All day long they stir up conflict. 2
Protect me from violent men,
who plan to knock me over. 7
140:5 Proud men hide a snare for me;
evil men 8 spread a net by the path;
they set traps for me. (Selah)
1 tn Heb “they devise wicked [plans] in [their] mind.”
2 tc Heb “they attack [for] war.” Some revocalize the verb (which is a Qal imperfect from גּוּר, gur, “to attack”) as יְגָרוּ (yÿgaru), a Piel imperfect from גָרָה (garah, “stir up strife”). This is followed in the present translation.
3 tn Heb “they sharpen their tongue like a serpent.” Ps 64:3 reads, “they sharpen their tongues like sword.” Perhaps Ps 140:3 uses a mixed metaphor, the point being that “they sharpen their tongues [like a sword],” as it were, so that when they speak, their words wound like a serpent’s bite. Another option is that the language refers to the pointed or forked nature of a serpent’s tongue, which is viewed metaphorically as “sharpened.”
4 tn The Hebrew term is used only here in the OT.
5 tn Heb “under.”
6 tn Heb “hands.”
7 tn Heb “to push down my steps.”
8 tn Heb “and ropes,” but many prefer to revocalize the noun as a participle (חֹבְלִים, khovÿlim) from the verb חָבַל (khaval, “act corruptly”).