2 Deliver me, O Hashem, from the evil man; preserve me from the violent man;
kha-l’-TZAY-nee a-do-NAI may-a-DAM ra may-EESH kha-ma-SEEM tin-tz’-RAY-nee
ב חַלְּצֵנִי יְהוָה מֵאָדָם רָע מֵאִישׁ חֲמָסִים תִּנְצְרֵנִי.
140:2 Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man
This psalm is about evil men and their wicked plans. The psalmist has many words for evil, but chooses a Hebrew word found elsewhere in the Bible, ‘khamas’ refering to a special type of evil. When, in the incipient stages of civilization, the generation of Noah began to cheat, steal, deceive and corrupt, the Bible laments that God saw ‘khamas’ in the land (Genesis 6:11). Later, in the days of Jonah, the people of Nineveh are also described as engaging in ‘khamas’ (Jonah 3:8). Here, as David lashes out at the depraved people who want to destroy him, he speaks of ‘khamas’ men with evil in their hearts who stir up wars all day. They use traps and speak with forked tongues. David asks God to save him and all the innocents from these devious minds, and curses the evil men that they should 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.