The Psalms

Psalm 35

David prays for his own safety and shame for his enemies, 1-10. He complains of their wrongful dealing, 11-21. Thereby he incites God against them, 22-28.

1 [A Psalm of David.]

Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me./
Fight against those who fight against me.

Take hold of shield and buckler/
and stand up for my help.

Draw out the spear also and stop the way/
against those who persecute me./
Say to my soul, "I am your salvation."

Let them be confounded and put to shame/
who seek after my soul./
Let them be turned back and brought to shame/
who devise my hurt.

Let them be as chaff before the wind,/
and let the angel of the LORD chase them.

Let their way be dark and slippery,/
and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.

For without cause they have hid for me their net in a pit,/
which without cause they have dug for my soul.

Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly,/
and let his net that he has hid catch himself./
Into that very destruction let him fall.

And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD./
It shall rejoice in his salvation.

10 All my bones shall say, "LORD, who is like you,/
delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him,/
even the poor and the needy from him who robs him?"

11 False witnesses arose./
They laid to my charge things that I did not know.

12 They rewarded me evil for good/
to the bereaving of my soul.

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

14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother./
I bowed down heavily as one who mourns for his mother.

15 But in my adversity they rejoiced and assembled themselves./
The abjects even assembled themselves against me,/
and I did not know it./
They tore me and did not cease.

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

17 Lord, how long will you look on?/
Rescue my soul from their destructions,/
my darling from the lions.

18 I will give you thanks in the great congregation./
I will praise you among many people.

19 Do not let those who are my enemies wrongfully rejoice over me,/
neither let them wink with the eye/
who hate me without a cause.

20 For they do not speak peace,/
but they devise deceitful matters/
against those who are quiet in the land.

21 They even opened their mouth wide against me/
and said, "Aha, aha, our eye has seen it."

22 This you have seen, O LORD. Do not keep silence./
O Lord, do not be far from me.

23 Stir up yourself and awake to my judgment,/
even to my cause, my God and my Lord.

24 Judge me, O LORD my God,/
according to your righteousness,/
and do not let them rejoice over me.

25 Do not let them say in their hearts,/
"Ah, we would have it so."/
Do not let them say,/
"We have swallowed him up."

26 Let them be ashamed and confounded together/
who rejoice at my hurt./
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor/
who magnify themselves against me.

27 Let them shout for joy and be glad/
who favor my righteous cause./
Let them even say continually,/
"Let the LORD be magnified,/
who has pleasure in the prosperity of his servant."

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


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 35[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

So long as Saul was the enemy of David, the nobles, and such as at that time bore any authority, had (according to the subservient spirit which always prevails in the courts of kings) eagerly conspired to destroy an innocent man. They had also succeeded in inducing the common people to participate with them in their hatred and cruelty, so that all of them, from the highest to the lowest, burned with implacable hatred against him. But as he knew that the greatest part of them were thoughtlessly impelled to this by error and folly, and ignorance of the true state of affairs, he accounts those only his enemies who, from deliberate malice and wickedness, endeavored in this way to please Saul, in order to obtain his favor. Against them he calls upon God for vengeance. And, first, as he was conscious of no crime, he alleges his innocence before God; and, secondly, as they sought to inflict unmerited punishment upon him, he implores God for deliverance. After he has complained of their impious cruelty, he calls down upon them the punishment which they deserved. Moreover, as in confident reliance upon the oracle of God, which had been spoken by Samuel, and the holy anointing, he hoped for a better issue, he intersperses throughout the psalm testimonies of his thankfulness. Finally, he concludes the psalm by saying, that after he has been delivered, he will celebrate the praises of God all his life.

[v.19] - Quoted in John 15:25.