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Chapter 140

Translation and Transliteration of 

1For the leader. A psalm of David.

la-menat-TSE-akh, miz-MOR, l'-da-VID

אלַמְנַצֵּ֗חַ מִזְמ֥וֹר לְדָוִֽד׃

2Rescue me, Hashem, from evil men; save me from the lawless,

kha-l'-TZAY-nee a-do-NAI may-a-DAM RA may-EESH kha-ma-SEEM tin-tz'-RAY-nee

בחַלְּצֵ֣נִי יְ֭הֹוָה מֵֽאָדָ֣ם רָ֑ע מֵאִ֖ישׁ חֲמָסִ֣ים תִּנְצְרֵֽנִי׃

 140:2   Rescue me, Hashem, from evil men

This psalm is about evil men and their wicked plans. There are many terms for evil, but here the psalmist chooses a specific word, chamas (חמס), referring to a specific type of wickedness described elsewhere in the Bible. When, in the incipient stages of civilization, the generation of Noach began to cheat, steal, deceive and act with total corruption, the Bible laments that God saw chamas in the land (Genesis 6:11). Later, in the days of Yona, the people of Nineveh are also described as engaging in chamas (Jonah 3:8). The specific crimes described as “chamas” are particularly insidious, as they undermine the very framework of society. Here, as David lashes out at the depraved ones who wish to destroy him, he speaks about men of chamas with evil in their hearts, who constantly stir up violence. They use traps and speak with forked tongues. David asks Hashem to save him and all the innocents from these devious minds, and curses the evil men to fall into their own vicious traps and be torn asunder. Ultimately, David concludes that the righteous ones will acknowledge God’s great name and merit the presence of the Almighty.

3whose minds are full of evil schemes, who plot war every day.

a-SHER kha-SHU ro-OT b'-LEV, kol YOM ya-GU-ru mil-kha-MOT

גאֲשֶׁ֤ר חָשְׁב֣וּ רָע֣וֹת בְּלֵ֑ב כׇּל־י֝֗וֹם יָג֥וּרוּ מִלְחָמֽוֹת׃

4They sharpen their tongues like serpents; spiders' poison is on their lips. Selah.

sha-NE-nu l'-sho-NA-mam k'-mo-NA-khash kha-MAT akh-SHU-v ta-KHAT s'-fa-TE-mo se-LAH

דשָׁ֥נְנ֣וּ לְשׁוֹנָם֮ כְּֽמוֹ־נָ֫חָ֥שׁ חֲמַ֥ת עַכְשׁ֑וּב תַּ֖חַת שְׂפָתֵ֣ימוֹ סֶֽלָה׃

5Hashem, keep me out of the clutches of the wicked; save me from lawless men who scheme to make me fall.

SHO-m'-RAY-nee a-do-NAI mi-DAY ra-SHA me-EESH cha-ma-SEEM tin-tz'-RAY-nee a-SHER cha-SHE-vu lid-KHOt p'-a-MAI

השׇׁמְרֵ֤נִי יְהֹוָ֨ה ׀ מִ֘ידֵ֤י רָשָׁ֗ע מֵאִ֣ישׁ חֲמָסִ֣ים תִּנְצְרֵ֑נִי אֲשֶׁ֥ר חָ֝שְׁב֗וּ לִדְח֥וֹת פְּעָמָֽי׃

6Arrogant men laid traps with ropes for me; they spread out a net along the way; they set snares for me. Selah.

ta-M'-NU gay-IM pakh li va-cha-va-LEEM par-SU re-SHET l'-yad ma-GAL mo-k'-SHEEM sha-TOO-li SE-la

וטָ֥מְנֽוּ גֵאִ֨ים ׀ פַּ֡ח לִ֗י וַחֲבָלִ֗ים פָּ֣רְשׂוּ רֶ֭שֶׁת לְיַד־מַעְגָּ֑ל מֹקְשִׁ֖ים שָׁתוּ־לִ֣י סֶֽלָה׃

7I said to Hashem: You are my God; give ear, Hashem, to my pleas for mercy.

a-MAR-tee la-a-do-NAI, e-LEE a-TAH, ha-a-ZEE-na a-do-NAI, KOL ta-cha-NU-nai

זאָמַ֣רְתִּי לַ֭יהֹוָה אֵ֣לִי אָ֑תָּה הַאֲזִ֥ינָה יְ֝הֹוָ֗ה ק֣וֹל תַּחֲנוּנָֽי׃

8O Hashem, my Lord, the strength of my deliverance, You protected my head on the day of battle.

Y'-ho-VAH a-do-NAI OZ y'-shu-a-TEE sa-KO-ta l'-ro-SHEE b'-YOM na-SHEK

חיֱהֹוִ֣ה אֲ֭דֹנָי עֹ֣ז יְשׁוּעָתִ֑י סַכֹּ֥תָה לְ֝רֹאשִׁ֗י בְּי֣וֹם נָֽשֶׁק׃

9Hashem, do not grant the desires of the wicked; do not let their plan succeed, else they be exalted. Selah.

al-ti-TEN a-do-NAI ma-a-va-YAY ra-SHA, ze-MA-mo al-ta-FAYK ya-ru-MU se-LAH

טאַל־תִּתֵּ֣ן יְ֭הֹוָה מַאֲוַיֵּ֣י רָשָׁ֑ע זְמָמ֥וֹ אַל־תָּ֝פֵ֗ק יָר֥וּמוּ סֶֽלָה׃

10May the heads of those who beset me be covered with the mischief of their lips.

ROSH m'-si-BAI a-MAL s'-fa-TEI-mo (y'-kha-SEI-mo) [y'-ka-SEI-mo]

ירֹ֥אשׁ מְסִבָּ֑י עֲמַ֖ל שְׂפָתֵ֣ימוֹ (יכסומו) [יְכַסֵּֽימוֹ]׃

11may coals of fire drop down upon them, and they be cast into pits, never to rise again.

(yi-MO-tu) [yim-MO-tu] a-LE-hem ge-KHA-leem ba-ESH ya-PI-lem b'-ma-ha-MO-rot bal-ya-KU-mu

יא(ימיטו) [יִמּ֥וֹטוּ] עֲלֵיהֶ֗ם גֶּחָ֫לִ֥ים בָּאֵ֥שׁ יַפִּלֵ֑ם בְּ֝מַהֲמֹר֗וֹת בַּל־יָקֽוּמוּ׃

12Let slanderers have no place in the land; let the evil of the lawless man drive him into corrals.

eeSH la-SHON bal yi-KON ba-A-retz eeSH-cha-MAS ra Y'-tzu-DE-nu l'-mad-KHE-fot

יבאִ֥ישׁ לָשׁוֹן֮ בַּל־יִכּ֢וֹן בָּ֫אָ֥רֶץ אִישׁ־חָמָ֥ס רָ֑ע יְ֝צוּדֶ֗נּוּ לְמַדְחֵפֹֽת׃

13I know that Hashem will Champion the cause of the poor, the right of the needy.

(ya-DA-at) [ya-a-DAT-ee] kee-ya-a-SEH a-do-NAI DEEN a-NEE, mish-PAT ev-yo-NEEM

יג(ידעת) [יָדַ֗עְתִּי] כִּֽי־יַעֲשֶׂ֣ה יְ֭הֹוָה דִּ֣ין עָנִ֑י מִ֝שְׁפַּ֗ט אֶבְיֹנִֽים׃

14Righteous men shall surely praise Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.

akh tza-DI-keem yo-DU lish-ME-kha ye-sh'-VU ye-sha-REEM et pa-NE-kha

ידאַ֣ךְ צַ֭דִּיקִים יוֹד֣וּ לִשְׁמֶ֑ךָ יֵשְׁב֥וּ יְ֝שָׁרִ֗ים אֶת־פָּנֶֽיךָ׃