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Psalm 140 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 140[a]

Prayer for Deliverance from the Wicked

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,
[b]Who sharpen their tongue like a serpent,
    venom of asps upon their lips.


Keep me, Lord, from the clutches of the wicked;
    preserve me from the violent,
    who plot to trip me up.
[c]The arrogant have set a trap for me;
    they have spread out ropes for a net,
    laid snares for me by the wayside.
I say to the Lord: You are my God;
    listen, Lord, to the words of my pleas.
Lord, my master, my strong deliverer,
    you cover my head on the day of armed conflict.
Lord, do not grant the desires of the wicked one;
    do not let his plot succeed.


10 Those who surround me raise their heads;
    may the mischief they threaten overwhelm them.
11 Drop burning coals upon them;
    cast them into the watery pit never more to rise.

12 Slanderers will not survive on earth;
    evil will hunt down the man of violence to overthrow him.
13 For I know the Lord will take up the cause of the needy,
    justice for the poor.
14 Then the righteous will give thanks to your name;
    the upright will dwell in your presence.


  1. Psalm 140 A lament seeking rescue from violent and treacherous foes (Ps 140:2–6). The psalmist remains trusting (Ps 140:7–8), vigorously praying that the plans of the wicked recoil upon themselves (Ps 140:9–12). A serene statement of praise ends the Psalm (Ps 140:13). The psalmist is content to be known as one of “the needy,” “the poor,” “the just,” “the upright” (Ps 140:13), a class of people expecting divine protection.
  2. 140:4 Similar metaphors for a wicked tongue are used in Ps 52:2; 55:20; 58:3.
  3. 140:6 Have set a trap…have spread out ropes for a net: the same figure, of hunters setting traps, occurs in Ps 9:16; 31:5; 35:7; 64:6, cf. Mt 22:15; Lk 11:54.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Psalm 140 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 140[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
    protect me from the violent,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
    and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
    the poison of vipers is on their lips.[b]

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
    they have spread out the cords of their net
    and have set traps for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
    Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
    you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
    do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
    may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
    may they be thrown into the fire,
    into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
    may disaster hunt down the violent.

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
    and the upright will live in your presence.


  1. Psalm 140:1 In Hebrew texts 140:1-13 is numbered 140:2-14.
  2. Psalm 140:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 5 and 8.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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