Ps 35:1-28. The Psalmist invokes God's aid,
contrasting the hypocrisy, cunning, and malice of his enemies with his
integrity and generosity. The imprecations of the first part including
a brief notice of their conduct, the fuller exposition of their
hypocrisy and malice in the second, and the earnest prayer for
deliverance from their scornful triumph in the last, are each closed
(Ps 35:9, 10, 18, 27, 28) with promises of praise for the desired
relief, in which his friends will unite. The historical occasion is
probably 1Sa 24:1-22.
1-3. God is invoked in the character of a
warrior (Ex 15:3; De 32:41).
3. fight against—literally, "devour my
stop the way against—literally, "shut
up" (the way), to meet or oppose, &c.
I … thy salvation—who saves
4. (Compare Ps 9:17).
devise my hurt—purpose for evil to
5, 6. (Compare Ps 1:4)—a terrible fate; driven by wind
on a slippery path in darkness, and hotly pursued by supernatural
violence (2Sa 24:16; Ac 12:23).
7, 8. net in a pit—or, "pit of their
net"—or, "net-pit," as "holy hill" for "hill of holiness" (Ps 2:6); a figure from hunting (Ps 7:15). Their imprecations on impenitent
rebels against God need no vindication; His justice and wrath are for
such; His mercy for penitents. Compare Ps 7:16; 11:5, on the peculiar fate of the wicked here
10. All my bones—every part.
him that spoileth him—(Compare Ps 10:2).
11. False witnesses—literally,
"Witnesses of injustice and cruelty" (compare Ps 11:5;
12-14. Though they rendered evil for good, he
showed a tender sympathy in their affliction.
spoiling—literally, "bereavement." The
usual modes of showing grief are made, as figures, to express his
13. prayer … bosom—may denote
either the posture—the head bowed—(compare 1Ki 18:42)—or, that the prayer was in
secret. Some think there is a reference to the result—the prayer
would benefit him if not them.
14. behaved—literally, "went
on"—denoting his habit.
heavily—or, "squalidly," his sorrowing
occasioning neglect of his person. Altogether, his grief was that of
one for a dearly loved relative.
15, 16. On the contrary, they rejoiced in his
affliction. Halting, or, "lameness," as in Ps 38:17 for any distress.
abjects—either as cripples (compare
2Sa 4:4), contemptible; or, degraded
persons, such as had been beaten (compare Job 30:1-8).
I knew it not—either the persons, or,
reasons of such conduct.
tear me, and ceased not—literally,
"were not silent"—showing that the tearing meant
16. mockers—who were hired to make sport
at feasts (Pr 28:21).
17. darling—(Compare Ps 22:20, 21).
18. (Compare Ps 22:22).
19. enemies wrongfully—by false and
wink with the eye—an insulting gesture
without a cause—manifests more malice
than having a wrong cause.
20. deceitful matters—or, "words of
quiet in the land—the pious lovers of
21. On the gesture compare Ps 22:7; and on the expressions of malicious
triumph, compare Ps 10:13; 28:3.
23, 24. (Compare Ps 7:6;
26:1; 2Th 1:6). God's
righteous government is the hope of the pious and terror of the
25. swallowed him up—utterly destroyed
him (Ps 21:9; La 2:16).
26. clothed—covered wholly (Job 8:22).
27. favour … cause—delight in it,
as vindicated by Thee.
Let the Lord, &c.—Let Him be
greatly praised for His care of the just.
28. In this praise of God's equitable
government (Ps 5:8) the
writer promises ever to engage.