Psalm 140:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
For the director of music. A psalm of David. Rescue me, LORD, from evildoers; protect me from the violent,

New Living Translation
For the choir director: A psalm of David. O LORD, rescue me from evil people. Protect me from those who are violent,

English Standard Version
Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men,

New American Standard Bible
For the choir director. A Psalm of David. Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men

King James Bible
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the choir director. A Davidic psalm. Rescue me, LORD, from evil men. Keep me safe from violent men

International Standard Version
Deliver me, LORD, from evil people, preserve me from violent men,

NET Bible
For the music director; a psalm of David. O LORD, rescue me from wicked men! Protect me from violent men,

New Heart English Bible
[For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.] Deliver me, LORD, from the evil man. Preserve me from the violent man;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Save me, Lord Jehovah, from the evil man, and keep me from evil men.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[For the choir leader; a psalm by David.] Rescue me from evil people, O LORD. Keep me safe from violent people.

JPS Tanakh 1917
For the Leader. A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man; Preserve me from the violent man;

New American Standard 1977
Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men;
            Preserve me from violent men,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man; preserve me from the man of violence.

King James 2000 Bible
Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

American King James Version
Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

American Standard Version
Deliver me, O Jehovah, from the evil man; Preserve me from the violent man:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Unto the end, a psalm for David. Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: rescue me from the unjust man.

Darby Bible Translation
{To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David.} Free me, O Jehovah, from the evil man; preserve me from the violent man:

English Revised Version
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man; preserve me from the violent man:

Webster's Bible Translation
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

World English Bible
Deliver me, Yahweh, from the evil man. Preserve me from the violent man;

Young's Literal Translation
To the Overseer. -- A Psalm of David. Deliver me, O Jehovah, from an evil man, From one of violence Thou keepest me.
Study Bible
Deliver Me, O Lord, from the Evil Man
1For the choir director. A Psalm of David. Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men 2Who devise evil things in their hearts; They continually stir up wars.…
Cross References
2 Samuel 22:49
Who also brings me out from my enemies; You even lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from the violent man.

Psalm 17:13
Arise, O LORD, confront him, bring him low; Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword,

Psalm 18:48
He delivers me from my enemies; Surely You lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from the violent man.

Psalm 54:3
For strangers have risen against me And violent men have sought my life; They have not set God before them. Selah.

Psalm 59:2
Deliver me from those who do iniquity And save me from men of bloodshed.

Psalm 64:1
For the choir director. A Psalm of David. Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; Preserve my life from dread of the enemy.

Psalm 71:4
Rescue me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, Out of the grasp of the wrongdoer and ruthless man,

Psalm 86:14
O God, arrogant men have risen up against me, And a band of violent men have sought my life, And they have not set You before them.

Psalm 140:4
Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men Who have purposed to trip up my feet.

Psalm 140:11
"May a slanderer not be established in the earth; May evil hunt the violent man speedily."
Treasury of Scripture

Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

a.m.

Psalm 43:1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O …

Psalm 59:1-3 Deliver me from my enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise …

Psalm 71:4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand …

violent man. Heb. man of violences

Psalm 140:4,11 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the …

Psalm 18:48 He delivers me from my enemies: yes, you lift me up above those that …

Habakkuk 1:2,3 O LORD, how long shall I cry, and you will not hear! even cry out …

(1) Evil man.--The singular of the object in this verse must not lead us to think the psalm is an expression of personal feeling against one enemy, for it is immediately changed to the plural.

Violent man.--See Margin.

Verse 1. - Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man. The prayer is not directed against an individual, but against David's enemies generally. They are "evil" or "wicked" men, and especially "men of violence" (see the next clause, and comp. ver. 4). Preserve me from the violent man; literally, from the man of violences (comp. 2 Samuel 22:49; Psalm 18:48). Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man,.... Either Saul; so Theodoret; or rather Doeg, according to R. Obadiah: but Jarchi interprets it of Esau; by whom he means Edom, or Rome, or rather the Christians in general. Were his sense confined to the Papists, he might be thought to be much in the right; for this is applicable enough to the man of sin, and his followers: for it may be understood collectively of a body of evil men; all men are evil by nature, their hearts, thoughts, words, works, and ways. David's enemies were evil men; and so were Christ's; as Herod, Judas in particular, and the Jews in general: and such are the enemies of God's people; the world, profane sinners, persecutors, and false teachers; and to be delivered from such is desirable, and to be prayed for, and an happiness when enjoyed; see 2 Thessalonians 3:2;

preserve me from the violent man: or, "the man of violences" (h); of a violent spirit, that breathes out slaughter and death; of a fierce countenance, of blustering words, and furious actions. Such a man was Doeg; who loved evil, and all devouring words, devised mischief, and boasted in it, Psalm 52:1; and Herod, who in his wrath, being disappointed, ordered sit the infants in and about Bethlehem to be slain; and the Jews, who were violently set on the death of Christ, and vehemently desired it: and such are all violent persecutors of the church of God, who clothe themselves with the garment of violence, and drink the wine of it; and to be preserved from such is a great mercy.

(h) "a viro violentiarum", Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis. 1 Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man; preserve me from the violent man;

2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.

3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.

Psalm 140:1

"Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man." It reads like a clause of the Lord's prayer, "Deliver us from evil." David does not so much plead against an individual as against the species represented by him, namely, the being whose best description is - "the evil man." There are many such abroad; indeed we shall not find an unregenerate man who is not in some sense an evil man, and yet all are not alike evil. It is well for us that our enemies are evil, it would be a horrible thing to have the good against us. When "the evil man" bestirs himself against the godly he is as terrible a being as a wolf, or a serpent, or even a devil. Fierce, implacable, unpitying, unrelenting, unscrupulous, he cares for nothing but the indulgence of his malice. The persecuted man turns to God in prayer; he could not do a wiser thing. Who can meet the evil man and defeat him save Jehovah himself, whose infinite goodness is more than a match for all the evil in the universe? We cannot of ourselves baffle the craft of the enemy, but the Lord knoweth how to deliver his saints. He can keep us out of the enemy's reach, he can sustain us when under his power, he can rescue us when our doom seems fixed, he can give us the victory when defeat seems certain; and in any and every case, if he do not save us from the man he can keep us from the evil. Should we be at this moment oppressed in any measure by ungodly men, it will be better to leave our defence with God than to attempt it ourselves.

"Preserve me from the violent man." Evil in the heart simmers in malice, and at last boils in passion. Evil is a raging thing when it getteth liberty to manifest itself; and so "the evil man" soon develops into "the violent man." What watchfulness, strength, or valour can preserve the child of God from deceit and violence? There is but one sure Preserver, and it is our wisdom to hide under the shadow of his wings. It is a common thing for good men to be assailed by enemies - David was attacked by Saul, Doeg, Ahithophel, Shimei, and others; even Mordecai sitting humbly in the gate had his Haman; and our Lord, the Perfect One, was surrounded by those who thirsted for his blood. We may not, therefore, hope to pass through the world without enemies, but we may hope to be delivered out of their hands, and preserved from their rage, so that no real harm shall come of their malignity. This blessing is to be sought by prayer, and expected by faith.

Psalm 140:2

"Which imagine mischiefs in their heart." They cannot be happy unless they are plotting and planning, conspiring and contriving. They seem to have but one heart, for they are completely agreed in their malice; and with all their heart and soul they pursue their victim. One piece of mischief is not enough for them; they work in the plural, and prepare many arrows for their bow. What they cannot actually do they nevertheless like to think over, and to rehearse on the stage of their cruel fancy. It is an awful thing to have such a heart-disease as this. When the imagination gloats over doing harm to others, it is a sure sign that the entire nature is far gone in wickedness. "Continually are they gathered together for war." They are a committee of opposition in permanent session they never adjourn, but perpetually consider the all-absorbing question of how to do the most harm to the man of God. They are a standing army always ready for the fray-they not only go to the wars, but dwell in them. Though they are the worst of company, yet they put up with one another, and are continually in each other's society, confederate for fight. David's enemies were as violent as they were evil, as crafty as they were violent, and as persistent as they were crafty. It is hard dealing with persons who are only in their element when they are at daggers-drawn with you. Such a case calls for prayer, and prayer calls on God.

Psalm 140:3

"They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent." The rapid motion of a viper's tongue gives you the idea of its sharpening it; even thus do the malicious move their tongues at such a rate that one might suppose them to be in the very act of wearing them to a point, or rubbing them to a keen edge. It was a common notion that serpents inserted their poison by their tongues, and the poets used the idea as a poetical expression, although it is certain that the serpent wounds by his fangs and not by his tongue. We are not to suppose that all authors who used such language were mistaken in their natural history any more than a writer can be charged with ignorance of astronomy because he speaks of the sun's travelling from east to west. How else can poets speak but according to the appearance of things to an imaginative eye. The world's great poet puts it in "King Lear".

"She struck me with her tongue,

Most serpent-like, upon the very heart."

In the case of slanderers, they so literally sting with their tongues, which are so nimble in malice, and withal so piercing and cutting, that it is by no means unjust to speak of them as sharpened. "Adders' poison is under their lips." The deadliest of all venom is the slander of the unscrupulous. Some men care not what they say so long as they can vex and injure. Our text, however, must not be confined In its reference to some few individuals, for in the inspired epistle to the Romans it is quoted by the apostle as being true of us all. So depraved are we by nature that the most venomous creatures are our fit types. The old serpent has not only Inoculated us with his venom, but he has caused us to be ourselves producers of the like poison, it lies under our lips, ready for use, and, alas, it is all too freely used when we grow angry, and desire to take vengeance upon any who have caused us vexation. It is sadly wonderful what hard things even good men will say when provoked; yea, even such as call themselves "perfect" in cool blood are not quite as gentle as doves when their claims to sinlessness are bluntly questioned. This poison of evil-speaking would never fall from our lips, however much we might be provoked, if it were not there at other times; but by nature we have as great a store of venomous words as a cobra has of poison. O Lord, take the poison-bags away, and cause our lips to drop nothing but honey. "Selah." This is heavy work. Go up, go up, my heart! Sink not too low. Fall not into the lowest key. Lift up thyself to God.

Psalm 140:4-5

continued...PSALM 140

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.140:1-7 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.
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