Psalm 140:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah

King James Bible
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.

American Standard Version
They have sharpened their tongue like a serpent; Adders poison is under their lips. Selah

Douay-Rheims Bible
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent: the venom of saps is under their lips.

English Revised Version
They have sharpened their tongue like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah

Webster's Bible Translation
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adder's poison is under their lips. Selah.

Psalm 140:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

And this God is by many not only not believed in and loved, but even hated and blasphemed! The poet now turns towards these enemies of God in profound vexation of spirit. The אם, which is conditional in Psalm 139:8, here is an optative o si, as in Psalm 81:9; Psalm 95:7. The expression תּקטל אלוהּ reminds one of the Book of Job, for, with the exception of our Psalm, this is the only book that uses the verb קטל, which is more Aramaic than Hebrew, and the divine name Eloah occurs more frequently in it than anywhere else. The transition from the optative to the imperative סוּרוּ is difficult; it would have been less so if the Waw copul. had been left out: cf. the easier expression in Psalm 6:9; Psalm 119:115. But we may not on this account seek to read יסוּרוּ, as Olshausen does. Everything here is remarkable; the whole Psalm has a characteristic form in respect to the language. מנּי is the ground-form of the overloaded ממּנּי, and is also like the Book of Job, Job 21:16, cf. מנהוּ Job 4:12, Psalm 68:24. The mode of writing ימרוּך (instead of which, however, the Babylonian texts had יאמרוּך) is the same as in 2 Samuel 19:15, cf. in 2 Samuel 20:9 the same melting away of the Aleph into the preceding vowel in connection with אחז, in 2 Samuel 22:40 in connection with אזּר, and in Isaiah 13:20 with אהל. Construed with the accusative of the person, אמר here signifies to declare any one, profiteri, a meaning which, we confess, does not occur elsewhere. But למזמּה (cf. למרמה, Psalm 24:4; the Targum: who swear by Thy name for wantonness) and the parallel member of the verse, which as it runs is moulded after Exodus 20:7, show that it has not to be read ימרוּך (Quinta: παρεπικρανάν σε). The form נשׁוּא, with Aleph otians, is also remarkable; it ought at least to have been written נשׂאוּ (cf. נרפּוּא, Ezekiel 47:8) instead of the customary נשׂאוּ; yet the same mode of writing is found in the Niphal in Jeremiah 10:5, ינשׁוּא, it assumes a ground-form נשׂה (Psalm 32:1) equals נשׂא, and is to be judged of according to אבוּא in Isaiah 28:12 [Ges. 23, 3, rem. 3]. Also one feels the absence of the object to נשׁוּא לשּׁוא. It is meant to be supplied according to the decalogue, Exodus 20:7, which certainly makes the alteration שׁמך (Bttcher, Olsh.) or זכרך (Hitzig on Isaiah 26:13), instead of עריך, natural. But the text as we now have it is also intelligible: the object to נשׂוא is derived from ימרוך, and the following עריך is an explanation of the subject intended in נשׂוא that is introduced subsequently. Psalm 89:52 proves the possibility of this structure of a clause. It is correctly rendered by Aquila ἀντίζηλοί σου, and Symmachus οἱ ἐναντίοι σου. ער, an enemy, prop. one who is zealous, a zealot (from עוּר, or rather עיר, equals Arab. gâr, med. Je, ζηλοῦν, whence עיר, Arab. gayrat equals קנאה), is a word that is guaranteed by 1 Samuel 28:16; Daniel 4:16, and as being an Aramaism is appropriate to this Psalm. The form תּקומם for מתּקומם has cast away the preformative Mem (cf. שׁפתּים and משׁפּתים, מקּרה in Deuteronomy 23:11 for ממּקּרה); the suffix is to be understood according to Psalm 17:7. Pasek stands between יהוה and אשׂנה in order that the two words may not be read together (cf. Job 27:13, and above Psalm 10:3). התקוטט as in the recent Psalm 119:158. The emphasis in Psalm 139:22 lies on לי; the poet regards the adversaries of God as enemies of his own. תּכלית takes the place of the adjective: extremo (odio) odi eos. Such is the relation of the poet to the enemies of God, but without indulging any self-glorying.

Psalm 140:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

sharpened

Psalm 52:2,3 The tongue devises mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully...

Psalm 57:4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows...

Psalm 59:7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, does hear?

Psalm 64:3,4 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words...

Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

Isaiah 59:3-5,13 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies...

Jeremiah 9:3,5 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth on the earth...

James 3:6-8 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body...

like a serpent

Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

Proverbs 23:32 At the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder.

Matthew 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety...

adders

Psalm 58:4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stops her ear;

Romans 3:13,14 Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips...

Cross References
Romans 3:13
"Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."

James 3:8
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Psalm 10:7
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.

Psalm 57:4
My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts-- the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

Psalm 58:4
They have venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear,

Psalm 64:3
who whet their tongues like swords, who aim bitter words like arrows,

Lamentations 3:62
The lips and thoughts of my assailants are against me all the day long.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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