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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Psalms 140

Verses 1-5

Psalms 140:1-2 are an introductory cry for help. David’s enemies were evil, violent men who were stirring up trouble for him and his kingdom. In Psalms 140:3-5 the psalmist lamented his condition. The words of his enemies were as a serpent’s venom in their destructive power. David’s adversaries had tried to trap him as a hunter snares an animal. Evidently David felt they were trying to kill him.

Verses 1-8

1. Prayer for deliverance 140:1-8

Verses 1-13

Psalms 140

David prayed for God to frustrate his enemies’ attempts to trip him up-with confidence that God would defend him-in this individual lament psalm.

Verses 6-8

David repeated his call for God’s help (cf. Psalms 140:1). He pictured God’s protection of him in military terms (Psalms 140:7). Then he asked God not to permit his enemies’ evil intentions.

Verses 9-11

2. Imprecation on enemies 140:9-11

David’s request in Psalms 140:9 contrasts with his testimony in Psalms 140:7. Likewise, his petition in Psalms 140:10 recalls his description of his enemies’ treatment of him in Psalms 140:5 (cf. Genesis 19:24). Psalms 140:11 calls on God to deal with their words, to which David had referred in Psalms 140:3.

Verses 12-13

3. Confidence in Yahweh 140:12-13

David could be confident that God would deliver him because He had promised to help the afflicted and the poor in the Mosaic Law. This salvation would result in the righteous thanking God. They could then continue to live before Him in peace.

This psalm encourages God’s people to call on Him in distress when wicked people oppress them. We can have confidence in His promises to vindicate the just in situations such as this. His destruction of the wicked will ultimately glorify His name, as well as provide salvation for His own.

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 140". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-140.html. 2012.