What’s the meaning of unclean lips? (Isaiah 6:5) Isaiah 6:5 5"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
ESV - 5 And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!
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In the passage cited in the question, the prophet Isaiah had just seen a vision of God in all His splendor, glory, and holiness. His immediate reaction was a deep sense of his own sinfulness in comparison (as well as of the sinfulness of the entire rebellious nation of Israel, to which God was sending him to preach). When he said that he was a man of unclean lips, and that all of the Israelites were a people of unclean lips, he was using his and their lips as a metaphor for the sinful way in which in which he and they spoke (as well as for their entire sinful, disobedient lifestyle, including their deeds and thoughts). However, in that same vision (Isaiah 6:6-13), God subsequently purified Isaiah by having one of the angels who surrounded His throne touch Isaiah's lips with a burning coal from the altar that was used to make burnt sacrificial offerings to God. This action symbolized the forgiveness of Isaiah's sins, making him worthy to carry God's message of coming judgment to Judah through its future exile from Palestine at the hands of the Babylonians. However, as noted in Isaiah 6:9-10, God knew that the people of Judah would still not heed Isaiah's message.
What’s the meaning of unclean lips? (6:5) 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”--NIV 5 Then said I, Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.--KJV John Gill deals with Isaiah 6:5b -- because I [am] a man of unclean lips; The PROPHET, Isaiah, says nothing of the uncleanness of his heart, nor of his actions; not that he was free from such impurity; but only of his lips, because it was the sin of his office that lay upon his mind, and gave him present uneasiness; there is no man but offends in words, and of all men persons in public office should be careful of what they say; godly ministers are conscious of many failings in their ministry.
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