|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:17-28 Though the people of God are, and study to be, quiet, yet it has been common for their enemies to devise deceitful matters against them. David prays, My soul is in danger, Lord, rescue it; it belongs to thee the Father of spirits, therefore claim thine own; it is thine, save it! Lord, be not far from me, as if I were a stranger. He who exalted the once suffering Redeemer, will appear for all his people: the roaring lion shall not destroy their souls, any more than he could that of Christ, their Surety. They trust their souls in his hands, they are one with him by faith, are precious in his sight, and shall be rescued from destruction, that they may give thanks in heaven.
Verses 19-28. - The main element of this, the third section of the psalm, is prayer. Complaint finds a voice in vers. 20, 21, and thanksgiving in ver. 28; but with these exceptions, the strophe is one long strain of prayer. The prayer is, first, negative: "Let not mine enemies rejoice" (ver. 19); "Keep not silence" (ver. 22); "Be not far from me" (ver. 22). But after this it becomes mainly positive: "Stir up thyself, and awake to judgment" (ver. 23); "Judge me, O Lord" (ver. 24); "Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion that rejoice at my hurt" (ver. 26); "Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause" (ver. 27); "Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in my prosperity" (ver. 27). Verse 19. - Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me (comp. Psalm 38:19, where David says that those who "hated him wrongfully" were "multiplied"). David feels that no one had any reason to hate him, since he had always sought the good of all with whom he came into contact (see ver. 12). Neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause; i.e. let them not have cause to wink to each other in self-congratulation on their having triumphed over me completely.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me,.... The word "wrongfully" is to be joined not to the word "rejoice", but to the word "enemies"; and the sense is, that they were his enemies wrongfully, for false reasons, unjust causes, or without any cause that was just; as follows;
neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause; such were David's enemies, particularly Saul, Psalm 7:4; and such were the enemies of Christ: this last clause is thought to be referred to by him, and applied to himself, John 15:25; and the whole of this is said him and by him, Psalm 69:4; see also Psalm 109:3. These were the Jews, of whom he came, among whom he was, and who had no reason to be his enemies, and to hate him; since he was harmless and inoffensive in his life and conversation among them; went about doing a great deal of good to them, both for soul and body, and always expressed the most tender concern for them: they had reasons for their hatred and rejection of him, but not justifiable ones; such as the meanness of his person and state in their view, the doctrines he preached relating to his deity, divine sonship, and the distinguishing grace of God; and his inveighing against the sins and vices which prevailed among them; and such are the enemies of his people, who hate them, though they are the quiet in the land, as is said in Psalm 35:20; and are harmless and inoffensive in their behaviour towards men: these are hated for Christ's sake; and because he has chosen and called them out of the world; and because of their principles, which are distinguishing, and their practices, which are good: now the psalmist entreats that such might not be suffered to go on rejoicing over him, and at his calamities, but that he might be delivered out of all troubles, and out of their hands; and that they might not have any reason to wink with their eyes in a scornful and deriding way to him, and as expressing their pleasure to one an other at his distresses; see Proverbs 1:12.
The Treasury of David
19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22 This thou hast seen, O Lord: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Judge me, O Lord, my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
He earnestly prays that as they have no cause for their enmity, they may have no cause for triumph either in his folly, sin, or overthrow. "Neither let them wink with the eye that hale me without a cause." The winking of the eye was the low-bred sign of congratulation at the ruin of their victim, and it may also have been one of their scornful gestures as they gazed upon him whom they despised. To cause hatred is the mark of the wicked, to suffer it causelessly is the lot of the righteous. God is the natural Protector of all who are wronged, and he is the enemy of all oppressors.
"For they speak not peace." They love it not; how can they speak it? They are such troublers themselves that they cannot judge others to be peaceable. Out of the mouth comes what is in the heart. Riotous men charge others with sedition. "They devise deceitful mailers against them that are quiet in the land." David would fain have been an orderly citizen, but they laboured to make him a rebel. He could do nothing aright, all his dealings were misrepresented. This is an old trick of the enemy to brand good men with S.S on their cheeks, as sowers of sedition, though they have ever been a harmless race, like sheep among wolves. When mischief is meant, mischief is soon made. Unscrupulous partisans could even charge Jesus with seeking to overturn Caesar, much more will they thus accuse his household. At this very hour, those who stand up for the crown rights of King Jesus are called enemies of the church, favourers of Popery, friends of Atheists, levellers, red republicans, and it were hard to say what besides. Billingsgate and Babylon are in league.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. enemies wrongfully—by false and slanderous imputations.
wink with the eye—an insulting gesture (Pr 6:13).
without a cause—manifests more malice than having a wrong cause.
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