World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Help Me, O Lord My God
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
1Be not silent, O God of my praise!
2For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me,
speaking against me with lying tongues.
3They encircle me with words of hate,
and attack me without cause.
4In return for my love they accuse me,
but I give myself to prayer.11Hebrew but I am prayer
5So they reward me evil for good,
and hatred for my love.
6Appoint a wicked man against him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7When he is tried, let him come forth guilty;
let his prayer be counted as sin!
8May his days be few;
may another take his office!
9May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow!
10May his children wander about and beg,
seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!
11May the creditor seize all that he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil!
12Let there be none to extend kindness to him,
nor any to pity his fatherless children!
13May his posterity be cut off;
may his name be blotted out in the second generation!
14May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord,
and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out!
15Let them be before the Lord continually,
that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth!
16For he did not remember to show kindness,
but pursued the poor and needy
and the brokenhearted, to put them to death.
17He loved to curse; let curses come22Revocalization; Masoretic Text curses have come upon him!
He did not delight in blessing; may it be far33Revocalization; Masoretic Text it is far from him!
18He clothed himself with cursing as his coat;
may it soak44Revocalization; Masoretic Text it has soaked into his body like water,
like oil into his bones!
19May it be like a garment that he wraps around him,
like a belt that he puts on every day!
20May this be the reward of my accusers from the Lord,
of those who speak evil against my life!
21But you, O God my Lord,
deal on my behalf for your name's sake;
because your steadfast love is good, deliver me!
22For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is stricken within me.
23I am gone like a shadow at evening;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24My knees are weak through fasting;
my body has become gaunt, with no fat.
25I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they wag their heads.
26Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love!
27Let them know that this is your hand;
you, O Lord, have done it!
28Let them curse, but you will bless!
They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad!
29May my accusers be clothed with dishonor;
may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak!
30With my mouth I will give great thanks to the Lord;
I will praise him in the midst of the throng.
31For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.
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.
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).
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).
7. The condemnation is aggravated when prayer for relief is treated as a sin.
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).