2 I resolved I would watch my step lest I offend by my speech; I would keep my mouth muzzled while the wicked man was in my presence.
a-MAR-tee esh-m’-RAH d’-ra-KHAI may-kha-TO vil-sho-NEE esh-m’-RAH l’-FEE makh-SOM b’-OD ra-SHA l’-neg-DEE
ב אָמַרְתִּי אֶשְׁמְרָה דְרָכַי מֵחֲטוֹא בִלְשׁוֹנִי אֶשְׁמְרָה לְפִי מַחְסוֹם בְּעֹד רָשָׁע לְנֶגְדִּי׃
39:2 Lest I offend by my speech
The Sages of the Talmud ask (Yoma 9b) why the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed if there were plenty of people studying the Torah, following Hashem’s commandments and performing acts of kindness for others. They answer that it was because people spoke ill of each other due to baseless hatred. This teaches that such animosity and foul-mouthed behavior is worse than idolatry, sexual immorality and murder, which are the reasons given for the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash. The Sages then ask, was there no slander or baseless hatred among the people in the first Temple period? They answer that, in fact, there was, but those who lived during the first Beit Hamikdash were open with their bitter feelings, thus their punishment was shorter. During the second Beit Hamikdash, the people hid their resentments, secretly slandering and speaking hate, and therefore their exile lasted much longer.