Psalm 141:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

King James Bible
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

American Standard Version
Set a watch, O Jehovah, before my mouth; Keep the door of my lips.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: and a door round about my lips.

English Revised Version
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my tips.

Webster's Bible Translation
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

Psalm 141:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The strophic symmetry is now at an end. The longer the poet lingers over the contemplation of the rebels the more lofty and dignified does his language become, the more particular the choice of the expressions, and the more difficult and unmanageable the construction. The Hiph. הסב signifies, causatively, to cause to go round about (Exodus 13:18), and to raise round about (2 Chronicles 14:6); here, after Joshua 6:11, where with an accusative following it signifies to go round about: to make the circuit of anything, as enemies who surround a city on all sides and seek the most favourable point for assault; מסבּי from the participle מסב. Even when derived from the substantive מסב (Hupfeld), "my surroundings" is equivalent to איבי סביבותי in Psalm 27:6. Hitzig, on the other hand, renders it: the head of my slanderers, from סבב, to go round about, Arabic to tell tales of any one, defame; but the Arabic sbb, fut. u, to abuse, the IV form (Hiphil) of which moreover is not used either in the ancient or in the modern language, has nothing to do with the Hebrew סבב, but signifies originally to cut off round about, then to clip (injure) any one's honour and good name.

(Note: The lexicographer Neshwn says, i.:279b: Arab. 'l-sbb 'l - šatm w-qı̂l an aṣl 'l-sbb 'l - qaṭ‛ ṯm ṣâr 'l - štm, "sebb is to abuse; still, the more original signification of cutting off is said to lie at the foundation of this signification." That Arab. qṭ‛ is synonymous with it, e.g., Arab. lı̂štqt‛fı̂nâ, why dost thou cut into us? i.e., why dost thou insult our honour? - Wetzstein.)

The fact that the enemies who surround the psalmist on every side are just such calumniators, is intimated here in the word שׂפתימו. He wishes that the trouble which the enemies' slanderous lips occasion him may fall back upon their own head. ראשׁ is head in the first and literal sense according to Psalm 7:17; and יכסּימו (with the Jod of the groundform kcy, as in Deuteronomy 32:26; 1 Kings 20:35; Chethb יכסּוּמו,

(Note: Which is favoured by Exodus 15:5, jechasjûmû with mû instead of mô, which is otherwise without example.)

after the attractional schema, 2 Samuel 2:4; Isaiah 2:11, and frequently; cf. on the masculine form, Proverbs 5:2; Proverbs 10:21) refers back to ראשׁ, which is meant of the heads of all persons individually. In Psalm 140:11 ימיטוּ (with an indefinite subject of the higher punitive powers, Ges. 137, note), in the signification to cause to descend, has a support in Psalm 55:4, whereas the Niph. נמוט, fut. ימּט, which is preferred by the Ker, in the signification to be made to descend, is contrary to the usage of the language. The ἅπ. λεγ. מהמרות has been combined by Parchon and others with the Arabic hmr, which, together with other significations (to strike, stamp, cast down, and the like), also has the signification to flow (whence e.g., in the Koran, mâ' munhamir, flowing water). "Fire" and "water" are emblems of perils that cannot be escaped, Psalm 66:12, and the mention of fire is therefore appropriately succeeded by places of flowing water, pits of water. The signification "pits" is attested by the Targum, Symmachus, Jerome, and the quotation in Kimchi: "first of all they buried them in מהמורות; when the flesh was consumed they collected the bones and buried them in coffins." On בּל־יקוּמוּ cf. Isaiah 26:14. Like Psalm 140:10-11, Psalm 140:12 is also not to be taken as a general maxim, but as expressing a wish in accordance with the excited tone of this strophe. אישׁ לשׁון is not a great talker, i.e., boaster, but an idle talker, i.e., slanderer (lxx ἀνὴρ γλωσσώδης, cf. Sir. 8:4). According to the accents, אישׁ חמס רע is the parallel; but what would be the object of this designation of violence as worse or more malignant? With Sommer, Olshausen, and others, we take רע as the subject to יצוּדנּוּ: let evil, i.e., the punishment which arises out of evil, hunt him; cf. Proverbs 13:21, חטּאים תּרדּף רעה, and the opposite in Psalm 23:6. It would have to be accented, according to this our construction of the words, אישׁ חמס רע יצודני למדחפת. The ἅπ. λεγ. למדחפת we do not render, with Hengstenberg, Olshausen, and others: push upon push, with repeated pushes, which, to say nothing more, is not suited to the figure of hunting, but, since דּחף always has the signification of precipitate hastening: by hastenings, that is to say, forced marches.

Psalm 141:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

set a watch

Psalm 17:3-5 You have proved my heart; you have visited me in the night; you have tried me, and shall find nothing...

Psalm 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

Psalm 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with your praise and with your honor all the day.

Micah 7:5 Trust you not in a friend, put you not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of your mouth from her that lies in your bosom.

James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

Cross References
James 1:26
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.

1 Samuel 21:2
And David said to Ahimelech the priest, "The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, 'Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.' I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place.

Psalm 34:13
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Psalm 39:1
I said, "I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence."

Proverbs 13:3
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Proverbs 21:23
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Micah 7:5
Put no trust in a neighbor; have no confidence in a friend; guard the doors of your mouth from her who lies in your arms;

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