What does Psalm 12:6 mean?
ESV: The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
NIV: And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.
NASB: The words of the Lord are pure words; Like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, filtered seven times.
CSB: The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in an earthen furnace, purified seven times.
NLT: The Lord’s promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over.
KJV: The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
NKJV: The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of earth, Purified seven times.
Verse Commentary:
A theme of David's writing is full confidence in God's goodness, His wisdom, and His Word (Psalm 18:30; 33:4; 40:8). Here, David uses the example of refining precious metals to explain the perfection and purity of God's Word.

Metals such as silver and gold are separated from impurities by melting; this burns away most of the worthless material. Repeating this process, using different techniques or by adding other chemicals, can further separate out undesirable substances. Here, David refers to the number of perfection, seven, applying it to the refinement of God's Word. The Lord's statements are perfect and complete. No one can improve on them; nor should anyone add to them. Unlike the lies and flattery used by the oppressors of the poor and needy to achieve their wicked goals (Psalm 12:2), the Lord's words are true and reliable.

In His prayer for His followers, Jesus asks the Father to sanctify them by His Word. He adds, "Your word is truth" (John 17:17). Psalm 119:72 puts a higher value on the Word of the Lord than on a great number of gold and silver pieces. God's Word brings the knowledge of salvation and the power to lead a righteous, effective life (2 Timothy 3:15–17).
Verse Context:
Psalm 12:5–8 comes after David described oppressors of the poor and needy who boasted about their deeds and felt no accountability. In this section, David expresses assurance that God will intervene on behalf of the oppressed. The wicked spoke lies and deceptive words, but David reflects upon the Lord's words as pure and dependable. He is confident that the Lord will protect the afflicted.
Chapter Summary:
In this short song, David mourns for what he sees as an entirely corrupt, evil culture. The people around him seem entirely filled with lies, flattery, and deception. These arrogant smooth-talkers think the power of their words will achieve whatever they desire. In contrast to the evil words the wicked employ, are the Lord's words. They are as pure and precious as silver refined seven times over in a furnace. David is confident that the Lord will protect His people from the harm their wicked contemporaries are inflicting. David concludes the psalm with a description of the widespread evil committed by the wicked. It is everywhere, and it is highly praised throughout the land.
Chapter Context:
This psalm reveals a basic contrast between the words of deceitful, flattering evildoers and the pure, reliable words of God. David laments the speech and behavior of a proud, deceitful culture. This brings to mind similar complaints from the Old Testament (Habakkuk 1:2–4; Psalm 22). He also expresses assurance that the Lord will protect him and all the righteous from their wicked contemporaries (Psalm 3:3).
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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