Psalms 35

1 To David. [The psalm of David.] Lord, deem thou them, that annoy me; overcome thou them, that fight against me. (The song of David. Lord, judge thou them, who harm me; overcome thou them, who fight against me.)
2 Take thou armours and shield; and rise up into help to me. (Take thou up arms, or weapons, and shield; and rise up to help me.)
3 Shed out the sword/Hold out the sword, and close (al)together (the way) against them that pursue me; say thou to my soul, I am thine health. (Draw out the sword, and close up the way against those who persecute me; say thou to me, I am thy salvation, or thy deliverance.)
4 They that seek my life; be shamed, and ashamed. They that think evils to me; be turned away backward, and be they shamed. (Let those who seek my life; be shamed, and ashamed. Let those who plot evil against me; be turned back, and be shamed.)
5 Be they made as dust before the face of the wind; and the angel of the Lord make them strait. (Let them be made like the dust in the wind; and let the angel of the Lord pursue them.)
6 Their way be made darkness, and sliderness; and the angel of the Lord pursue them. (Let their way be made dark, and slippery; and may the angel of the Lord strike them down.)
7 For without cause they hid to me the death of their snare; in vain they despised my soul. (For no reason, they hid their deadly snare for me/they hid their snare for me in a pit; for no reason, they despised me.)
8 The snare which he knoweth not come to him, and the taking which he hid take him; and fall he into the snare in that thing. (But let the snare catch him unawares, or by surprise, yea, let the trap which he himself hid, catch him; and let him fall to his own destruction in that thing.)
9 But my soul shall fully have joy in the Lord; and shall delight on his health. (But my soul shall have full out joy, or shall rejoice, in the Lord; and it shall delight in his salvation, or in his deliverance.)
10 All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like thee? Thou deliverest a poor man from the hand of his stronger; a needy man and poor from them that diversely ravish him. (All my bones said, Lord, who is like thee? Thou rescuest the poor from the hands of those who be stronger; yea, the poor and the needy from those who oppress them.)
11 Wicked witnesses rising (up) asked me things, which I knew not.
12 They yielded to me evils for goods; barrenness to my soul. (They gave me evil for good; making my soul barren.)
13 But when they were dis-easeful to me; I was clothed in an hair-shirt. I meeked my soul in fasting; and my prayer shall be turned (again) into my bosom. (But yet when they were sick; I was clothed in a hair-shirt. I humbled myself with fasting; and I prayed to the Lord for them.)
14 I pleased so as our neighbour, as our brother; I was made meek, so as mourning and sorrowful. (I went around, like he was my neighbour, or my brother; I was humbled, like one mourning and sorrowful for his own mother.)
15 And they were glad, and came together against me; torments were gathered on me, and I knew it not. They were scattered, and not compunct; (But when I was in torment, they were glad, and came together against me; yea, they were gathered together against me, and I knew not why. They tore me apart, and would not stop;)
16 they tempted me, they scorned me with mocking, they gnashed on me with their teeth.
17 Lord, when thou shalt behold, restore thou my soul from the wickedness of them; mine one alone from lions. (Lord, how long shalt thou but look at me? rescue thou me from their wicked assailings, yea, save my life from these lions.)
18 I shall acknowledge to thee in a great church; I shall praise thee in a firm people. (I shall give thanks to thee in the great congregation; I shall praise thee before many people.)
19 They that be adversaries wickedly to me, have not joy on me; that hate me without cause, and beckon with eyes. (Let not those who be my adversaries wickedly have joy over me; let not those who hate me for no reason, leer at me with delight.)
20 For soothly they spake (not) peaceably to me; and they speaking in wrathfulness of [the] earth, thought guiles. (For they do not speak peacefully; but they tell forth all kinds of lies, against those, who live quietly upon the earth.)
21 And they made large their mouth on me; they said, Well, well! our eyes have seen. (And they opened their mouths wide against me; and they said, Well, well! now our eyes have seen it all!)
22 Lord, thou hast seen, be thou not still; Lord, depart thou not from me. (Lord, thou hast seen all of this, so keep thou not silent; Lord, go thou not away from me.)
23 Rise up, and give attention to my doom; my God and my Lord, behold into my cause. (Rise up, and give me justice; my God and my Lord, please plead my case!)
24 My Lord God, deem thou me by thy rightfulness; and have they not joy on me. (My Lord God, judge thou me by thy righteousness; and do not let them have joy over me.)
25 Say they not in their hearts, Well, well, to our soul; neither say they, We shall devour him. (Let them not say in their hearts, Well, well; nor let them say, We have devoured him!)
26 Shame they, and dread they together; that joy for mine evils. Be they clothed with shame and dread; that speak evil things on me. (Let them all be ashamed, and fearful; who take joy over my suffering. Let them be clothed with shame and fear; who speak evil against me.)
27 Have they full joy, and be they glad, that will my rightfulness; and say they ever[more], The Lord be magnified, which desire the peace of his servant. (Have they full out joy, or rejoice, and be they glad, who desire my vindication; and let them say forevermore, The Lord be magnified, who delighteth in his servant's prosperity.)
28 And my tongue shall bethink thy rightfulness; all day thy praising. (And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness, or thy justice, and thy 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.

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

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.