4 who whet their tongues like swords; they aim their arrows—cruel words—
a-SHER sha-n’-NU kha-KHE-rev l’-sho-NAM da-r’-KHU khi-TZAM da-VAR MAR
ד אֲשֶׁר שָׁנְנוּ כַחֶרֶב לְשׁוֹנָם דָּרְכוּ חִצָּם דָּבָר מָר׃
64:4 Cruel words
King David’s enemies attack him in different ways; sometimes physically, sometimes verbally. From this psalm it appears that the verbal assaults affected him more than any other. When David is defamed and maligned, he lashes out using a metaphor of swords and arrows. David is no stranger to battle. The throngs of voices singing “Shaul hath slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (I Samuel 21:12) attest to his prowess with the sword, the sling and the arrow. And yet, in his time of darkness when all his friends and confidants have disappeared, the arrow of his enemies is filled with poisoned words, slicing through his armor and penetrating his soul.