Verse 3. They compassed me about also with words of hatred. Turn which way he would they hedged him in with falsehood, misrepresentation, accusation, and scorn. Whispers, sneers, insinuations, satires, and open charges filled his ear with a perpetual buzz, and all for no reason, but sheer hate. Each word was as full of venom as an egg is full of meat: they could not speak without showing their teeth.
And fought against me without a cause. He had not provoked the quarrel or contributed to it, yet in a thousand ways they laboured to "corrode his comfort, and destroy his ease." All this tended to make the suppliant feel the more acutely the wrongs which were done to him.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 3. Although an individual may be absent, so that he cannot corporeally be encompassed and fought with; nevertheless, so great is the force and malice of an envenomed tongue, that an absent man may be none the less dangerously surrounded and warred against. Thus David, though absent and driven into exile, was nevertheless surrounded and assailed by the calumnies of Doeg and the other flatterers of Saul, so that at length he was also corporeally surrounded; in which contest he would clearly have perished unless he had been divinely delivered: see 1 Samuel 23:1-29 . And this kind of surrounding and assault is so much the more deadly as it is so much the less possible to be avoided. For who can be so innocent as to escape the snares of a back biting and calumnious tongue? What place can be so remote and obscure as that this evil will not intrude when David could not be safe in the mountains and caves of the rocks? -- Wolfgang Musculus.