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Psalms 140:1 « To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. » Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;
Ver. 1. Deliver me O Lord, from the evil man ] Made of malice, in which is steeped the venom of all vices.
Preserve me from the violent man ] Man of violences, who, vulture-like, Rev 11:10 liveth by rapine. Such were Saul and his informers.
Psa 140:2 Which imagine mischiefs in [their] heart; continually are they gathered together [for] war.
Ver. 2. Which imagine mischief in their heart ] Where the devil worketh night and day as a mintman; as a smith in his forge; or an artificer in his shop. A godly man is said to have right thoughts, Proverbs 12:5 , and that his desires are only good, Proverbs 11:23 . An evil man is called a man of wicked devices, Proverbs 12:2 ; Proverbs 14:17 , being ingeniose nequam, wittily wicked, as it was once said of Gaius Curio, the Roman lawyer.
They are gathered together for war ] Heb. they gather wars, as serpents gather poison to vomit out at others. Coacervant praelia, q.d. sunt tanquam tubae belli.
Psa 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison [is] under their lips. Selah.
Ver. 3. They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent ] Which, by reason of his sharp tongue, striketh more deeply.
Adders’poison] Venenum Ptyados. R. Solomen readeth spiders’ poison; others, asps!, vipers’; malice turneth men into serpents, saith Chrysostom.
Psa 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.
Ver. 4. Keep me ] Who am thus sought and set for; but thou canst rescue me.
To overthrow my goings ] Praecipitare, to hurl me down headlong.
Psa 140:5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.
Ver. 5. The proud have hid a snare, &c ] They are restless to ruin me, adding all kind of craft to their cruelty.
Psa 140:6 I said unto the LORD, Thou [art] my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD.
Ver. 6. I said unto the Lord ] Danger drove David home to God; as bugbears do little children to their parents.
Psa 140:7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.
Ver. 7. In the day of battle ] Heb. of armours; for battle David never had any with Saul, but declined it.
Psa 140:8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; [lest] they exalt themselves. Selah.
Ver. 8. Grant not, O Lord, &c. ] For if they should be votorum compotes, masters of their desires, they would be intolerably insolent, so as to say, Our high hand, and not the Lord, hath done all this, Deuteronomy 32:27 .
Psalms 140:9 [As for] the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.
Ver. 9. As for the head ] The chieftain, the ringleader, Doeg, or Saul himself. Or thus, let mischief cover the heads of my besiegers, let it fall upon their pates, as Psalms 7:16 Similitudo est a sacrificiis, quorum capita execrabantur.
Psa 140:10 Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
Ver. 10. Let burning coals fall upon them ] Conflagrent ut corruant. Haec sunt non tam vota quam vaticinia.
Psa 140:11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow [him].
Ver. 11. Let not an evil speaker ] Heb. a man of tongue, whereof Geraldus reckoneth up twenty-four several sins; a world of wickedness, St James calleth it, James 3:6
Evil shall hunt the violent man ] The angel of death shall hunt him into hell, saith the Chaldee. Of the blackbird’s excrements is made bird lime, to catch him. Gaius Marius was slain with the sword he made when he was a cutler. Propiis pennis perire grave est, was Julian’s motto. God’s judgments against sinners are feathered from themselves, as a fowl shot with an arrow feathered from her own body.
Psa 140:12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, [and] the right of the poor.
Ver. 12. I know ] For I have a promise for it, and that is infallible.
Psa 140:13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.
Ver. 13. Shall give thanks ] He shall have no other cause.
The upright shall dwell in thy presence ] When the hypocrite shall be dog out-of-doors, Job 13:16 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 140". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30