Psalm 35:7
For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) Have they hid . . .—Literally, they have hid for me the pit of their net, which, as it stands, can mean nothing but a “pit with a net in it,” such as was used to entrap lions and other wild beasts. But it is better to remove the word “pit” to the second clause, thus doing away with the necessity of supplying a relative, and improving the rhythm.

“ For unprovoked they hid a net for me,

Unprovoked they digged a pit for my soul.”

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!For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit - See Psalm 7:15, note; Psalm 9:15, note. This figure is derived from hunting. The idea is that of digging a pit or hole for a wild beast to fall into, with a net so concealed that the animal could not see it, and that might be suddenly drawn over him so as to secure him. The reference here is to plans that are laid to entrap and ruin others: plots that are concocted so as to secure destruction before one is aware. The psalmist says that, in his case, they had done this without "cause," or without any sufficient reason. He had done them no wrong; he had given them no show of excuse for their conduct.

Which without cause they have digged for my soul - For my life. That is, they have digged a pit into which I might fall, and into which they designed that I should fall, though I have never done anything to give them occasion thus to seek my destruction.

7, 8. net in a pit—or, "pit of their net"—or, "net-pit," as "holy hill" for "hill of holiness" (Ps 2:6); a figure from hunting (Ps 7:15). Their imprecations on impenitent rebels against God need no vindication; His justice and wrath are for such; His mercy for penitents. Compare Ps 7:16; 11:5, on the peculiar fate of the wicked here noticed. Out of mere malice, without any injury or provocation on my part, and without any necessity on their parts. They are no common, but the worst of enemies; and therefore I may justly pray against them, as I do. These expressions aggravate their sins, and signify that their persecution of him was not the effect of a midden passion, but of a deep and habitual hatred and malice, and of an evil design, carried on in a constant and continued course with deliberation, and cunning, and deceit, and that against his soul or life; for nothing less would satisfy them.

For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit,.... This is said in allusion to the custom of digging pits, and putting nets into them, for the catching of wild beasts; and covering them with straw or dust, or such like things, as Jarchi observes, that they might not be discerned; and which intends the secret and crafty methods taken by David's enemies to ensnare him and destroy him; though he had given them no cause to use him in such a manner; which is an aggravation of their sins, and a reason of the above imprecations, as well as of what follows: and in the same manner, and without any just cause, Christ and his members have been treated by wicked men, and therefore their damnation is just, and will be inevitable:

which without cause they have digged for my soul; which is added for further explanation's sake, and to aggravate their sin, and to show the justness of their punishment.

For {e} without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.

(e) Showing that we may not call God to be a revenger but only for his glory, and when our cause is just.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. The word for pit must be transposed from the first line, where it is superfluous and awkward, to the second line, where it is required. Render

For without cause have they hid a net for me:

Without cause have they dug a pit for my soul (life).

The metaphors from the hunter’s nets and pitfalls express the insidious character of their secret plots. Cp. again Jeremiah 18:20; Jeremiah 18:22.

7, 8. The causelessness of their insidious enmity is the ground for such a prayer. May their schemes recoil on their own heads.

Verse 7. - For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit; literally, the pit of their net. This is explained by some to mean "the destruction of their net;" by others, "the pit that is covered by a net." But neither explanation is altogether saris-factory. Some therefore suppose an accidental transposition of a word. Which without cause they have digged for my soul. "Without cause" means "without provocation on my part." Psalm 35:7Psalm 35:7 also needs re-organising, just as in Psalm 35:5. the original positions of דחה and רדפס are exchanged. שׁחת רשׁתּם would be a pit deceptively covered over with a net concealed below; but, as even some of the older critics have felt, שׁחת is without doubt to be brought down from Psalm 35:7 into Psalm 35:7: without cause, i.e., without any provocation on my part, have they secretly laid their net for me (as in Psalm 9:16; Psalm 31:5), without cause have they digged a pit for my soul. In Psalm 35:8 the foes are treated of collectively. לא ידע is a negative circumstantial clause (Ew. 341, b): improviso, as in Proverbs 5:6; Isaiah 47:11 extrem. Instead of תּלכּדנּוּ the expression is תּלכּדוּ, as in Hosea 8:3; the sharper form is better adapted to depict the suddenness and certainty of the capture. According to Hupfeld, the verb שׁאה signifies a wild, dreary, confused noise or crash, then devastation and destruction, a transition of meaning which - as follows from שׁואה (cf. תּהוּ) as a name of the desolate steppe, from שׁוא, a waste, emptiness, and from other indications - is solely brought about by transferring the idea of a desolate confusion of tones to a desolate confusion of things, without any intermediate notion of the crashing in of ruins. But it may be asked whether the reverse is not rather the case, viz., that the signification of a waste, desert, emptiness or void is the primary one, and the meaning that has reference to sound (cf. Arab. hwâ, to gape, be empty; to drive along, fall down headlong, then also: to make a dull sound as of something falling, just like rumor from ruere, fragor (from frangi) the derived one. Both etymology (cf. תּהה, whence תּהוּ) and the preponderance of other meanings, favour this latter view. Here the two significations are found side by side, inasmuch as שׁואה in the first instance means a waste equals devastation, desolation, and in the second a waste equals a heavy, dull sound, a rumbling (δουπεῖν). In the Syriac version it is rendered: "into the pit which he has digged let him fall," as though it were שׁחת in the second instance instead of שׁואה; and from his Hupfeld, with J. H. Michaelis, Stier, and others, is of opinion, that it must be rendered: "into the destruction which he himself has prepared let him fall." But this quam ipse paravit is not found in the text, and to mould the text accordingly would be a very arbitrary proceeding.
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