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Psalm Thirty Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

A Psalm of David.

Psalm 35:1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

Plead my cause. As in many of his psalms, David draws on his own experiences (opposition, warfare, betrayal, etc., as well as trust in God and ultimate deliverance). In addition, he is carried by divine inspiration to write in such a way that his own experiences parallel those of many other believers through the ages, and even those of the coming Messiah.

Psalm 35:2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.

Psalm 35:3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

Psalm 35:4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.

Let them be confounded. Psalm 35 is considered the first of the so-called “imprecatory psalms,” although there are verses of imprecation in previous psalms. See note on Psalm 5:10.

Psalm 35:5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.

Psalm 35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.

angel of the Lord. The “angel of the Lord” is mentioned only three times in the book of Psalms (Psalm 34:7; 35:5, 6). This title is often given to the Lord Jesus Christ in His pre-incarnate appearances.

Psalm 35:7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.

Psalm 35:8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.

that very destruction. A classic example of this principle being carried out was that of Haman being hanged on his own gallows (Esther 7:10).

Psalm 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 35:10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

Psalm 35:11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.

False witnesses. The testimony of false witnesses is one of many notes in this psalm that mirrors the experience of Christ (Mark 14:55-59).

Psalm 35:12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.

Psalm 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.

Psalm 35:14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

Psalm 35:15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:

the abjects. The Hebrew word for “abjects” is used in Scripture only this one time. The intended meaning seems to be “wretched smiters” or “despicable attackers.”

Psalm 35:16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

Psalm 35:17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.

my darling. See note on Psalm 22:20. The meaning of “my darling” seems to be “my only one,” and could well refer prophetically to Christ, as the only begotten of the Father.

Psalm 35:8 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

great congregation. Compare Psalm 22:25; 40:9. There is a striking correlation between Psalm 35:17-18 with Psalm 22:20-22, 25.

Psalm 35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

Psalm 35:20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.

Psalm 35:21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.

Aha, aha. An expression of malicious joy. See also Psalm 40:15; 70:3.

Psalm 35:22 This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.

Psalm 35:23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.

Psalm 35:24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.

Psalm 35:25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.

Psalm 35:26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.

Psalm 35:27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.

Psalm 35:28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.