Psalms 139:20

20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.

Psalms 139:20 in Other Translations

20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
20 They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain!
20 They blaspheme you; your enemies misuse your name.
20 all the men and women who belittle you, God, infatuated with cheap god-imitations.
20 who invoke You deceitfully. Your enemies swear [by You] falsely.

Psalms 139:20 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 139:20

For they speak against thee wickedly
Against his being, his perfections, his purposes, his providences, his doctrines, ordinances, ministers, and people; or "they speak of thee for wickedness" F2, they made mention of the name of God to cover their wickedness, pretending to fear God and love him, to have a reverence of him and serve him, putting on a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof;

[and] thine enemies take [thy name] in vain:
either by profane swearing, or by false swearing. The Targum interprets both clauses of swearing deceitfully and vainly; or "he", that is, everyone that is "lifted up to vanity [are] thine enemies" F3, whose hearts are lifted up to vanity, idols, riches, self-righteousness, sensual lusts and pleasures; these are the enemies of God, are estranged from him, hold friendship with the world, harbour his enemies, love what he hates, hate what he loves, and commit acts of hostility against him. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, read, "they take thy cities in vain".


F2 Or "to a mischievous purpose"; so Ainsworth.
F3 (Kyde awvl awvn) "qui elatus est ad vanitatem, hostes tui sunt", De Dieu.

Psalms 139:20 In-Context

18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Psalms 65:7
  • 2. S Deuteronomy 5:11; Jude 15
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