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Psalm 109

Prayer for Vindication and Vengeance

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

1

Do not be silent, O God of my praise.

2

For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,

speaking against me with lying tongues.

3

They beset me with words of hate,

and attack me without cause.

4

In return for my love they accuse me,

even while I make prayer for them.

5

So they reward me evil for good,

and hatred for my love.

 

6

They say, “Appoint a wicked man against him;

let an accuser stand on his right.

7

When he is tried, let him be found guilty;

let his prayer be counted as sin.

8

May his days be few;

may another seize his position.

9

May his children be orphans,

and his wife a widow.

10

May his children wander about and beg;

may they be driven out of the ruins they inhabit.

11

May the creditor seize all that he has;

may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil.

12

May there be no one to do him a kindness,

nor anyone to pity his orphaned children.

13

May his posterity be cut off;

may his name be blotted out in the second generation.

14

May the iniquity of his father be remembered before the Lord,

and do not let the sin of his mother be blotted out.

15

Let them be before the Lord continually,

and may his memory be cut off from the earth.

16

For he did not remember to show kindness,

but pursued the poor and needy

and the brokenhearted to their death.

17

He loved to curse; let curses come on him.

He did not like blessing; may it be far from him.

18

He clothed himself with cursing as his coat,

may it soak into his body like water,

like oil into his bones.

19

May it be like a garment that he wraps around himself,

like a belt that he wears every day.”

 

20

May that be the reward of my accusers from the Lord,

of those who speak evil against my life.

21

But you, O Lord my Lord,

act on my behalf for your name’s sake;

because your steadfast love is good, deliver me.

22

For I am poor and needy,

and my heart is pierced within me.

23

I am gone like a shadow at evening;

I am shaken off like a locust.

24

My knees are weak through fasting;

my body has become gaunt.

25

I am an object of scorn to my accusers;

when they see me, they shake their heads.

 

26

Help me, O Lord my God!

Save me according to your steadfast love.

27

Let them know that this is your hand;

you, O Lord, have done it.

28

Let them curse, but you will bless.

Let my assailants be put to shame; may your servant be glad.

29

May my accusers be clothed with dishonor;

may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a mantle.

30

With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;

I will praise him in the midst of the throng.

31

For he stands at the right hand of the needy,

to save them from those who would condemn them to death.


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Ps 109:1-31. The writer complains of his virulent enemies, on whom he imprecates God's righteous punishment, and to a prayer for a divine interposition in his behalf appends the expression of his confidence and a promise of his praises. This Psalm is remarkable for the number and severity of its imprecations. Its evident typical character (compare Ps 109:8) justifies the explanation of these already given, that as the language of David respecting his own enemies, or those of Christ, it has respect not to the penitent, but to the impenitent and implacable foes of good men, and of God and His cause, whose inevitable fate is thus indicated by inspired authority.

1. God of my praise—its object, thus recognizing God as a certain helper. Be not silent (compare Ps 17:13; 28:1).

2. For the mouth … opened—or, "They have opened a wicked mouth"

against me—literally, "with me," that is, Their intercourse is lying, or, they slander me to my face (Mt 26:59).

3. (Compare Ps 35:7; 69:4).

4, 5. They return evil for good (compare Ps 27:12; Pr 17:13).

I give myself unto prayer—or literally, "I (am) prayer," or, "as for me, prayer," that is, it is my resource for comfort in distress.

6. over him—one of his enemies prominent in malignity (Ps 55:12).

let Satan stand—as an accuser, whose place was the right hand of the accused (Zec 3:1, 2).

7. The condemnation is aggravated when prayer for relief is treated as a sin.

8. The opposite blessing is long life (Ps 91:16; Pr 3:2). The last clause is quoted as to Judas by Peter (Ac 1:20).

office—literally, "charge," Septuagint, and Peter, "oversight" [1Pe 5:2].

9, 10. Let his family share the punishment, his children be as wandering beggars to prowl in their desolate homes, a greedy and relentless creditor grasp his substance, his labor, or the fruit of it, enure to strangers and not his heirs, and his unprotected, fatherless children fall in want, so that his posterity shall utterly fail.

13. posterity—literally, "end," as in Ps 37:38, or, what comes after; that is, reward, or success, or its expectation, of which posterity was to a Jew a prominent part.

14, 15. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered, &c.—Added to the terrible overthrow following his own sin, let there be the imputation of his parents' guilt, that it may now come before God, for His meting out its full consequences, in cutting off the memory of them (that is, the parents) from the earth (Ps 34:16).

16. Let God remember guilt, because he (the wicked) did not remember mercy.

poor and needy … broken in heart—that is, pious sufferer (Ps 34:18; 35:10; 40:17).

17-19. Let his loved sin, cursing, come upon him in punishment (Ps 35:8), thoroughly fill him as water and oil, permeating to every part of his system (compare Nu 5:22-27), and become a garment and a girdle for a perpetual dress.

20. Let this … reward—or, "wages," pay for labor, the fruit of the enemy's wickedness.

from the Lord—as His judicial act.

21, 22. do … for me—that is, kindness.

wounded—literally, "pierced" (Ps 69:16, 29).

23. like the shadow—(Compare Ps 102:11).

tossed up and down—or, "driven" (Ex 10:19).

24, 25. Taunts and reproaches aggravate his afflicted and feeble state (Ps 22:6, 7).

26, 27. Let my deliverance glorify Thee (compare Ps 59:13).

28-31. In confidence that God's blessing would come on him, and confusion and shame on his enemies (Ps 73:13), he ceases to regard their curses, and anticipates a season of joyful and public thanksgiving; for God is near to protect (Ps 16:8; 34:6) the poor from all unrighteous judges who may condemn him.




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