Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
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
1-3. God is invoked in the character of a warrior
3. fight against--literally, "devour my devourers."
stop the way against--literally, "shut up" (the way), to meet or
I . . . thy salvation--who saves thee.
devise my hurt--purpose for evil to me.
5, 6. (Compare
--a terrible fate; driven by wind on a slippery path in darkness, and
hotly pursued by supernatural violence
7, 8. net in a pit--or, "pit of their net"--or, "net-pit," as
"holy hill" for "hill of holiness"
a figure from hunting
Their imprecations on impenitent rebels against God need no
vindication; His justice and wrath are for such; His mercy for
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
11. False witnesses--literally, "Witnesses of injustice and cruelty"
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
--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
15, 16. On the contrary, they rejoiced in his affliction.
Halting, or, "lameness," as in
for any distress.
abjects--either as cripples (compare
contemptible; or, degraded persons, such as had been beaten (compare
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
Ps 22:20, 21).
19. enemies wrongfully--by false and slanderous imputations.
wink with the eye--an insulting gesture
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
and on the expressions of malicious triumph, compare
Ps 10:13; 28:3.
23, 24. (Compare
Ps 7:6; 26:1;
God's righteous government is the hope of the pious and terror of the
25. swallowed him up--utterly destroyed him
26. clothed--covered wholly
27. favour . . . cause--delight in it, as vindicated by Thee.
Let the Lord, &c.--Let Him be greatly praised for His care of the
28. In this praise of God's equitable government
the writer promises ever to engage.