Psalm 140:11

11 May slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down the violent.

Read Psalm 140:11 Using Other Translations

Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily!
Don’t let liars prosper here in our land. Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.

What does Psalm 140:11 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 140:11

Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth
One that sets his mouth against the heavens, and speaks evil of God; of his being, perfections, purposes, and providences: whose tongue walks through the earth, and speaks evil of all men, even of dignities; and especially of the saints of the most High, and of the Gospel and ways of Christ. Or, "a men of tongue" F17; that uses his tongue in an ill way, in detractions and slanders F18; in blaspheming God, his name and tabernacle, and those that dwell therein, as antichrist, ( Revelation 13:5 ) ; a man that calumniates with a triple tongue, so the Targum; like a serpent, whose tongue seems to be so sometimes. Kimchi applies this to Doeg, and Jarchi to Esau. The request is, that such an one might not be established in the earth; in the land of the living, as the Targum; might not increase and flourish in worldly substance, or be continued in his posterity; but be rooted out of the earth, and he and his be no more; see ( Psalms 3:4 Psalms 3:5 ) ;

evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow [him];
or "to impulsions" {s}: to drive him from evil to evil, as Kimchi. The sense is, that the evil of punishment shall hunt him, as a beast of prey is hunted; it shall closely pursue him and overtake him, and seize on him, and thrust him down to utter ruin and destruction. The Targum is,

``the injurious wicked man, let the angel of death hunt, and drive into hell.''

Of the violent man, see ( Psalms 140:1 Psalms 140:4 ) ; he who purposed to overthrow David, he was persuaded would be overthrown himself. This clause teaches us how to understand the rest; for though they are delivered out as wishes and imprecations, yet are prophetic, and are strongly expressive of the certainty of the things imprecated.


F17 (Nwvl vya) "vir linguae", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F18 So the word "tongue" is used in Cicero, "Si linguas minus facila possimus", Epist. l. 9. 2.
F19 (tphdml) "ad impulsiones", Montanus.
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