Psalm 140:11
Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) An evil speaker.—Literally, as in LXX. and Vulg., a man of tongue; (Comp. Ecclesiasticus 8:3; Job 11:2.) margin,” man of lips.” It is hardly possible to resist the suggestion that some particular person, noted for the loudness or violence of his speech, was intended.

Evil shall hunt . . .—Comp. Proverbs 13:21 and Horace, Odes iii. 2, Conington’s translation:

“Though vengeance halt, she seldom leaves

The wretch whose flying step she hounds.’

To overthrow.—The Hebrew is a noun, formed from a root meaning “to thrust,” and literally means either to destruction or with hasty pursuit. Some render “with successive thrusts;” but this is hardly a hunting figure.

140:8-13 Believers may pray that God would not grant the desires of the wicked, nor further their evil devices. False accusers will bring mischief upon themselves, even the burning coals of Divine vengeance. And surely the righteous shall dwell in God's presence, and give him thanks for evermore. This is true thanksgiving, even thanks-living: this use we should make of all our deliverances, we should serve God the more closely and cheerfully. Those who, though evil spoken of and ill-used by men, are righteous in the sight of God, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and received by faith, as the effect of which, they live soberly and righteously; these give thanks to the Lord, for the righteousness whereby they are made righteous, and for every blessing of grace, and mercy of life.Let not an evil speaker - literally, "A man of tongue." That is, a man whom the tongue rules; a man of an unbridled tongue; a man who does not control his tongue. See the notes at James 3:2-12.

Be established in the earth - Be successful or prosperous; let him not carry out his designs. It is not desirable that a man should prosper in such purposes; and therefore, this is not a prayer of malignity, but of benevolence.

Evil shall hunt the violent man ... - More literally, "A man of violence - a bad man - they shall hunt him down speedily;" or, "let him be hunted down speedily. Let him who forms a project of violence and wrong - a bad man - be hunted as the beasts of prey are, and let his destruction come quickly." Margin, "Let him be hunted to his overthrow." But the explanation now given suits the connection, and is a literal expression of the sense of the original.

11. an evil speaker—or, "slanderer" will not be tolerated (Ps 101:7). The last clause may be translated: "an evil (man) He (God) shall hunt," &c. An evil speaker; such as slander me and other innocent persons, to exasperate princes against us.

Evil; either the evil of punishment; or, which comes to the same thing, the evil of sin, their own wickedness, which shall recoil upon themselves. Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth,.... One that sets his mouth against the heavens, and speaks evil of God; of his being, perfections, purposes, and providences: whose tongue walks through the earth, and speaks evil of all men, even of dignities; and especially of the saints of the most High, and of the Gospel and ways of Christ. Or, "a men of tongue" (q); that uses his tongue in an ill way, in detractions and slanders (r); in blaspheming God, his name and tabernacle, and those that dwell therein, as antichrist, Revelation 13:5; a man that calumniates with a triple tongue, so the Targum; like a serpent, whose tongue seems to be so sometimes. Kimchi applies this to Doeg, and Jarchi to Esau. The request is, that such an one might not be established in the earth; in the land of the living, as the Targum; might not increase and flourish in worldly substance, or be continued in his posterity; but be rooted out of the earth, and he and his be no more; see Psalm 3:4;

evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him; or "to impulsions" (s): to drive him from evil to evil, as Kimchi. The sense is, that the evil of punishment shall hunt him, as a beast of prey is hunted; it shall closely pursue him and overtake him, and seize on him, and thrust him down to utter ruin and destruction. The Targum is,

"the injurious wicked man, let the angel of death hunt, and drive into hell.''

Of the violent man, see Psalm 140:1; he who purposed to overthrow David, he was persuaded would be overthrown himself. This clause teaches us how to understand the rest; for though they are delivered out as wishes and imprecations, yet are prophetic, and are strongly expressive of the certainty of the things imprecated.

(q) "vir linguae", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis. (r) So the word "tongue" is used in Cicero, "Si linguas minus facila possimus", Epist. l. 9. 2.((s) "ad impulsiones", Montanus.

Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall {i} hunt the violent man to overthrow him.

(i) God's plagues will light on him in such sort, that he will not escape.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. A slanderer shall not be established in the land] Cp. Psalm 101:5.

to overthrow him] Again the idea is that of the evil which he devises for others relentlessly pursuing him, lit. with thrust upon thrust. Cp. Psalm 35:5-6; Proverbs 13:21. The Targ. paraphrases, “misfortune shall hunt the violent man; the angel of death shall drive him down to hell.”Verse 11. - Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth; literally, a man of tongue shall not be established is the land - a man, i.e., of pretence and seeming, who talks grandly, but effects nothing. Such a one shall not obtain permanent establishment as a power in the land. Evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him; literally, to destructions - a plural of completeness. The course of this second strophe is exactly parallel with the first. The perfects describe their conduct hitherto, as a comparison of Psalm 140:3 with Psalm 140:3 shows. פּעמים is poetically equivalent to רגלים, and signifies both the foot that steps (Psalm 57:5; Psalm 58:11) and the step that is made by the foot (Psalm 85:14; Psalm 119:133), and here the two senses are undistinguishable. They are called גּאים on account of the inordinate ambition that infatuates them. The metaphors taken from the life of the hunter (Psalm 141:9; Psalm 142:4) are here brought together as it were into a body of synonyms. The meaning of ליד־מעגּל becomes explicable from Psalm 142:4; ליד, at hand, is equivalent to "immediately beside" (1 Chronicles 18:17; Nehemiah 11:24). Close by the path along which he has to pass, lie gins ready to spring together and ensnare him when he appears.
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