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Prayer for Help in the Face of Enemies

For the music director. A psalm of David.[a]

140 Rescue me, O Yahweh, from evil men.[b]
Preserve me from violent men,
who plan evil things in their heart.
They stir up wars continually.
They sharpen their tongue as sharp as a snake’s;
the venom of a viper is under their lips. Selah
Protect me, O Yahweh, from the hands of the wicked.
Preserve me from violent men,
who have planned to make me stumble.[c]
The proud have hidden a trap for me, and cords.
They have spread out a net along the side[d] of the path.
They have set snares for me. Selah
I say to Yahweh, “You are my God.”
Listen, O Yahweh, to the voice of my supplications.
O Yahweh, my Lord, the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant, O Yahweh, the desires of the wicked.
Do not allow them to attain their[e] plan, lest they be exalted. Selah
With respect to the head of those who surround me,
may the harm of their lips cover them.
10 Let burning coals fall on them;
let them be dropped into the fire,
into bottomless pits from which they cannot rise.
11 Do not let a slanderer[f] be established in the land;
as for the man of violence, let evil hunt him quickly.
12 I know[g] that Yahweh will maintain the cause of the afflicted,
and justice for the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will give thanks to your name;
the upright will dwell in your presence.


  1. Psalm 140:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by one
  2. Psalm 140:1 The several uses of the singular “man” in this psalm are probably collective
  3. Psalm 140:4 Literally “push my steps”
  4. Psalm 140:5 Literally “hand”
  5. Psalm 140:8 Hebrew “his”
  6. Psalm 140:11 Literally “man of tongue”
  7. Psalm 140:12 According to the reading tradition (Qere)