Psalms 140

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 [a]Rescue me, LORD, from evildoers; protect me from the violent,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s; the poison of vipers is on their lips.[b]
4 Keep me safe, LORD, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent, who devise ways to trip my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me; they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path.
6 I say to the LORD, “You are my God.” Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy.
7 Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer, you shield my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the wicked their desires, LORD; do not let their plans succeed.
9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads; may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them; may they be thrown into the fire, into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land; may disaster hunt down the violent.
12 I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live 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 24

  • 1. Psalms 17:13; S Psalms 25:20; Psalms 59:2; Psalms 71:4; Psalms 142:6; Psalms 143:9
  • 2. ver 11; Psalms 86:14; Psalms 18:48
  • 3. Psalms 36:4; Psalms 56:6; Psalms 52:2; Proverbs 6:14; Proverbs 16:27; Isaiah 59:4; Hosea 7:15
  • 4. S Psalms 68:30
  • 5. Psalms 57:4
  • 6. Psalms 58:4; Romans 3:13*; James 3:8
  • 7. Psalms 141:9
  • 8. S Psalms 36:11; Psalms 71:4
  • 9. S Job 34:30; S Psalms 119:110
  • 10. S Job 18:8
  • 11. Job 18:9; Psalms 31:4; Psalms 35:7; S Psalms 38:12
  • 12. S Psalms 16:2
  • 13. S Psalms 28:2,6; Psalms 116:1; Psalms 143:1
  • 14. Psalms 68:20; Psalms 28:8
  • 15. Psalms 10:2-3; S Psalms 66:7
  • 16. Proverbs 18:7; Psalms 7:16
  • 17. Psalms 11:6; Psalms 21:9; S Matthew 3:10; Luke 12:49; Revelation 20:15
  • 18. S Psalms 34:21
  • 19. S Psalms 82:3
  • 20. S 1 Kings 8:45; Psalms 9:4
  • 21. S Psalms 35:10
  • 22. S Psalms 138:2; Psalms 97:12
  • 23. S Psalms 11:7
  • 24. Psalms 16:11

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 140:1-13 is numbered 140:2-14.
  • [b]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 5 and 8.

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

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