Psalm 35 – “Petition/Imprecation of Enemies”

Hebrew-English Texts
I. Summary
The psalmist asks God to protect him from his enemies.

II. Photo
The psalmist curses his enemies: “Let their path be dark and slippery, with the Lord’s angel in pursuit!” (v. 6)

III. Select Verses
4-7: Let those who seek my life be frustrated and put to shame; let those who plan to harm me fall back in disgrace. Let them be as chaff in the wind, the LORD’s angel driving them on. Let their path be dark and slippery, with the LORD’s angel in pursuit. For without cause they hid a net to trap me; without cause they dug a pit for me.
13-16: Yet, when they were ill, my dress was sackcloth, I kept a fast — may what I prayed for happen to me! I walked about as though it were my friend or my brother; I was bowed with gloom, like one mourning for his mother. But when I stumble, they gleefully gather; wretches gather against me, I know not why; they tear at me without end. With impious, mocking grimace they gnash their teeth at me.
17-18: O Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue me from their attacks, my precious life, from the lions, that I may praise You in a great congregation, acclaim You in a mighty throng.

IV. Outline
1a. Superscription
1b. Invocation
1c-3. Petition: defense from enemies
4-8. Imprecation of enemies and rationale
9-10. Anticipated praise
11-16. Complaint about enemies
17-25. Petitions, rationale
26. Imprecation of enemies
27-28. Anticipated praise

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Craigie, Peter C. “Psalms 1-50” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 19 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1983).
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
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