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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 devourers."

stop the way against—literally, "shut up" (the way), to meet or oppose, &c.

I … thy salvation—who saves thee.

4. (Compare Ps 9:17).

devise my hurt—purpose for evil to me.

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 noticed.

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; 25:19).

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 sorrow.

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 slandering.

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 slanderous imputations.

wink with the eye—an insulting gesture (Pr 6:13).

without a cause—manifests more malice than having a wrong cause.

20. deceitful matters—or, "words of deceit."

quiet in the land—the pious lovers of peace.

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 wicked.

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.

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