Psalm 140:4
Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Overthrow my goings.—Literally, thrust aside my steps. The verse is a repetition, with variation, of Psalm 140:1.

Psalm 140:4-5. Keep me from the hands of the wicked — Hebrew, רשׁע, the wicked man. Let him not prevail to take away my life, my reputation, my interest, or my comfort, or to prevent my coming to the throne. Preserve me from the violent man — Hebrew, מאישׁ חמסים, (as also in Psalm 140:1,) from the man of violences, injuries, or rapines; who hath purposed — Whose design and full resolution it is, if thou do not prevent it; to overthrow my goings — My feet, or footsteps; that is, to throw me down to the ground, to defeat all my hopes and counsels, and bring me to ruin. The proud — My insolent enemies, who despise me for my meanness, and exalt themselves against thee; have hid — Have secretly laid; a snare for me — That their designs, being undiscovered, might be the more likely to take effect, and I might fall into their hands ere I was aware. They have spread a net by the way — In which I used to walk. No hunter or fowler can be more industrious and cunning in spreading nets, or setting gins and traps for the beasts or birds which he wishes to insnare and catch, than they are to trace me in all my motions, (1 Samuel 23:23,) and to invent all manner of wiles and subtle arts to surprise me.

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.Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked ... - See the notes at Psalm 71:4. This is a repetition of the prayer in Psalm 140:1.

Who have purposed to overthrow my goings - To thrust me down as I go; to defeat my plans; to destroy me. They endeavor to prevent my accomplishing what I had designed to do.

3. sharpened … like a serpent—not like a serpent does, but they are thus like a serpent in cunning and venom. Whose design and full resolution it is, if thou dost not prevent it, to overthrow my goings, or my feet or footsteps, i.e. to throw me down to the ground, to defeat all my hopes and counsels, and bring me to ruin.

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked,.... From falling into their hands, and the weight of them); and from their laying hands on him, being men of power and authority;

preserve me from the violent man: or men, everyone of them; See Gill on Psalm 140:1;

who have purposed to overthrow my goings: to supplant him; to cause him to stumble and fall, to his disgrace and reproach; and that they might take an advantage of him, and an occasion against him. Arama interprets it, to drive me out of the land of Israel; see 1 Samuel 26:1. So Christ's enemies thought to have supplanted him, and have found something against him, to accuse him of to Caesar, Matthew 22:15.

Keep {d} me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.

(d) He declares the remedy of the godly, when they are oppressed by the worldlings.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. to overthrow my goings] To trip me up and overthrow me. Cp. Psalm 118:13. R.V. to thrust aside my steps.

4, 5. Repeated prayer for deliverance from their plots.

Verse 4. - Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man. A repetition of ver. 1 in a modified form. The fact of iteration indicates the extremity of the psalmist's need. Who have purposed to overthrow my goings; i.e. to bring me to destruction (comp. Psalm 17:5). Psalm 140:4The course of this second strophe is exactly parallel with the first. The perfects describe their conduct hitherto, as a comparison of Psalm 140:3 with Psalm 140:3 shows. פּעמים is poetically equivalent to רגלים, and signifies both the foot that steps (Psalm 57:5; Psalm 58:11) and the step that is made by the foot (Psalm 85:14; Psalm 119:133), and here the two senses are undistinguishable. They are called גּאים on account of the inordinate ambition that infatuates them. The metaphors taken from the life of the hunter (Psalm 141:9; Psalm 142:4) are here brought together as it were into a body of synonyms. The meaning of ליד־מעגּל becomes explicable from Psalm 142:4; ליד, at hand, is equivalent to "immediately beside" (1 Chronicles 18:17; Nehemiah 11:24). Close by the path along which he has to pass, lie gins ready to spring together and ensnare him when he appears.
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