Psalms 140:3

3 They make their tongue sharp as a snake's, and under their lips is the venom of vipers. (Selah)

Psalms 140:3 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 140:3

They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent
Which Kimchi says it does before it bites. Aristotle F9 observes, that the tip or extreme point of a serpent's tongue is as small as a hair, and so exceeding sharp and piercing. Arama interprets this of the sharpness and cunning of the serpent; and particularly the serpent that deceived Eve, and spake cunningly to her. "For God knoweth" and may design the calumnies and detractions, which were sharp as a razor; as swords, and spears, and arrows, and as the tongue of a serpent, ( Psalms 57:4 ) ( 64:3 ) ; and the subtlety of false teachers, and deceitful workers; and the sharp and cutting words of wicked men against Christ and his people, ( Jude 1:15 ) ; adder's poison is under their lips;
which may signify the malignity of sin in wicked men, which comes from the old serpent the devil; is latent in men; very infectious, like poison, and deadly and incurable, but by the grace of God, and blood of Christ: and may describe particularly the mischief of the tongue, which is a little member, as the asp is a little creature; but very mischievous, full of deadly poison, which lurks in it, lies under it, and which spitting out, it stupifies and kills insensibly; as do the calumnies of wicked men, and the doctrines of false teachers; see ( Romans 3:13 ) . The Targum is,

``the poison of the spider;''
though it is said F11 the spider is not venomous. Selah; on this word, (See Gill on Psalms 3:2).

F9 Hist. Animal. l. 2. c. 17.
F11 Philosoph. Transact. abridged, vol. 2. p. 800. & vol. 5. par. 1. p. 24.

Psalms 140:3 In-Context

1 Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers; protect me from those who are violent,
2 who plan evil things in their minds and stir up wars continually.
3 They make their tongue sharp as a snake's, and under their lips is the venom of vipers. (Selah)
4 Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent who have planned my downfall.
5 The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net, along the road they have set snares for me. (Selah)
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.