140:5 Proud men hide a snare for me;
evil men 1 spread a net by the path;
they set traps for me. (Selah)
140:6 I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
O Lord, pay attention to my plea for mercy!
140:7 O sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer, 2
you shield 3 my head in the day of battle.
140:8 O Lord, do not let the wicked have their way! 4
Do not allow their 5 plan to succeed when they attack! 6 (Selah)
140:9 As for the heads of those who surround me –
may the harm done by 7 their lips overwhelm them!
140:10 May he rain down 8 fiery coals upon them!
May he throw them into the fire!
From bottomless pits they will not escape. 9
140:11 A slanderer 10 will not endure on 11 the earth;
calamity will hunt down a violent man and strike him down. 12
1 tn Heb “and ropes,” but many prefer to revocalize the noun as a participle (חֹבְלִים, khovÿlim) from the verb חָבַל (khaval, “act corruptly”).
2 tn Heb “the strength of my deliverance.”
3 tn Heb “cover.”
4 tn Heb “do not grant the desires of the wicked.”
5 tn Heb “his.” The singular is used in a representative sense (see v. 1).
6 tn Heb “his plot do not promote, they rise up.” The translation understands the final verb as being an unmarked temporal clause. Another option is to revocalize the verb as a Hiphil and take the verb with the next verse, “those who surround me lift up [their] head,” which could refer to their proud attitude as they anticipate victory (see Ps 27:6).
7 tn Heb “harm of their lips.” The genitive here indicates the source or agent of the harm.
8 tn The verb form in the Kethib (consonantal Hebrew text) appears to be a Hiphil imperfect from the root מוּט (mut, “to sway”), but the Hiphil occurs only here and in Ps 55:3, where it is preferable to read יַמְטִירוּ (yamtiru, “they rain down”). In Ps 140:10 the form יַמְטֵר (yamter, “let him rain down”) should probably be read.
9 tn Heb “into bottomless pits, they will not arise.” The translation assumes that the preposition -בְּ (bet) has the nuance “from” here. Another option is to connect the line with what precedes, take the final clause as an asyndetic relative clause, and translate, “into bottomless pits [from which] they cannot arise.” The Hebrew noun מַהֲמֹרָה (mahamorah, “bottomless pit”) occurs only here in the OT.
10 tn Heb “a man of a tongue.”
11 tn Heb “be established in.”
12 tn Heb “for blows.” The Hebrew noun מַדְחֵפֹה (madkhefoh, “blow”) occurs only here in the OT.