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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.


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