35:1 [A Psalm] of David. Plead [my a cause], O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
(a) He desires God to undertake his cause against them who persecute him and slander him. 35:2 b Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
(b) Even though God can with his breath destroy all his enemies, yet the Holy Spirit attributes to him these outward weapons to assure us of his patient power. 35:3 Draw out also the spear, and stop [the way] against them that persecute me: say unto my c soul, I [am] thy salvation.
(c) Assure me against these temptations, that you are the author of my salvation. 35:5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD d chase [them].
(d) Smite them with the spirit of giddiness that their enterprises may be foolish, and they received just reward. 35:7 For e without cause have they hid for me their net [in] a pit, [which] without cause they have digged for my soul.
(e) Showing that we may not call God to be a revenger but only for his glory, and when our cause is just. 35:8 Let destruction come upon f him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into g that very destruction let him fall.
(f) When he promises peace to himself. 35:10 All my h 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?
(g) Which he prepared against the children of God.
(h) He attributes his deliverance only to God, praising him therefore both in soul and body. 35:11 i False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge [things] that I knew not.
(i) That would not permit me to purge myself. 35:12 They rewarded me evil for good [to] the k spoiling of my soul.
(k) To have taken from me all comfort and brought me into despair. 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing [was] sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and l my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
(l) I prayed for them with inward affection, as I would have done for myself: or, I declared my affection with bowing down my head. 35:15 But in mine m adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: [yea], the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew [it] not; they did tear n [me], and ceased not:
(m) When they thought me ready to slip and as one that limped for infirmity. 35:16 With hypocritical mockers in o feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
(n) With their railing words.
(o) The word signifies cakes: meaning that the proud courtiers at their dainty feasts scoff, rail, and conspire his death. 35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: [neither] let them p wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
(p) In token of contempt and mocking. 35:21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, [and] said, Aha, aha, q our eye hath seen [it].
(q) They rejoiced as though they had now seen David overthrown. 35:24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy r righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
35:25 Let them not say in their hearts, s Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
(r) It is the justice of God to give to the oppressors affliction and torment, and to the oppressed aid and relief, ( 2 Thessalonians 1:6 ).
(s) Because we have that which we sought for, seeing he is destroyed. 35:26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion t together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed u with shame and dishonour that magnify [themselves] against me.
(t) That is, at once, were they never so many or mighty. 35:27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, x that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the y prosperity of his servant.
(u) This prayer will always be verified against them who persecute the faithful.
(x) That at least favour my right, though they are not able to help me.
(y) He exhorts the Church to praise God for the deliverance of his servants, and for the destruction of his adversaries.