Psalm 35

1David prayeth for safety to himself, and confusion to his enemies: 11he complaineth of their false witness, ingratitude, and malice against him: 22he moveth God to do him right, and avenge him.

0A Psalm of David.

1PLEAD1my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

1 Or, contend, judge, that is, take Thou my cause in hand and maintain my right against mine adversaries, manifesting thereby indeed that it is not mine, but Thine own cause. See Psalm 43:1; 74:22; 119:154; Isa. 49:25; Jer. 50:34; 51:36, etc.

2Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.

32Draw out also the spear, and 3stop the way against 4them that persecute me: 5say unto my soul, I am thy 6salvation.

2 Or, pull, draw, bring out.

3 Hebr. segor, which some perceive to be the name of a weapon of war.

4 That is, prevent them who persecute me, start out to meet them and cut off their passage.

5 Testify thus much by Thy Holy Spirit within me. Compare Rom. 8:16.

6 Or, deliverance, preservation, that is, your Savior, Preserver.

4Leta them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my 7soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion 8that devise my hurt.

a Psalm 40:14; 70:2.

7 That is, who go about to take away my life. See 2 Sam. 4 on verse 8.

8 Hebr. who think, purpose to me evil, that is, misery, oppression, destruction.

5Let them be as chaffb before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.

b Job 21:18; Psalm 1:4; Isa. 29:5; Hosea 13:3.

6Let their way be 9dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.

9 Hebr. darkness and slipperiness; that they may not be able to proceed to overtake me. Compare Jer. 23:12.

7For 10without cause have they hid for me 11their net in a pit, which without cause they have 12digged for my soul.

10 Hebr. in vain, for nothing; that is, without any ground or reason, and so in the sequel, and verse 19, and elsewhere. See Job 2 on verse 3.

11 That is, wherein they had laid their net; a similitude taken from fowlers and hunters. The meaning is: They have laid snares to take away my life, and practiced evil and cunning devices against me, which are often compared to nets. See Psalm 9:15; 10:9; 25:15; 31:4; 141:10, etc.

12 Namely, a pit, from Psalm 7:15.

8Let 13destruction come upon 14him at 15unawares;c and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very 16destruction let him fall.

13 The Hebrew word signifies such a destruction or desolation as is accompanied with a great deal of noise, stir, uproar and mighty commotion.

14 My persecutor.

15 Hebr. which he knoweth not of; whereas he does not think or expect it at all.

c unexpectedly*

16 That is, so that thereby he is quite destroyed and consumed. Other, when there is destruction, let him fall therein.

9And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

1017All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

17 That is, I shall praise Thee with all my inmost power or with all the strength and ability of my body. Compare Psalm 51 on verse 8.

1118False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that 19I knew not.

18 Hebr. accusers of violence or insolence, that is, such as attempt to oppress me with falsehood, and overtake with violence.

19 That is, they lay to my charge of things I am not conscious.

12They rewarded me evil for good to 20the spoiling of my soul.

20 That is, they go about to bereave me of my life.

13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was 21sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer 22returned into mine own bosom.

21 That is, I went mourning for them. See Gen. 37 on verse 34.

22 That is, I did often, in private and by myself, repeat my prayer on their behalf. Implying thereby, he wished them well in an upright manner. Other, let my prayers turn again into my bosom or lap, that is, let me experience such when I have prayed on their behalf.

14 I 23behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down 24heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

23 That is, I carried and demeaned myself not otherwise, than if they had been of my nearest kindred. Other, I went still to them, as to, etc., that is, I did daily visit them.

24 That is, in black apparel, as those are wont who mourn. Also Psalm 38:6; 42:9; 43:2. See likewise Job 5 on verse 11.

15But in mine 25adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the 26abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I 27knew it not; they did tear me, and 28ceased not:

25 Hebr. halting; that is, when my affairs went amiss, it seemed as if I would have to stumble and fall. Also Psalm 38:17; Jer. 20:10. Compare Job 12:5.

26 Namely, smitten in their feet, as some do take this; that is, carrying themselves as if they were lamed and halting for grief of my disaster. See 2 Sam. 4:4; 9:3, where the word lame is found in Mephibosheth’s case; or, understand, stricken, that is, being contrite in spirit, out of Isa. 66:2, the sense being the same; or, as stricken together with him; for, they wanted with their bodily gestures (of halting and renting of clothes) to make him believe, that they were much troubled and afflicted for David’s sufferings; though falsely and hypocritically. Otherwise these words may also be rendered in this manner: rascals or villains, (such as are notoriously known to have deserved strokes, or lashes of public correction; that is, the basest and most vile rascality of the people, being set on for that purpose) gathered together against me, those whom I know not; (and consequently had never wronged or offended). They rent up the throat (that is, they jeered and insulted over me) and ceased not. Both readings have a good sense, though what is put in the text, seems to agree most with the propriety of the Hebrew phrase; whereof the judicious reader has his liberty to judge.

27 Namely, no evil. I did not think they played the hypocrite and dissemblers, abusing me thus to my face, but verily believed they did it sincerely and with upright hearts.

28 But comforted me, and wept and cried over me. Or, yet they were not silent; but behind my back they showed sufficiently, how they meant it, as follows.

16With hypocritical 29mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

29 Or, pot-companions, parasites, trenchermen. Hebr. properly: scoffers of the cook. Hebr. table-buffoons, that is, such as sell their gestures and tongues for a piece of bread or revelry (as they say), speaking and doing anything to please and humor those who fill their stomach, wherefore the Hebrew word is also taken by some to signify further a jester, actor. He wants to say that when they are in such company of their own making, then they utter the utmost of their heart of gall against me, wishing me all the evil they can and being sorry that they see me hold out so long yet. See Job 16 on verse 9 on the gnashing of teeth.

17Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my 30darling from the lions.

30 Hebr. my only one. Compare Psalm 22:20; see there.

18 Id will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

d Psalm 40:9, 10; 111:1.

19Let not them that are mine enemies 31wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them 32wink with the eye thate hate me 33without a cause.

31 Hebr. lie or falsehood, falsely, that is, wrongfully without any ground, as Psalm 38:19; 69:4.

32 That is, spitefully and scornfully glance upon me, threatening as if to tell me: you shall be taught quickly, etc. Compare Prov. 6:13; 10:10.

e John 15:25.

33 As verse 7.

20For they speak not peace: but they devise 34deceitful matters against them that are 35quiet in the land.

34 Hebr. words or things of deceitfulnesses or wiles.

35 Hebr. still ones of the land or earth, that is, the peaceable, such as would wish to live quietly and serve God, without wishing, intending or doing harm to any, as is the manner of the godly.

21Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, 36Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.

36 That is, so, so, now it goes well, thus we love it; now we see our heart’s desire and that we long wished for. Compare Psalm 22 on verse 17, and see Job 39 on verse 25.

22This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.

23Stir up thyself, and awake 37to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.

37 To do me right against mine enemies and persecutors; until Thou performest that, Thou art like one that sleepeth.

24Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy 38righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.

38 Which requires that Thou takest my rightful cause in hand.

25Let them not say in their hearts, 39Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.

39 As if they would say: Now, cheer up and triumph, O our soul, for we see our heart’s desire upon him. See verse 21.

26Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be 40clothed with shame and dishonour that 41magnify themselves against me.

40 See Job 8 on verse 22.

41 Who seek themselves to become great upon my oppression and ruin; or, who carry themselves so stout and spiteful against me, bragging and daring me in words and deeds. See this manner of speaking Psalm 38:16; 55:12; Jer. 48:26, 42; Ezek. 35:13; Obadiah verse 12, and further Job 19:5 with the annotation.

27Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that 42favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the 43prosperity of his servant.

42 That is, who are heartily affected to my righteous cause, praying for a happy issue, for which they may thank and magnify God.

43 That is, in the deliverance and welfare of David, who is His servant. See Gen. 37 on verse 14.

28And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.