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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Psalms 35



Verses 1-3

Psalm 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 (Psalm 35:9, Psalm 35:10, Psalm 35:18, Psalm 35:27, Psalm 35:28) with promises of praise for the desired relief, in which his friends will unite. The historical occasion is probably 1 Samuel 24:1-22.

God is invoked in the character of a warrior (Exodus 15:3; Deuteronomy 32:41).

Verse 3

fight against — literally, “devour my devourers.”

stop the way against — literally, “shut up” (the way), to meet or oppose, etc.

I … thy salvation — who saves thee.

Verse 4

(Compare Psalm 9:17).

devise my hurt — purpose for evil to me.

Verse 5-6

(Compare Psalm 1:4) - a terrible fate; driven by wind on a slippery path in darkness, and hotly pursued by supernatural violence (2 Samuel 24:16; Acts 12:23).

Verse 7-8

net in a pit — or, “pit of their net” - or, “net-pit,” as “holy hill” for “hill of holiness” (Psalm 2:6); a figure from hunting (Psalm 7:15). Their imprecations on impenitent rebels against God need no vindication; His justice and wrath are for such; His mercy for penitents. Compare Psalm 7:16; Psalm 11:5, on the peculiar fate of the wicked here noticed.

Verse 10

All my bones — every part.

him that spoileth him — (Compare Psalm 10:2).

Verse 11

False witnesses — literally, “Witnesses of injustice and cruelty” (compare Psalm 11:5; Psalm 25:19).

Verses 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.

Verse 13
bosom — may denote either the posture - the head bowed - (compare 1 Kings 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.

Verse 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.

Verse 15-16

On the contrary, they rejoiced in his affliction. Halting, or, “lameness,” as in Psalm 38:17 for any distress.

abjects — either as cripples (compare 2 Samuel 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.

Verse 16

mockers — who were hired to make sport at feasts (Proverbs 28:21).

Verse 17

darling — (Compare Psalm 22:20, Psalm 22:21).

Verse 18

(Compare Psalm 22:22).

Verse 19

enemies wrongfully — by false and slanderous imputations.

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

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

Verse 20

deceitful matters — or, “words of deceit.”

quiet in the land — the pious lovers of peace.

Verse 21

On the gesture compare Psalm 22:7; and on the expressions of malicious triumph, compare Psalm 10:13; Psalm 28:3.

Verse 23-24

(Compare Psalm 7:6; Psalm 26:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:6). God‘s righteous government is the hope of the pious and terror of the wicked.

Verse 25

swallowed him up — utterly destroyed him (Psalm 21:9; Lamentations 2:16).

Verse 26

clothed — covered wholly (Job 8:22).

Verse 27

favour … cause — delight in it, as vindicated by Thee.

Let the Lord, etc. — Let Him be greatly praised for His care of the just.

Verse 28

In this praise of God‘s equitable government (Psalm 5:8) the writer promises ever to engage.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 35:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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