Psalms 35

Prayer for Victory

1

Davidic.

1 Oppose my opponents, Lord; fight those who fight me.
2 Take Your shields-large and small- and come to my aid.
3 Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers, and assure me: "I am your deliverance."
4 Let those who seek to kill me be disgraced and humiliated; let those who plan to harm me be turned back and ashamed.
5 Let them be like husks in the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 They hid their net for me without cause; they dug a pit for me without cause.
8 Let ruin come on him unexpectedly, and let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it-to his ruin.
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord; I will delight in His deliverance.
10 My very bones will say, "Lord, who is like You, rescuing the poor from one too strong for him, the poor or the needy from one who robs him?"
11 Malicious witnesses come forward; they question me about things I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good, making me desolate.
13 Yet when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled myself with fasting, and my prayer was genuine.[a]
14 I went about [grieving] as if for my friend or brother; I was bowed down with grief, like one mourning a mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; they gathered against me. Assailants I did not know tore at me and did not stop.
16 With godless mockery[b] they gnashed their teeth at me.
17 Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my life from their ravages, my very life[c] from the young lions.
18 I will praise You in the great congregation; I will exalt You among many people.
19 Do not let my deceitful enemies rejoice over me; do not let those who hate me without cause look at me maliciously.
20 For they do not speak in friendly ways, but contrive deceitful schemes[d] against those who live peacefully in the land.
21 They open their mouths wide against me and say, "Aha, aha! We saw it!"[e]
22 You saw it, Lord; do not be silent. Lord, do not be far from me.
23 Wake up and rise to my defense, to my cause, my God and my Lord!
24 Vindicate me, Lord, my God, in keeping with Your righteousness, and do not let them rejoice over me.
25 Do not let them say in their hearts, "Aha! Just what we wanted." Do not let them say, "We have swallowed him up!"
26 Let those who rejoice at my misfortune be disgraced and humiliated; let those who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and reproach.
27 Let those who want my vindication shout for joy and be glad; let them continually say, "The Lord be exalted, who wants His servant's well-being."
28 And my tongue will proclaim Your righteousness, Your praise all day long.

Psalms 35 Commentary

Chapter 35

David prays for safety. (1-10) He complains of his enemies. (11-16) And calls upon God to support him. (17-28)

Verses 1-10 It is no new thing for the most righteous men, and the most righteous cause, to meet with enemies. This is a fruit of the old enmity in the seed of the serpent against the Seed of the woman. David in his afflictions, Christ in his sufferings, the church under persecution, and the Christian in the hour temptation, all beseech the Almighty to appear in their behalf, and to vindicate their cause. We are apt to justify uneasiness at the injuries men do us, by our never having given them cause to use us so ill; but this should make us easy, for then we may the more expect that God will plead our cause. David prayed to God to manifest himself in his trial. Let me have inward comfort under all outward troubles, to support my soul. If God, by his Spirit, witness to our spirits that he is our salvation, we need desire no more to make us happy. If God is our Friend, no matter who is our enemy. By the Spirit of prophecy, David foretells the just judgments of God that would come upon his enemies for their great wickedness. These are predictions, they look forward, and show the doom of the enemies of Christ and his kingdom. We must not desire or pray for the ruin of any enemies, except our lusts and the evil spirits that would compass our destruction. A traveller benighted in a bad road, is an expressive emblem of a sinner walking in the slippery and dangerous ways of temptation. But David having committed his cause to God, did not doubt of his own deliverance. The bones are the strongest parts of the body. The psalmist here proposes to serve and glorify God with all his strength. If such language may be applied to outward salvation, how much more will it apply to heavenly things in Christ Jesus!

Verses 11-16 Call a man ungrateful, and you can call him no worse: this was the character of David's enemies. Herein he was a type of Christ. David shows how tenderly he had behaved towards them in afflictions. We ought to mourn for the sins of those who do not mourn for themselves. We shall not lose by the good offices we do to any, how ungrateful soever they may be. Let us learn to possess our souls in patience and meekness like David, or rather after Christ's example.

Verses 17-28 Though the people of God are, and study to be, quiet, yet it has been common for their enemies to devise deceitful matters against them. David prays, My soul is in danger, Lord, rescue it; it belongs to thee the Father of spirits, therefore claim thine own; it is thine, save it! Lord, be not far from me, as if I were a stranger. He who exalted the once suffering Redeemer, will appear for all his people: the roaring lion shall not destroy their souls, any more than he could that of Christ, their Surety. They trust their souls in his hands, they are one with him by faith, are precious in his sight, and shall be rescued from destruction, that they may give thanks in heaven.

Footnotes 5

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 35

\\<<[A Psalm] of David>>\\. This psalm seems to have been written by David, when he was persecuted by Saul; and when many false charges were brought against him by his courtiers; and when he was the scorn and derision of the people; the subject of it is pretty much of the same kind with the seventh psalm, and might be written about the same time that was, and on the same occasion; and it may be applied to the church and people of God in like cases. There is a passage in it, Ps 35:19, which our Lord seems to refer to and apply to himself, Joh 15:25; and some interpret the whole of it concerning him. The Arabic version calls it a prophecy of the incarnation; though there does not appear any thing in it applicable to that.

Psalms 35 Commentaries