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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 35

Verses 1-28

This is a prayer for the defeat and destruction of malignant enemies, whom the Psalmist has formerly befriended, and who now treat him with ungrateful cruelty. The circumstances are partly similar to those of David’s persecution by Saul, but no prominent individual is mentioned as hostile, and David’s attitude to Saul was more forgiving than that of the Psalmist towards those of whom he complains. The Ps., like Psalms 31, has many resemblances to the book of Jeremiah, and some ascribe it to that prophet’s time. For a discussion of the vindictive tone of such Pss. see Intro. There are three sections—a prayer for the confusion of the writer’s enemies (Psalms 35:1-10), an account of their wickedness (Psalms 35:11-18), and a further appeal for the vindication of the right (Psalms 35:19-28).

1. Plead my cause] ’strive thou,’ as in a court of law: see Psalms 35:23.

5, 6. The angel of the lord] see on Psalms 34:7.

13. My prayer returned] better, ’shall return.’ The blessing, withheld from the unworthy, will come back to the Psalmist himself: cp. Luke 10:6.

15. Abjects] the most worthless outcasts: see Job 30:1, Job 30:8; And I knew it not] RM ’and those whom I knew not.’

16. With hypocritical mockers, etc.] RV ’like the profane mockers in feasts’—buffoons and parasites, who get a place at table in return for entertaining the guests with scurrilous jokes.

17. My darling] equivalent to ’my soul’: see on Psalms 22:20.

18. In the great congregation] The Psalmist looks for a public vindication of his cause.

19. Wink with the eye] here a sign of triumphant malice. That hate me without a cause] quoted by our Lord, and applied to Himself in John 15:25.

20. Them that are quiet in the land] the same as the ’poor’ or ’meek’—the humble and patient righteous.

21. Opened their mouth] in contempt. Hath seen it] i.e. the fulfilment of their wicked desires.

23. My judgment] the vindication of my just cause.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 35". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.