World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary

Psalm 140

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader. A Psalm of David.


Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers;

protect me from those who are violent,


who plan evil things in their minds

and stir up wars continually.


They make their tongue sharp as a snake’s,

and under their lips is the venom of vipers.Selah



Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;

protect me from the violent

who have planned my downfall.


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



I say to the Lord, “You are my God;

give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.”


O Lord, my Lord, my strong deliverer,

you have covered my head in the day of battle.


Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;

do not further their evil plot.Selah



Those who surround me lift up their heads;

let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them!


Let burning coals fall on them!

Let them be flung into pits, no more to rise!


Do not let the slanderer be established in the land;

let evil speedily hunt down the violent!



I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy,

and executes justice for the poor.


Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;

the upright shall live in your presence.

Select a resource above

Ps 140:1-13. The style of this Psalm resembles those of David in the former part of the book, presenting the usual complaint, prayer, and confident hope of relief.

1. evil man—Which of David's enemies is meant is not important.

2-5. This character of the wicked, and the devices planned against the pious, correspond to Ps 10:7; 31:13; 58:4, &c.

3. sharpened … like a serpent—not like a serpent does, but they are thus like a serpent in cunning and venom.

5. snare [and] net—for threatening dangers (compare Ps 38:12; 57:6).

6. (Compare Ps 5:1-12; 16:2).

7. day of battle—literally, "of armor," that is, when using it.

8. (Compare Ps 37:12; 66:7).

lest they exalt themselves—or, they will be exalted if permitted to prosper.

9. Contrasts his head covered by God (Ps 140:7) with theirs, or (as "head" may be used for "persons") with them, covered with the results of their wicked deeds (Ps 7:16).

10. (Compare Ps 11:6; 120:4).

cast into the fire; into deep pits—figures for utter destruction.

11. an evil speaker—or, "slanderer" will not be tolerated (Ps 101:7). The last clause may be translated: "an evil (man) He (God) shall hunt," &c.

12. (Compare Ps 9:4).

13. After all changes, the righteous shall have cause for praise. Such

shall dwell—shall sit securely, under God's protection (Ps 21:6; 41:12).