Psalm 140-142 English Standard Version

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A Prayer for Protection against Persecutors

140 Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, 2  who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. 3  They make their tongue sharp as a serpent's, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah 4  Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. 5  The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net;[1] beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah 6  I say to the Lord, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O Lord! 7  O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.

8  Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; do not further their[2] evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah 9  As for the head of those who surround me, let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them! 10  Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise! 11  Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily! 12  I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. 13  Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

A Prayer for Preservation from Evil

141 O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! 2  Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! 3  Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! 4  Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies!

5  Let a righteous man strike me--it is a kindness; let him rebuke me--it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it. Yet my prayer is continually against their evil deeds. 6  When their judges are thrown over the cliff,[3] then they shall hear my words, for they are pleasant. 7  As when one plows and breaks up the earth, so shall our bones be scattered at the mouth of Sheol.[4] 8  But my eyes are toward you, O GOD, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless![5] 9  Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers! 10  Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.

A Prayer for Help in Trouble

142 With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. 2  I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. 3  When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.

4  Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. 5  I cry to you, O Lord; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living." 6  Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! 7  Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

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Footnotes

[1] 140:5 Or they have spread cords as a net

[2] 140:8 Hebrew his

[3] 141:6 Or When their judges fall into the hands of the Rock

[4] 141:7 The meaning of the Hebrew in verses 6, 7 is uncertain

[5] 141:8 Hebrew refuge; do not pour out my life!

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