Psalm 35:19
Let not them that are my enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
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(19) Wink.Proverbs 6:13; Proverbs 10:10; a common gesture of agreement among confederates.

Psalm 35:19-21. Neither let them wink with the eye — That is, mock me, or insult over me, as this phrase signifies. For they speak not peace — They are enemies to all peaceable counsels; they breathe out nothing but threatenings and war. They devise deceitful matters — They use, not only open violence, but deceit and subtle artifices; against them that are quiet in the land — Against me and my followers, who desire nothing more than to live quietly and peaceably under Saul’s government. They opened their mouth wide — To pour forth whole floods of scoffs, slanders, and contumelies. Or, to devour me. It is a metaphor taken from wild beasts, when they come within reach of their prey. And said, Aha, Aha! — An expression of joy and triumph. Our eye hath seen it — Namely, what we have long desired and hoped for. Or, as Bishop Patrick paraphrases it, “So, so, we have found him out; his treasonable practices are discovered; we ourselves are eye-witnesses of it.”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.Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me - Margin, "falsely." Literally, "My enemies of falsehood;" that is, who are "falsely" my foes; who have no just cause for being opposed to me. Compare Matthew 5:11. David was conscious that he had done them no wrong, or that he had given no occasion for their conduct toward him, and hence, his prayer is simply a request that justice might be done.

Neither let them wink with the eye - Compare the notes at Job 15:12. See also Proverbs 6:13; Proverbs 10:10. The word rendered "wink" means properly to tear or cut asunder; and then, to cut with the teeth, to bite; and hence, the phrase "to bite the lips," as an expression of malice, or mischief-making: Proverbs 16:30; and to bite or pinch the eyes, that is, to press the eyelids together in the manner of biting the lips - also a gesture of malice or mischief. So Gesenius, Lexicon. But perhaps the more probable meaning is that of "winking" literally; or giving a significant wink of the eyes as an expression of triumph over anyone. In this sense the term is often used now.

That hate me without a cause - To whom I have given no occasion for opposition. In the case under consideration the psalmist regarded himself as entirely innocent in this respect.

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.

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.

Psalm 35:19

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.

Psalm 35:20

"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.


Wink with their eye, i.e. mock me, or insult over me, as this phrase signifies, Proverbs 6:13 10:10. 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.

Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them {p} wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

(p) In token of contempt and mocking.

19. wrongfully] Lit., falsely (Psalm 38:19; Psalm 69:4); the grounds they allege for their enmity being untrue.

neither let them wink] The insertion of the negative is grammatically justifiable, and probably right; though the clause may also be rendered, they wink &c., describing the confederates’ malicious signals of satisfaction at his misfortune (Proverbs 6:13; Proverbs 10:10).

that hate me without a cause] Cp. Psalm 69:4. Our Lord refers to these words as ‘fulfilled’ in Himself (John 15:25).

19–28. Renewed prayer in a somewhat calmer tone.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. The second part begins with two strophes of sorrowful description of the wickedness of the enemy. The futures in Psalm 35:11, Psalm 35:12 describe that which at present takes place. עדי חמס are μάρτυρες ἄδικοι (lxx). They demand from him a confession of acts and things which lie entirely outside his consciousness and his way of acting (cf. Psalm 69:5): they would gladly brand him as a perjurer, as an usurper, and as a plunderer. What David complains of in Psalm 35:12, we hear Saul confess in 1 Samuel 24:18; the charge of ingratitude is therefore well-grounded. שׁכול לנפשׁי is not dependent on ישׁלּמוּני, in which case one would have looked for כּשׁול rather than שׁכול, but a substantival clause: "bereavement is to my soul," its condition is that of being forsaken by all those who formerly showed me marks of affection; all these have, as it were, died off so far as I am concerned. Not only had David been obliged to save his parents by causing them to flee to Moab, but Michal was also torn from him, Jonathan removed, and all those at the court of Saul, who had hitherto sought the favour and friendship of the highly-gifted and highly-honoured son-in-law of the king, were alienated from him. And how sincerely and sympathisingly had he reciprocated their leanings towards himself! By ואני in Psalm 35:13, he contrasts himself with the ungrateful and unfeeling ones. Instead of לבשׁתּי שׁק, the expression is לבוּשׁי שׁק; the tendency of poetry for the use of the substantival clause is closely allied to its fondness for well-conceived brevity and pictorial definition. He manifested towards them a love which knew no distinction between the ego and tu, which regarded their sorrow and their guilt as his own, and joined with them in their expiation for it; his head was lowered upon his breast, or he cowered, like Elijah (1 Kings 18:42), upon the ground with his head hanging down upon his breast even to his knees, so that that which came forth from the inmost depths of his nature returned again as it were in broken accents into his bosom. Riehm's rendering, "at their ungodliness and hostility my prayer for things not executed came back," is contrary to the connection, and makes one look for אלי instead of אל־חיקי. Perret-Gentil correctly renders it, Je priai la tte penche sur la poitrine.

The Psalmist goes on to say in Psalm 35:14, I went about as for a friend, for a brother to me, i.e., as if the sufferer had been such to me. With התחלּך, used of the solemn slowness of gait, which corresponds to the sacredness of pain, alternates שׁחח used of the being bowed down very low, in which the heavy weight of pain finds expression. כּאבל־אם, not: like the mourning (from אבל, like הבל from הבל) of a mother (Hitzig), but, since a personal אבל is more natural, and next to the mourning for an only child the loss of a mother (cf. Genesis 24:67) strikes the deepest wound: like one who mourns (אבל־,

(Note: According to the old Babylonian reading (belonging to a period when Pathach and Segol were as yet not distinguished from one another), כּאבל (with the sign of Pathach and the stroke for Raphe below equals ); vid., Pinsker, Zur Geschichte des Karaismus, S. 141, and Einleitung, S. 118.)

like לבן־, Genesis 49:12, from אבל, construct state, like טמא) for a mother (the objective genitive, as in Genesis 27:41; Deuteronomy 34:8; Amos 8:10; Jeremiah 6:26). קדר signifies the colours, outward appearance, and attire of mourning: with dark clothes, with tearful unwashed face, and with neglected beard. But as for them - how do they act at the present time, when he finds himself in צלע (Psalm 38:17; Job 18:12), a sideway direction, i.e., likely to fall (from צלע, Arab. ḍl‛, to incline towards the side)? They rejoice and gather themselves together, and this assemblage of ungrateful friends rejoicing over another's misfortune, is augmented by the lowest rabble that attach themselves to them. The verb נכה means to smite; Niph. נכּא, Job 30:6, to be driven forth with a whip, after which the lxx renders it μάστιγες, Symm. πλῆκται, and the Targum conterentes me verbis suis; cf. הכּה בּלשׂון, Jeremiah 18:18. But נכים cannot by itself mean smiters with the tongue. The adjective נכה signifies elsewhere with רגלים, one who is smitten in the feet, i.e., one who limps or halts, and with רוּח, but also without any addition, in Isaiah 16:7, one smitten in spirit, i.e., one deeply troubled or sorrowful. Thus, therefore, נכים from נכה, like גּאים from גּאה, may mean smitten, men, i.e., men who are brought low or reduced (Hengstenberg). It might also, after the Arabic nawika, to be injured in mind, anwak, stupid, silly (from the same root נך, to prick, smite, wound, cf. ichtalla, to be pierced through equals mad), be understood as those mentally deranged, enraged at nothing or without cause. But the former definition of the notion of the word is favoured by the continuation of the idea of the verbal adjective נכים by ולא ידעתּי, persons of whom I have hitherto taken no notice because they were far removed from me, i.e., men belonging to the dregs of the people (cf. Job 19:18; Job 30:1). The addition of ולא ידעתי certainly makes Olshausen's conjecture that we should read נכרים somewhat natural; but the expression then becomes tautological, and there are other instances also in which psalm-poesy goes beyond the ordinary range of words, in order to find language to describe that which is loathsome, in the most glaring way. פרע, to tear, rend in pieces, viz., with abusive and slanderous words (like Arab. qr‛ II) also does not occur anywhere else.

And what remarkable language we now meet with in Psalm 35:16! מעוג does not mean scorn or buffoonery, as Bttcher and Hitzig imagine,

(Note: The Talmudic עגה (לשׁון), B. Sanhedrin 101b, which is said to mean "a jesting way of speaking," has all the less place here, as the reading wavers between עגה (עגא) and אגא.)

but according to 1 Kings 17:12, a cake of a round formation (like the Talmudic עגּה, a circle); לעג, jeering, jesting. Therefore לעגי מעוג means: mockers for a cake, i.e., those who for a delicate morsel, for the sake of dainty fare, make scornful jokes, viz., about me, the persecuted one, vile parasites; German Tellerlecker, Bratenriecher, Greek κνισσοκόλακες, ψωμοκόλακες, Mediaeval Latin buccellarii. This לעגי מלוג, which even Rashi interprets in substantially the same manner, stands either in a logical co-ordinate relation (vid., on Isaiah 19:11) or in a logical as well as grammatical subordinate relation to its regens חנפי. In the former case, it would be equivalent to: the profane, viz., the cake-jesters; in the latter, which is the more natural, and quite suitable: the profane ( equals the profanest, vid., Psalm 45:13; Isaiah 29:19; Ezekiel 7:24) among cake-jesters. The בּ is not the Beth of companionship or fellowship, to express which עם or את (Hosea 7:5) would have been used, but Beth essentiae or the Beth of characterisation: in the character of the most abject examples of this class of men do they gnash upon him with their teeth. The gerund חרק (of the noise of the teeth being pressed together, like Arab. ḥrq, of the crackling of a fire and the grating of a file), which is used according to Ges. 131, 4, b, carries its subject in itself. They gnash upon him with their teeth after the manner of the profanest among those, by whom their neighbour's honour is sold for a delicate morsel.

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