December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 For the leader. A psalm of David.
- Deliver me, LORD, from the wicked; preserve me from the violent,
- From those who plan evil in their hearts, who stir up conflicts every day,
- 2 Who sharpen their tongues like serpents, venom of asps upon their lips. Selah
- Keep me, LORD, from the clutches of the wicked; preserve me from the violent, who plot to trip me up.
- 3 The arrogant have set a trap for me; villains have spread a net, laid snares for me by the wayside. Selah
- I say to the LORD: You are my God; listen, LORD, to the words of my prayer.
- My revered LORD, my strong helper, my helmet on the day of battle.
- LORD, do not grant the desires of the wicked; do not let their plots succeed. Selah
- Around me they raise their proud heads; may the mischief they threaten overwhelm them.
- May God rain burning coals upon them, cast them into the grave never more to rise.
- Slanderers will not survive on earth; evil will quickly entrap the violent.
- For I know the LORD will secure justice for the needy, their rights for the poor.
- Then the just will give thanks to your name; the upright will dwell in your presence.
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1 [Psalm 140] A lament seeking rescue from violent and treacherous foes (Psalm 140:2-6). The psalmist remains trusting (Psalm 140:7-8), vigorously praying that the plans of the wicked recoil upon themselves (Psalm 140:9-12). A serene statement of praise ends the psalm (Psalm 140:13). The psalmist is content to be known as one of "the needy," "the poor," "the just," "the upright" (Psalm 140:13), a class of people expecting divine protection.
2  Similar metaphors for a wicked tongue are used in Psalm 52:2; 55:20; 58:3.
3  Have set a trap . . . have spread a net: the same figure, of hunters setting traps, occurs in Psalm 9:16; 31:5; 35:7; 64:6. Cf Matthew 22:15; Luke 11:54.
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