The Psalms

Psalm 109

David speaks against his slanderous enemies, 1-5. He prays against them and declares God's judgment, 6-15. He shows their sin, 16-20. Complaining of his own misery, he prays for help, 21-28. He promises thankfulness, 29-31.

1 [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.]

Do not hold your peace, O God of my praise,

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful/
are opened against me./
They have spoken against me/
with a lying tongue.

They encompassed me also with words of hatred/
and fought against me without a cause.

For my love they are my adversaries,/
but I give myself to prayer.

And they have rewarded me evil for good/
and hatred for my love.

Set a wicked man over him,/
and let Satan stand at his right hand.

When he is judged, let him be condemned/
and let his prayer become sin.

Let his days be few/
and let another take his office.

Let his children be fatherless/
and his wife a widow.

10 Let his children continually wander around and beg./
Let them also seek their bread out of their desolate places.

11 Let the extortioner catch all that he has,/
and let strangers plunder his labor.

12 Let there be no one to extend mercy to him,/
neither let there be any to favor his fatherless children.

13 Let his posterity be cut off,/
and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD,/
and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out.

15 Let them be before the LORD continually/
so that he may cut off their memory from the earth.

16 For he did not remember to show mercy,/
but persecuted the poor and needy man/
so that he might even slay the broken in heart.

17 As he loved cursing, so let it come to him./
As he did not delight in blessing, so let it be far from him.

18 As he clothed himself with cursing as with his garment,/
so let it come into his body like water/
and like oil into his bones.

19 Let it be to him as the garment which covers him/
and for a girdle with which he is girded continually.

20 Let this be the reward of my adversaries from the LORD/
and of those who speak evil against my soul.

21 But deal with me, O GOD the Lord, for your name's sake./
Because your mercy is good, deliver me.

22 For I am poor and needy,/
and my heart is wounded within me.

23 I am gone like the shadow when it declines./
I am tossed up and down as the locust.

24 My knees are weak through fasting,/
and my flesh fails of fatness.

25 I also became a reproach to them./
When they looked upon me, they shook their heads.

26 Help me, O LORD my God./
O save me according to your mercy,

27 So that they may know that this is your hand,/
that you, LORD, have done it.

28 They may curse, but you bless./
When they arise, let them be ashamed,/
but let your servant rejoice.

29 Let my adversaries be clothed with shame,/
and let them cover themselves with their own shame/
as with a mantle.

30 I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth./
I will even praise him among the multitude.

31 For he will stand at the right hand of the poor/
to save him from those who condemn his soul.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 109[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

This psalm consists of three parts. It begins with a complaint; next follows an enumeration of various imprecations; and then comes a prayer with an expression of true gratitude. And although David here complains of the injuries which he sustained, yet, as he was a typical character, everything that is expressed in the psalm must properly be applied to Christ, the Head of the Church, and to all the faithful, inasmuch as they are his members; so that when unjustly treated and tormented by their enemies, they may apply to God for help, to whom vengeance belongs.

[v.8] - Quoted in Acts 1:20.