Psalm 35:10
All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like to you, which deliver the poor from him that is too strong for him, yes, the poor and the needy from him that spoils him?
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(10) All my bones.—As we say, “all the fibres of my body.” (Comp. Psalm 6:2; Psalm 34:20.)

The poor . . . the poor.—Better, the sufferer . . . the sufferer.

35:1-10 It is no new thing for the most righteous men, and the most righteous cause, to meet with enemies. This is a fruit of the old enmity in the seed of the serpent against the Seed of the woman. David in his afflictions, Christ in his sufferings, the church under persecution, and the Christian in the hour temptation, all beseech the Almighty to appear in their behalf, and to vindicate their cause. We are apt to justify uneasiness at the injuries men do us, by our never having given them cause to use us so ill; but this should make us easy, for then we may the more expect that God will plead our cause. David prayed to God to manifest himself in his trial. Let me have inward comfort under all outward troubles, to support my soul. If God, by his Spirit, witness to our spirits that he is our salvation, we need desire no more to make us happy. If God is our Friend, no matter who is our enemy. By the Spirit of prophecy, David foretells the just judgments of God that would come upon his enemies for their great wickedness. These are predictions, they look forward, and show the doom of the enemies of Christ and his kingdom. We must not desire or pray for the ruin of any enemies, except our lusts and the evil spirits that would compass our destruction. A traveller benighted in a bad road, is an expressive emblem of a sinner walking in the slippery and dangerous ways of temptation. But David having committed his cause to God, did not doubt of his own deliverance. The bones are the strongest parts of the body. The psalmist here proposes to serve and glorify God with all his strength. If such language may be applied to outward salvation, how much more will it apply to heavenly things in Christ Jesus!All my bones shall say - A similar expression occurs in Psalm 51:8 : "That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice." The "bones" are here put for the frame; the whole man. See the notes at Psalm 32:3. The idea is, that he had been crushed and overborne with trouble and danger, so that his very frame - that which sustained him - had given way. He says now that if God would interpose in the manner which he prays for, he would be relieved of the insupportable burden, and his whole nature would rejoice.

Who is like unto thee - Who can bring deliverance like God. Compare the notes at Isaiah 40:18. "Which deliverest the poor," etc. Who rescues the poor from the hand of the mighty. That is,

(a) Who is there that would interpose as God does in behalf of the poor and the downtrodden?

(b) Who is there that could save them as He does? In His power, and in His willingness to aid, there is no one like God. The word rendered poor here rather means one who is afflicted, or crushed by trial.

Yea, the poor and the needy - The word here rendered poor is the same as that which occurs in the former member of the sentence. The word rendered "needy" is that which is commonly used to denote the poor in the usual sense of the term - one who is in need. The reference is to David, who was afflicted by persecution, and at the same thee was in want of the comforts of life.

From him that spoileth him - From him that would plunder and rob him.

10. All my bones—every part.

him that spoileth him—(Compare Ps 10:2).

All my bones, i.e. my whole body, by a synecdoche, as Psalm 34:20, as well as my soul, mentioned Psalm 35:9. I will glorify thee, both with my soul and with my body.

Shall say: speech is ascribed to the bones figuratively, as elsewhere they are said to fear and to rejoice, Psalm 6:2 51:8, and as the loins are said to bless, Job 31:20. If they could speak, they would express thy praises, because having been dried up with sorrow, they are now refreshed by thy mercy. All my bones shall say,.... So, in a figurative sense, vexation and disquietude are ascribed to the bones, Psalm 6:2; and sometimes joy and gladness, Psalm 51:8. His soul is said to rejoice in Psalm 35:9; and here his bones are said to show forth the praises of the Lord; and both together design the whole man, as heart and flesh in Psalm 84:2; and the bones being the strength of the body may denote his saying what follows, with all his might, and with all his strength, and with the utmost fervency of spirit:

Lord, who is like unto thee; on account of the perfections of his nature, which appear in the salvation and deliverance of his people: there is none like unto him for his wisdom, holiness, power, grace, and mercy; for his foreknowledge, wisdom, and counsel, in forming the scheme of salvation; for his holiness and justice, which are glorified by it; for his might and power in effecting it; and for his grace, mercy, goodness, and faithfulness shown in keeping covenant with his people, in pardoning and passing by their iniquity and transgression, and in condescending to take notice of his poor and needy, to deliver them, as follows; see Psalm 113:5;

which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him: yea,

the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? in which words the psalmist doubtless respects himself and his own case, who was poor and afflicted, and stood in need of help when he was persecuted by Saul, who was his enemy, too strong for him, and who sought to spoil and ruin him, but the Lord delivered him out of his hands; see Psalm 18:17. They agree with the case of all the Lord's poor and needy, who are so not only in a temporal sense, as they commonly be; and in such sense as all mankind are, though everyone is not sensible of his spiritual poverty through sin; having neither food nor raiment, nor anything to procure them with, and yet think themselves rich and increased with goods; but in the best sense, being poor in spirit and rich in faith; these have enemies stronger than they. Sin is sometimes represented as a person, their antagonist that fights against them, wars with them, prevails over them sometimes, and carries them captive: sin is too strong for a man without the grace of God; nay, it was too strong for Adam in innocence, and spoiled him of the image of God, stripped him of his righteousness, and marred all the glory and honour in which he was; and it is too strong for a man that has the grace of God, when left to himself: but the Lord delivers his people from it; they; are redeemed from it, and saved from punishment for it by the blood of Christ; and they are freed from the power and dominion of it, by the Spirit and grace of Christ at conversion, and at death they are delivered from the being of it. Satan is the strong man armed, and is more than a match for the poor and needy; but Christ the mighty God is stronger than he, and has ransomed them out of the hands of him that was stronger than they; and the prey, or they that were made a spoil by him, are taken out of the hands of the mighty, and the lawful captive is delivered: they are, indeed, assaulted by his temptations, in which he would be too many for them, but that they are strengthened against him by the Lord, and are enabled to withstand him; who, in the issue, flees from them; nor can he do as he pleases with them, nor reassume his power over them he once had, nor lead them captive at his will as he once did: God is on their side, Christ is their patron and defender, that pleads their cause against him; the Spirit that is within them is greater than he that is in the world; angels are all around them, and in a little while these poor and needy will be in heaven, and out of his reach, and so of every oppressor and persecutor; now they are the weak things of this world, and their enemies are the mighty ones, and too strong for them, who spoil them of their good name and character, and sometimes of their goods and property; but the Lord does and will deliver them out of their hands, and enter them into rest, where the wicked cease from troubling.

All my {h} bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

(h) He attributes his deliverance only to God, praising him therefore both in soul and body.

10. All my bones] The bodily frame feels the thrill of joy as it feels the pain of sorrow. Cp. Psalm 51:8; and see note on Psalm 6:2.

who is like unto thee] Incomparable for power and goodness. Cp. Exodus 15:2; Micah 7:18.

the poor] The afflicted, often coupled with the needy (Psalm 37:14; Psalm 40:17; Psalm 86:1; &c.)Verse 10. - All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee? The "bones" here represent, not the frame only, as in Psalm 34:20, but the entire nature. David promises that his whole nature shall bear witness to God's mercy and goodness, proclaiming that there is "none like unto him" in these respects, none other that can deliver from danger as he can and does. As Hengstenberg observes, "He seeks to make the Lord grant the desired help by promising that the help afforded would yield a rich harvest of praise and thanksgiving." Which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? (comp. Psalm 86:1, where David again calls himself "poor and needy;" i.e. in want of help and peace and comfort; not absolutely without means, or he would not offer any temptation to the spoiler. Throughout the next two strophes follow terrible imprecations. According to Frst and others the relation of בּושׁ and חפר is like that of erblassen, to turn pale (cf. Isaiah 29:22 with Psalm 34:6), and errצthen, to turn red, to blush. בושׁ has, however, no connection with בוץ, nor has חפר, Arab. chfr, chmr, any connection with Arab. hmr, to be red; but, according to its radical notion, בּושׁ means disturbari (vid., Psalm 6:11), and חפר, obtegere, abscondere (vid., Psalm 34:6). יסּגוּ, properly "let them be made to fall back" (cf. e.g., Isaiah 42:17). On the figure on Psalm 35:5 cf. Psalm 83:14. The clauses respecting the Angel of Jahve, Psalm 35:5 and Psalm 35:6, are circumstantial clauses, viz., clauses defining the manner. דּחה (giving, viz., them, the push that shall cause their downfall, equivalent to דּחם or דּחם, Psalm 68:28) is closely connected with the figure in Psalm 35:6, and רדפם, with the figure in Psalm 35:5; consequently it seems as though the original position of these two clauses respecting the Angel of Jahve had been disturbed; just as in Psalm 34, the ע strophe and the פ strophe have changed their original places. It is the Angel, who took off Pharaoh's chariot wheels so that they drave them heavily (Exodus 14:25) that is intended here. The fact that this Angel is concerned here, where the point at issue is whether the kingship of the promise shall be destroyed at its very beginning or not, harmonises with the appearing of the מלאך ה at all critical junctures in the course of the history of redemption. חלקלקּות, loca passim lubrica, is an intensive form of expression for חלקות rof noisserp, Psalm 73:18. Just as דּחה recalls to mind Exodus 15, so רדפם recalls Judges 5. In this latter passage the Angel of Jahve also appears in the midst of the conquerors who are pursuing the smitten foe, incarnate as it were in Deborah.
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