Century: devastated in two world wars in which tens of millions died; look at Stalinist Russia in which at least 20 million died in the purges; see what destruction of millions, and what misery of hundreds of millions all over the world have been the consequence of Satanic excitement in fallen, ferocious passions; AND look at the United States today, in which even the mere mention of God in a court room is enough to get a conviction overturned!
        O SIN, look at what you have you done to homer saps!  How many myriads of souls have you hurried, unprepared, into eternity!  Who, among men or angels, can estimate the greatness of this calamity! This butchery of souls!  What widows, what orphans, are left to grieve their sacrificed husbands and parents, and their own consequent wretchedness!  And from whence did all this spring?   From whence come all wars and fighting–the evil desires of men; the lust of dominion; the insatiable thirst for money; and the desire to be sole and independent.

          This is the sin that ruined our first parents, expelled them from paradise, and which has descended to all their posterity; and proves fully, incontestably proves, that we are their legitimate offspring; the fallen progeny of fallen parents; children in whose ways are destruction and misery; in whose heart there is no faith; and before whose eyes there is nothing of the fear of God.