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Psalms 35:13-14


35:13 When they were sick, I wore sackcloth, 1 

and refrained from eating food. 2 

(If I am lying, may my prayers go unanswered!) 3 

35:14 I mourned for them as I would for a friend or my brother. 4 

I bowed down 5  in sorrow as if I were mourning for my mother. 6 

1 tn Heb “as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth.” Sackcloth was worn by mourners. When the psalmist’s enemies were sick, he was sorry for their misfortune and mourned for them.

2 sn Fasting was also a practice of mourners. By refraining from normal activities, such as eating food, the mourner demonstrated the sincerity of his sorrow.

3 tn Heb “and my prayer upon my chest will return.” One could translate, “but my prayer was returning upon my chest,” but the use of the imperfect verbal form sets this line apart from the preceding and following lines (vv. 13a, 14), which use the perfect to describe the psalmist’s past actions.

4 tn Heb “like a friend, like a brother to me I walked about.”

5 sn I bowed down. Bowing down was a posture for mourning. See Ps 38:6.

6 tn Heb “like mourning for a mother [in] sorrow I bowed down.”

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