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Psalms 35:1-7

Context
Psalm 35 1 

By David.

35:1 O Lord, fight 2  those who fight with me!

Attack those who attack me!

35:2 Grab your small shield and large shield, 3 

and rise up to help me!

35:3 Use your spear and lance 4  against 5  those who chase me!

Assure me with these words: 6  “I am your deliverer!”

35:4 May those who seek my life be embarrassed and humiliated!

May those who plan to harm me be turned back and ashamed! 7 

35:5 May they be 8  like wind-driven chaff,

as the Lord’s angel 9  attacks them! 10 

35:6 May their path be 11  dark and slippery,

as the Lord’s angel chases them!

35:7 I did not harm them, but they hid a net to catch me

and dug a pit to trap me. 12 

1 sn Psalm 35. The author, who faces ruthless enemies who seek his life for no reason, begs the Lord to fight his battles for him and to vindicate him by annihilating his adversaries.

2 tn Or “contend.”

3 tn Two different types of shields are mentioned here. See also Ezek 38:4. Many modern translations render the first term (translated here “small shield”) as “buckler” (cf. NASB “buckler and shield”; the order is often reversed in the translation, apparently for stylistic reasons: cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV “shield and buckler”). The English term “buckler,” referring to a small round shield held on the arm to protect the upper body, is unfamiliar to many modern readers, so the term “small shield” was used in the present translation for clarity.

4 tn Or “javelin.” On the meaning of this word, which occurs only here in the Hebrew Bible, see M. Dahood, Psalms (AB), 1:210-11.

5 tn Heb “draw out spear and lance to meet.”

6 tn Heb “say to me,” or “say to my soul.”

7 tn The four prefixed verbal forms in this verse are understood as jussives. The psalmist is calling judgment down on his enemies. See also the distinct jussive form in v. 6.

8 tn The prefixed verbal form is taken as a jussive. See v. 4.

9 sn See the mention of the Lord’s angel in Ps 34:7.

10 tn Heb “as the Lord’s angel pushes [them].”

11 tn The prefixed verbal form is distinctly jussive, indicating this is a prayer.

12 tc Heb “for without cause they hid for me a pit of their net, without cause they dug for my life.” It appears that the words “pit” and “net” have been transposed. “Net” goes with the verb “hid” in the first line (see v. 8, as well as Pss 9:15; 31:4), while “pit” goes with the verb “dug” in the second line (see Ps 7:15).



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