|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 5. - The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords. An instance of the figure hendiadys. What is meant is a snare composed of cords. Such snares, when laid for animals, were "hidden" in long grass, or low shrubs, or rough ground. They have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me (comp. Psalm 31:4; Psalm 35:7; Psalm 57:6; Psalm 119:10; Psalm 141:9; Psalm 142:3). A second pause-sign marks off a second stanza.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords,.... These were the Ziphites, according to Arama; see Psalm 119:85; the character well agrees with the Scribes and Pharisees, who were proud boasters, and despised others, and often laid snares for Christ to take away his life; and with the enemies of the church and people of God; who, through their pride, persecute them, and are insidious, and use artful methods to ensnare them; as the fowler lays his snare for the bird, and has his cords to draw it to him when it is taken in the snare, to which the allusion is;
they have spread a net by the wayside: they waylaid him; knowing the way he would go, they lay in wait for him, to seize him at once as he went along; see John 18:1; the word "cords" in the preceding clause should be connected with this, and be read, "and with cords they have spread a net by the wayside": it being usual, as Jarchi observes, to fasten a long cord at the top of the net; and when the fowler sees the birds under the net, he draws the cord, and the net falls upon the fowls;
they have set gins for me; all these expressions design the insidiousness, and the private, secret, artful methods, the enemies of David, of Christ and his people, took and do take to ensnare them. Arama interprets the "snare and cords" of the watching of David's house; the "net by the wayside" of posting themselves at the gates of the city, and surrounding it; and gins of spies; see 1 Samuel 19:11.
Selah; on this word; see Gill on Psalm 3:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. snare [and] net—for threatening dangers (compare Ps 38:12; 57:6).
Psalm 140:5 Parallel Commentaries
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