|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Besides its literal sense (Isaiah 37:29, etc.), is used in the original (saphah) metaphorically for an edge or border, as of a cup (1 Kings 7:26), a garment (Exodus 28:32), a curtain (26:4), the sea (Genesis 22:17), the Jordan (2 Kings 2:13). To "open the lips" is to begin to speak (Job 11:5); to "refrain the lips" is to keep silence (Psalm 40:9; 1 Peter 3:10). The "fruit of the lips" (Hebrews 13:15) is praise, and the "calves of the lips" thank-offerings (Hosea 14:2). To "shoot out the lip" is to manifest scorn and defiance (Psalm 22:7). Many similar forms of expression are found in Scripture.
Noah Webster's Dictionary
1. (n.) One of the two fleshy folds which surround the orifice of the mouth in man and many other animals. In man the lips are organs of speech essential to certain articulations. Hence, by a figure they denote the mouth, or all the organs of speech, and sometimes speech itself.
2. (n.) An edge of an opening; a thin projecting part of anything; a kind of short open spout; as, the lip of a vessel.
3. (n.) The sharp cutting edge on the end of an auger.
4. (n.) One of the two opposite divisions of a labiate corolla.
5. (n.) The odd and peculiar petal in the Orchis family. See Orchidaceous.
6. (n.) One of the edges of the aperture of a univalve shell.
7. (v. t.) To touch with the lips; to put the lips to; hence, to kiss.
8. (v. t.) To utter; to speak.
9. (v. t.) To clip; to trim.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(saphah, sepheth, "lip," "language," "speech," "talk" (also "rim," "border," "shore," "bank," etc.), sapham, "(upper) lip," "moustache," "beard"; cheilos, "lip" (also once, "shore" in the quotation Hebrews 11:12 equals Genesis 22:17)):
(1) Lips stand in oriental idiom for speech or language, like "mouth," "tongue"; therefore they stand in parallelism. "The lip of truth shall be established for ever; but a lying tongue is but for a moment" (Proverbs 12:19). "To shoot out the lip" (Psalm 22:7) means to make a mocking, contemptuous, scornful face. As the lips are the chief instrument of speech, we find numerous idiomatic phrases for "speaking," such as: "the utterance of the lips" (Numbers 30:6, 8), "to proceed out of the lips" (Numbers 30:12), "to open the lips" (Job 32:20), "to go out of the lips" (Psalm 17:1). These expressions do not convey, as a rule, the idea that the utterance proceeds merely out of the lips, and that it lacks sincerity and the consent of the heart, but occasionally this is intended, e.g. "This people draw nigh unto me, and with their mouth and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me" (Isaiah 29:13; compare Matthew 15:8). The "fruit of the lips" (Isaiah 57:19 equals Hebrews 13:15) and "calves of the lips" (Hosea 14:2 the King James Version) designate the praise and thanksgiving due to God. "Fervent (the King James Version "burning") lips" (Proverbs 26:23) are synonymous with eloquence. "To refrain the lips" (Psalm 40:9 Proverbs 10:19) means to keep silence, where the godless or unwise would wish to assert his rights.
Numerous other expressions need no further explanation, such as "perverse lips" (Proverbs 4:24), "uncircumcised lips" (Exodus 6:12, 30), "feigned lips" (Psalm 17:1), "lying lips" (Psalm 31:18 Proverbs 10:18; Proverbs 12:22), "wicked (or false) lips" (Proverbs 17:4), "unclean lips" (Isaiah 6:5), "strange (the King James Version "stammering") lips" (Isaiah 28:11), "flattering lips" (Psalm 12:2, 3 Proverbs 7:21), "righteous lips" (Proverbs 16:13).
(2) The Hebrew word sapham is found only in the phrase "to cover the lip or lips," which is an expression of mourning, submission and shame. The Oriental covers his lips with his hand or a portion of his garment, when he has been sunk into deep grief and sorrow. He expresses, thereby, that he cannot open his mouth at the visitation of God. Differently, however, from common mourners, Ezekiel was forbidden of God "to cover his lips" (Ezekiel 24:17; see also Ezekiel 24:22), i.e. to mourn in the usual way over Israel's downfall, as Israel had brought these judgments upon himself. The leper, victim of an incurable disease, walks about with rent clothes and hair disheveled, covering his lips, crying: "Unclean, unclean!" (Leviticus 13:45). The thought here is that even the breath of such a one may defile. The prophet calls upon all seers and diviners, to whom God has refused the knowledge of the future, to cover their lips in shame and confusion (Micah 3:7).
H. L. E. Luering
Lip (20 Occurrences)
Leviticus 13:45 "The leper in whom the plague is shall wear torn clothes, and the hair of his head shall hang loose. He shall cover his upper lip, and shall cry,'Unclean! Unclean!' (WEB KJV JPS ASV WBS YLT RSV)
2 Samuel 19:24 And Mephibosheth son of Saul hath come down to meet the king -- and he prepared not his feet, nor did he prepare his upper lip, yea, his garments he washed not, even from the day of the going away of the king, till the day that he came in peace -- (YLT)
2 Chronicles 4:5 And its thickness 'is' a handbreadth, and its lip as the work of the lip of a cup flowered with lilies; taking hold -- baths three thousand it containeth. (YLT)
Job 12:20 Turning aside the lip of the stedfast, And the reason of the aged He taketh away. (YLT NIV)
Psalms 12:2 Everyone lies to his neighbor. They speak with flattering lips, and with a double heart. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Psalms 22:7 All those who see me mock me. They insult me with their lips. They shake their heads, saying, (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS)
Psalms 81:5 A testimony on Joseph He hath placed it, In his going forth over the land of Egypt. A lip, I have not known -- I hear. (YLT)
Psalms 120:2 Deliver my soul, Yahweh, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 12:19 Truth's lips will be established forever, but a lying tongue is only momentary. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Proverbs 17:7 Arrogant speech isn't fitting for a fool, much less do lying lips fit a prince. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS NIV)
Isaiah 19:18 In that day there are five cities in the land of Egypt, Speaking the lip of Canaan, And swearing to Jehovah of Hosts, 'The city of destruction,' is said of one. (YLT)
Isaiah 28:11 But he will speak to this nation with stammering lips and in another language; (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 29:13 The Lord said, "Because this people draws near with their mouth and with their lips to honor me, but they have removed their heart far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment of men which has been taught; (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Isaiah 33:19 The strong people thou seest not, A people deeper of lip than to be understood, Of a scorned tongue, there is no understanding. (YLT)
Ezekiel 3:5 For, not unto a people deep of lip and heavy of tongue 'art' thou sent -- unto the house of Israel; (YLT)
Ezekiel 3:6 not unto many peoples, deep of lip and heavy of tongue, whose words thou dost not understand. If I had not sent thee unto them -- they, they do hearken unto thee, (YLT)
Ezekiel 24:17 Sigh, but not aloud, make no mourning for the dead; bind your headdress on you, and put your shoes on your feet, and don't cover your lips, and don't eat men's bread. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT RSV)
Ezekiel 24:22 You shall do as I have done: you shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men. (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE WBS YLT RSV)
Micah 3:7 The seers shall be disappointed, and the diviners confounded. Yes, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer from God." (Root in WEB KJV JPS ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT RSV)
Zephaniah 3:9 For then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that they may all call on the name of Yahweh, to serve him shoulder to shoulder. (Root in WEB YLT NAS NIV)