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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 141


1 A psalm of David. LORD, I call to you; come quickly to help me; listen to my plea when I call.


2 Let my prayer be incense before you; my uplifted hands an evening sacrifice.


Set a guard, LORD, before my mouth, a gatekeeper at my lips.


Do not let my heart incline to evil, or yield to any sin. I will never feast upon the fine food of evildoers.


3 Let the just strike me; that is kindness; let them rebuke me; that is oil for my head. All this I shall not refuse, but will pray despite these trials.


When their leaders are cast over the cliff, all will learn that my prayers were heard.


As when a farmer plows a field into broken clods, so their bones will be strewn at the mouth of Sheol.


My eyes are upon you, O GOD, my Lord; in you I take refuge; do not strip me of life.


Guard me from the trap they have set for me, from the snares of evildoers.


Into their own nets let all the wicked fall, while I make good my own escape.



1 [Psalm 141] A lament of an individual ( Psalm 141:1-2) who is keenly aware that only the righteous can worship God properly and who therefore prays to be protected from the doomed wicked (3-10).

2 [2] Incense: literally, "smoke," i.e., the fragrant fumes arising from the altar at the burning of sacrificial animals or of aromatic spices; also used in Rev 5:8 as a symbol of prayer. My uplifted hands: the gesture of supplication. Cf Psalm 28:2; 63:5; 88:10; 119:48; 134:2; 143:6.

3 [5-7] the Hebrew text is obscure.

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