Psalm 140:2

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 2. Which imagine mischiefs in their heart. They cannot be happy unless they are plotting and planning, conspiring and contriving. They seem to have but one heart, for they are completely agreed in their malice; and with all their heart and soul they pursue their victim. One piece of mischief is not enough for them; they work in the plural, and prepare many arrows for their bow. What they cannot actually do they nevertheless like to think over, and to rehearse on the stage of their cruel fancy. It is an awful thing to have such a heart disease as this. When the imagination gloats over doing harm to others, it is a sure sign that the entire nature is far gone in wickedness. Continually are they gathered together for war. They are a committee of opposition in permanent session: they never adjourn, but perpetually consider the all absorbing question of how to do the most harm to the man of God. They are a standing army always ready for the fray: they not only go to the wars, but dwell in them. Though they are the worst of company, yet they put up with one another, and are continually in each other's society, confederate for fight. David's enemies were as violent as they were evil, as crafty as they were violent, and as persistent as they were crafty. It is hard dealing with persons who are only in their element when they are at daggers drawn with you. Such a case calls for prayer, and prayer calls on God.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 2. Continually are they gathered together for war. Literally, this clause reads, who gather wars, and so some understand it. But it is well known that the prepositions are often omitted in the Hebrew, and no doubt he means that they stirred up general enmity by their false information which acted as a trumpet sounding to battle. --John Calvin.

Verse 2-3. The wicked assault the righteous with three weapons: -- with the heart, by conspiracy; with the tongue, by lying; and with the hand, by violence. --John Lorinus, 1569-1634.