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A Psalm of David. LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee.
Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.
When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet.
Our bones are scattered at the grave's mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood upon the earth.
But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.
Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

141:2 as incense. The heart-felt prayer of a burdened saint calling on God is compared to the rising of sweet incense from the divinely ordained altar of incense. Compare Revelation 8:4.

141:3 door of my lips. “The tongue can no man tame” (James 3:8). It requires the guarding power of the indwelling Spirit of God to purify what proceeds from the mouth. Of the Lord Jesus Christ, it was prophesied that “grace is poured into thy lips” (Psalm 45:2), and that should be our desire and prayer as well.

Psalm 142 (title) Maschil. This is the last of the Maschil psalms (see note on Psalm 32 (title). Like the first, it was written by David. He was fleeing from Saul, who was determined to kill him, and was in the cave Adullam (I Samuel 22:1). Thus, it was written before he wrote Psalm 32, which was composed following his much later affair with Bathsheba.

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