Psalm 35

Hatred and threatened harm from former friends
A cry for help in three parts beginning at v1, v11, and v19. Each part ends in thanksgiving
.1 ¶ <<A Psalm of David.>> Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
 2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
 3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
  Plead my cause "Plead" is from rib which may be translated "contend." David is appealing to the court of heaven. See the word in ps04301 and 1sa2415.
  Shield and buckler These are the smaller and larger battle shields of ps00303 and ps00512.
  My soul Or "me."
.4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
 5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
.6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
  Let them be confounded This is a psalm of imprecation (cursing). We could question the motive behind this plea but David asks for action that God had promised ex2322, de2003
  Chaff See ps00104.
.7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
 8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall. 
 9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
 10 All my 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?
  10 - Who is like unto thee From de3329 and ex1511.
.11 ¶ False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. 
 12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. 
.13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
  11 - False witnesses Literally, "Witnesses of injustice and cruelty" Compare ps01105, ps02519.
.14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. 
 15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: 
16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
  14 -  Bowed down heavily Referring to a form of mourning. See 2sa1924.
  15 -  Adversity Literally "stumbling."
  15 -  Mockers ... gnashed The Hebrew is obscure but the general idea is probably as here shown.
  16 - Hypocritical David is verbally abused. His suffering is entertainment.
.17 ¶ Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. 
 18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
  How long? See on ps01301.
  I will give thee thanks Closing remark for the 2nd section (see top of page).
.19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
 20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
.21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
 22 This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
  19 - Without a cause The Psalmist pleads his innocence v7. Also ps06904.
  22 - Thou hast seen As requested in v17. For "keep not silence" see is6201 and ps02801.
.23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
.24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
 25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
  24 - Judge me For the righteous, judgment is welcome. Compare ps13923.
 26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
 27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. 
 28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
  In these final three verses we have responses of the enemies, the friends, and the psalmist himself. 
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