Psalms 140

Listen to Psalms 140
1 1Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from 2violent men,
2 who plan evil things in their heart and 3stir up wars continually.
3 They make 4their tongue sharp as 5a serpent's, and 6under their lips is the 7venom of asps. Selah
4 Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from 8violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet.
5 The arrogant have 9hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread 10a net;[a] beside the way they have set 11snares for me. Selah
6 12I say to the LORD, You are my God; give ear to 13the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD!
7 O LORD, my Lord, 14the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.
8 15Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; do not further their[b] evil plot, or 16they will be exalted! Selah
9 As for the head of those who surround me, let 17the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!
10 Let 18burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise!
11 Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!
12 I know that the LORD will 19maintain the cause of the afflicted, and 20will execute justice for the needy.
13 Surely 21the righteous shall give thanks to your name; 22the upright shall dwell in your presence.

Psalms 140 Commentary

Chapter 140

David encourages himself in God. (1-7) He prays for, and prophesies the destruction of, his persecutors. (8-13)

Verses 1-7 The more danger appears, the more earnest we should be in prayer to God. All are safe whom the Lord protects. If he be for us, who can be against us? We should especially watch and pray, that the Lord would hold up our goings in his ways, that our footsteps slip not. God is as able to keep his people from secret fraud as from open force; and the experience we have had of his power and care, in dangers of one kind, may encourage us to depend upon him in other dangers.

Verses 8-13 Believers may pray that God would not grant the desires of the wicked, nor further their evil devices. False accusers will bring mischief upon themselves, even the burning coals of Divine vengeance. And surely the righteous shall dwell in God's presence, and give him thanks for evermore. This is true thanksgiving, even thanks-living: this use we should make of all our deliverances, we should serve God the more closely and cheerfully. Those who, though evil spoken of and ill-used by men, are righteous in the sight of God, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and received by faith, as the effect of which, they live soberly and righteously; these give thanks to the Lord, for the righteousness whereby they are made righteous, and for every blessing of grace, and mercy of life.

Cross References 22

  • 1. Psalms 71:4; Psalms 119:153, 170
  • 2. Psalms 18:48; Proverbs 3:31
  • 3. See Psalms 56:6
  • 4. [Psalms 52:2]
  • 5. Psalms 58:4
  • 6. Psalms 10:7
  • 7. Cited Romans 3:13
  • 8. [See ver. 1 above]
  • 9. Psalms 35:7; Psalms 141:9; Psalms 142:3; Jeremiah 18:22
  • 10. Job 18:8-10
  • 11. Psalms 64:5
  • 12. Psalms 142:5
  • 13. Psalms 28:2; Psalms 31:22; Psalms 130:2
  • 14. Psalms 28:8
  • 15. [Psalms 35:25]
  • 16. Isaiah 14:21
  • 17. [Proverbs 12:13; Proverbs 18:7]; See Psalms 7:16
  • 18. [Psalms 11:6; Psalms 18:13]
  • 19. Psalms 9:4
  • 20. 1 Kgs. 8:45, 49, 59
  • 21. [Psalms 64:10]
  • 22. [Psalms 11:7]

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. This psalm, A ben Ezra says, was composed by David before he was king; and Kimchi says, it is concerning Doeg and the Ziphites, who calumniated him to Saul; and, according to our English contents, it is a prayer of David to be delivered from Saul and Doeg. The Syriac inscription is, "said by David, when Saul threw a javelin at him to kill him, but it struck the wall; but, spiritually, the words of him that cleaves to God, and contends with his enemies." R. Obadiah says, it was made at the persecution of David by Saul, which was before the kingdom of David; as the persecution (of Gog) is before the coming of the Messiah. It is indeed before his spiritual coming, but not before his coming in the flesh; and David may be very well considered in the psalm as a type of Christ, for he was particularly so in his sufferings, as well as in other things.

Psalms 140 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.