Psalm 35:24-28

24. Judge me, O Jehovah my God! According to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me. 25. Let them not say in their heart, Aha! our soul!1 let them not say, We have swallowed him up. 26. Let those who rejoice at my hurt be ashamed and confounded together; let those who magnify themselves against me be clothed with shame and dishonor. 27. But let those who favor my righteous cause shout and be glad, and let them say continually, Jehovah be magnified, who loveth the peace of his servant. 28. And my tongue shall declare thy righteousness and thy praise all the day.


24. Judge me, O Jehovah my God! David here confirms the prayer of the preceding verse that God would be his defender, and would maintain his righteous cause. Having been for a time subjected to suffering as one who had been forsaken and forgotten, he sets before himself the righteousness of God, which forbids that he should altogether abandon the upright and the just. It is, therefore, not simply a prayer, but a solemn appeal to God, that as he is righteous, he would manifest his righteousness in defending his servant in a good cause. And certainly, when we seem to be forsaken and deprived of all help, there is no remedy which we can employ, more effectual to overcome temptation than this consideration, that the righteousness of God, on which our deliverance depends, can never fail. Accordingly, the Apostle Paul, in exhorting the faithful to patience, says in 2 Thessalonians 1:6,

"It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation
to them that trouble you."

Now David again appeals to God in this place, and entreats him to manifest his righteousness in restraining the insolence of his enemies:for the more proudly they assail us, God is so much the more ready to help us. Besides, by again introducing them as speaking, he portrays in a graphic style the cruelty of their desires; and by this he means to show, that if things should happen according to their wishes, they would set no limit to their frowardness. But as the more they vaunt themselves, the more they provoke the wrath of God against them, David with good reason uses this as an argument to encourage his hope, and employs it for his support and confirmation in prayer.

26. Let those who rejoice at thy hurt be ashamed and confounded together. This imprecation has already been expounded; and it is only necessary to remark, that there is peculiar force in the expression, together, or at once. It shows that it was not only one or two, but a great multitude, who waged war against him, and that he yielded not to the influence of fear, but believed that as soon as God should lift up his hand, he could at one stroke easily overthrow them all. When it is said that they seek after and rejoice in David's hurt, this shows that they were filled with cruel hatred against him. And when it is said, that they magnify themselves against him, this is a token of pride. David, therefore, in order to render them more hateful in the sight of God, represents them as filled with pride and cruelty. And as this form of prayer was dictated by the Holy Spirit to David, there can be no doubt that the end of all the proud shall be such as is here predicted, that they shall turn back overwhelmed with shame and disgrace.

27. Let those who favor my righteous cause rejoice and be glad. These two expressions, which are rendered in the optative mood, might have been translated with equal propriety in the future tense; but as this is a matter of little consequence, I leave it undecided. David here extols the deliverance which he asks of God, and exults in the results which should flow from it; namely, that it would be an occasion of general rejoicing and good hope to all the godly, while at the same time it would stir them up to celebrate the praises of God. He attributes to all the faithful the credit of desiring, that as an innocent man his righteous cause should be maintained. David, it is true, was the object of almost universal hatred among the simple and unsuspecting, who were imposed upon by false and unjust reports made concerning him; but it is certain that there were among the people some who formed a just and impartial estimate of things, and who were sorely grieved that a holy man, and one too whose benevolence was well known, should have been so unjustly and so wrongfully oppressed. And surely the common feelings of humanity require, that when we see men unjustly oppressed and afflicted, if we are not able to help them, we should at least pity them. When David uses the language, Jehovah be magnified, his design seems to be tacitly to set this in opposition to the pride of the wicked, of which he made mention above. As they presume in the pride, of their hearts, and by their insolent and overbearing conduct, to obscure, as far as in them lies, the divine glory, so may the faithful, on the other hand, with good reason present the prayer that God would shine forth in the majesty of his character, and demonstrate in very deed that he exercises a special care over all his servants, and takes a peculiar pleasure in their peace. Finally, the Psalmist again declares, in the conclusion of the psalm, his resolution to celebrate in appropriate praises the righteousness of God, by which he had been preserved and delivered.

1 "C'est, nostre desire nous avons ce que desirions:ou, nostre ame, assavoir s'esjouisse, comme on dit en nostre langue, Grande chere." -- Note, Fr. marg. "That is, our desire -- we have what we desire:or, our soul, that is to say, is glad:as we say in our language, Great cheer." French and Skinner read, "Let them not say in their hearts, Aha! our desire!" and observe, "that our desire! means our desire is accomplished."