|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:11-16 Call a man ungrateful, and you can call him no worse: this was the character of David's enemies. Herein he was a type of Christ. David shows how tenderly he had behaved towards them in afflictions. We ought to mourn for the sins of those who do not mourn for themselves. We shall not lose by the good offices we do to any, how ungrateful soever they may be. Let us learn to possess our souls in patience and meekness like David, or rather after Christ's example.
Verse 15. - But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together; rather, in my fall, or in my halting; "when I halted" (Revised Version). "The word implies a sudden slip and overthrow," such as is represented in 1 Samuel 18:8-29. Yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me. Compare the case of Job (Job 30:1-14). It is a matter of common experience that when men fall from a high position into misfortune, the base vulgar crowd always turns against them with scoffs and jeers and every sort of contumely. And I knew it not; rather, and I knew them not; men, i.e., of so low a condition, that I had no acquaintance with them (see the margin of the Revised Version). They did tear me, and ceased not (comp. Job 16:9).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But in mine adversity they rejoiced,.... Or "at my halting" (u), either by means of falling into sin; good men are subject to slips and falls, and that to the dislocating or breaking of their bones, which cause them to go halting all their days; wicked men watch for their halting, as Jeremiah's familiars did for his, Jeremiah 20:10; and rejoice at it; see Psalm 38:16; or by falling into some misfortune or calamity; hence we render it "adversity", and may design some affliction or other, as in Micah 4:6, at which wicked men rejoice; see Ezekiel 35:15; so David's enemies rejoiced at his afflictions; and the enemies of his son and antitype, the Lord Jesus Christ, were glad when Judas offered to betray him to them; more so when they had got him into their hands; and most of all when he was condemned and crucified: and so do the enemies of his people, as the Philistines sported with Samson when he was in his adversity, and as the antichristian party will rejoice and send gifts one to another when the two witnesses are slain; but the saints have a gracious God, who knows their souls in adversity; a sympathizing high priest, who is touched with a feeling of their infirmities; and fellow saints that are afflicted with them in all their afflictions, and bear a part of their burdens;
and gathered themselves together; not to pity him, but to insult him; not to help him in his distress, but to add to it;
yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me; mean persons, the refuse and scum of the earth; such as Job describes, Job 30:1; the word may be rendered "smitten" (w), either in spirit, as in Isaiah 66:2; they pretending sorrow of heart for his troubles; or rather smitten in body, in their feet, as Mephibosheth was; yet as lame as they were, and notwithstanding their lameness, they got together to rejoice at David's halting: or it may be best of all to understand it of their being smitten of God and afflicted; and the sense may be, that though the hand of God was upon them, this did not deter them from gathering together to insult David in his afflictions; some render the word "smiters" (x), that is, with their tongues, and so the Targum, "the wicked who smite with their words"; see Jeremiah 18:18; and such sort of persons were they that gathered together against Christ: it is true indeed that some of them were men of rank and figure, were the princes of this world, as Herod and Pontius Pilate, and the Jewish rulers, Acts 4:27, compared with Psalm 2:1; but the greater part of them were the meaner sort of people; particularly the Roman soldiers that gathered about him, and sported with him in Pilate's hall, and that surrounded him with scoffs when upon the cross; these also were literally "smiters" of him, both with words and with their hands, and are so called, Isaiah 50:6;
and I knew it not; David knew his enemies, or he could not have shown so much concern for them, as he did in the preceding verses; but either he knew not of their gathering together against him; until he saw them in great numbers about him; or he was not conscious to himself of any evil he had done them, that should be the reason of it; and this was the case of his son the Messiah, he who they were that gathered about him, even those that blindfolded him, and bid him prophesy who smote him; but he knew no sin he had done why he should be treated in the manner he was;
they did tear me, and ceased not; not their own garments, as some supply it, pretending great grief of heart for him; nor their mouth with laughing at him, as others; see Psalm 35:21; but either his character and reputation, with hard sayings and reproachful words, or his flesh with blows; and this they did incessantly; and which was literally true of Christ, whose enemies tore his flesh, by plucking off the hair, by buffeting and scourging him, and by piercing his hands and his feet with nails, when they crucified him; and they ceased not, even after death, to pierce his side with a spear.
(u) "in claudicatione mea", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Ainsworth. (w) "percussi", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus, Cocceius. (x) So Ainsworth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15, 16. On the contrary, they rejoiced in his affliction. Halting, or, "lameness," as in Ps 38:17 for any distress.
abjects—either as cripples (compare 2Sa 4:4), contemptible; or, degraded persons, such as had been beaten (compare Job 30:1-8).
I knew it not—either the persons, or, reasons of such conduct.
tear me, and ceased not—literally, "were not silent"—showing that the tearing meant slandering.
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