Psalms 35

Of David.

1 Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid.
3 Brandish spear and javelin[a]against those who pursue me. Say to me, “I am your salvation.”
4 May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay.
5 May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away;
6 may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them.
7 Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me,
8 may ruin overtake them by surprise— may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
9 Then my soul will rejoice in the LORDand delight in his salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
11 Ruthless witnesses come forward; they question me on things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14 I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;[b]they gnashed their teeth at me.
17 How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions.
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you.
19 Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.
20 They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.”
22 LORD, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord.
23 Awake, and rise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, LORD my God; do not let them gloat over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!” or say, “We have swallowed him up.”
26 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.”
28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, your praises 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.

Cross References 63

  • 1. S 1 Samuel 24:15
  • 2. S Exodus 14:14; Psalms 43:1
  • 3. Psalms 3:3
  • 4. Psalms 3:7; Psalms 62:2
  • 5. S Genesis 50:24; S Job 17:3
  • 6. S Numbers 25:7
  • 7. S Joshua 8:18
  • 8. Psalms 27:1
  • 9. Psalms 38:12; Psalms 40:14; Jeremiah 4:30
  • 10. Psalms 69:6,19; Psalms 70:2; Psalms 83:17; Isaiah 45:16; Malachi 2:9
  • 11. Psalms 25:3
  • 12. Psalms 129:5
  • 13. Job 21:18; S Job 13:25; Psalms 1:4; Isaiah 29:5
  • 14. Psalms 34:7
  • 15. S Job 18:8
  • 16. S Psalms 7:4
  • 17. S Job 9:31; S Psalms 7:15; S Psalms 55:23
  • 18. Isaiah 47:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:3
  • 19. S Psalms 7:15; Psalms 9:15
  • 20. S Psalms 2:11; S Luke 1:47
  • 21. Psalms 9:14; Psalms 13:5; Psalms 27:1; Isaiah 61:10
  • 22. S Exodus 9:14; S Psalms 18:31; Psalms 113:5; Exodus 15:11
  • 23. Psalms 18:17
  • 24. Psalms 12:5; Psalms 37:14; Psalms 74:21; Psalms 86:1; Psalms 109:16; Psalms 140:12; Isaiah 41:17
  • 25. S Exodus 23:1; S Matthew 26:60; Psalms 27:12
  • 26. Psalms 38:20; Psalms 109:5; Proverbs 17:13; Jeremiah 18:20; John 10:32
  • 27. S 2 Samuel 3:31; 1 Kings 20:31; Psalms 30:11; Psalms 69:11
  • 28. Job 30:25; Psalms 69:10; Psalms 109:24
  • 29. Psalms 38:6; Psalms 42:9; Psalms 43:2
  • 30. S Job 31:29
  • 31. S Job 16:10; Job 30:1,8
  • 32. S Psalms 22:7; Mark 10:34
  • 33. S Job 16:9; Mark 9:18; Acts 7:54; Lamentations 2:16
  • 34. Psalms 6:3; Habakkuk 1:13
  • 35. Psalms 22:20
  • 36. Psalms 22:21; Psalms 57:4; Psalms 58:6
  • 37. S Psalms 22:25
  • 38. Psalms 42:4; Psalms 109:30
  • 39. S Psalms 22:22
  • 40. Psalms 9:13
  • 41. ver 7; Psalms 38:19; Psalms 69:4; John 15:25*
  • 42. Psalms 13:4; Proverbs 6:13; Proverbs 10:10
  • 43. Psalms 38:12; Psalms 55:21; Jeremiah 9:8; Micah 6:12
  • 44. S Job 16:10; Psalms 22:13
  • 45. Psalms 40:15; Psalms 70:3; Ezekiel 25:3
  • 46. Exodus 3:7; Psalms 10:14
  • 47. S Psalms 10:1; Psalms 28:1
  • 48. S Psalms 7:6; Psalms 80:2; Psalms 44:23
  • 49. Psalms 17:13
  • 50. S 1 Samuel 24:15
  • 51. Psalms 22:17
  • 52. ver 21
  • 53. Psalms 124:3; Proverbs 1:12; Lamentations 2:16
  • 54. Psalms 22:17
  • 55. Psalms 4:1
  • 56. S Job 8:22; Psalms 40:14; Psalms 109:29; Micah 7:10
  • 57. Job 19:5; Psalms 38:16
  • 58. Psalms 9:4
  • 59. Psalms 20:5; S Psalms 33:3; Psalms 32:11
  • 60. Psalms 40:16; Psalms 147:11; Psalms 149:4
  • 61. S Job 17:3
  • 62. Psalms 5:8; Psalms 51:14
  • 63. Psalms 71:15,24; Psalms 72:15

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "and block the way"
  • [b]. Septuagint; Hebrew may mean "Like an ungodly circle of mockers,"

Chapter Summary


\\<<[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

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