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A Prayer for Deliverance

35 Argue my case,[a] Lord,
    against those who argue against me.
        Fight against those who fight against me.
Take up the buckler[b] and the shield,
    and rise up to help me.
Take out the spear and the ax to confront the one who pursues me;
    say to me, “I am your deliverer!”

Let those who seek my life be ashamed and disgraced;
    let those who plot evil against me be driven back and confounded.
Make them like the chaff before the wind,
    as the messenger of the Lord pushes them aside.
May their path be dark and slippery,
    as the messenger of the Lord tracks them down.

Without justification they laid a snare for me;
    without justification they dug a pit to trap me.
Let destruction come upon them[c] unawares,
    and let the net that he hid catch him;
        let him fall into destruction.
My soul will rejoice in the Lord
    and be glad in his deliverance.
10 All my bones will say,
    Lord, who is like you?
Who delivers the weak from the one who is stronger than he,
    and the weak and the needy from the one who wants to rob him?”

11 False witnesses stepped forward
    and questioned me concerning things
        about which I knew nothing.
12 They paid me back evil for good;
    my soul mourns.
13 But when they were sick,
    I wore sackcloth, humbled myself with fasting,
        and prayed from my heart repeatedly for them.[d]
14 I paced about as for my friend or my brother,
    and fell down mourning as one weeps for one’s mother.

15 But when I stumbled,
    they rejoiced and gathered together.
They gathered together against me—
    attackers whom I did not know.
        They tore me apart and would not stop.
16 Malicious mockers[e]
    they gnashed[f] their teeth against me.

17 Lord, how long will you just watch?
    Rescue me from their destruction,
        my precious life from these young lions.
18 Then I will give you thanks in front of the great congregation;
    in the midst of the mighty throng I will praise you.

19 Do not let my deceitful enemies gloat over me,
    nor let those who hate me without justification mock me with their eyes.
20 For they do not speak peace;
    they devise clever lies against the peaceful people of the land.
21 They open their mouth wide against me,
    claiming, “Yes! Yes! We saw him do[g] it with our own eyes!”

22 You see this, Lord,
    so do not be silent.
        Lord, do not be far from me!
23 Wake up! Arouse yourself to vindicate me
    and argue my case, my God and my Lord.
24 Judge me according to your righteousness, Lord my God!
    But do not let them gloat over me.
25 Don’t let them say in their hearts,
    “Yes! We got what we wanted.”
Don’t let them say,
    “We have swallowed him up.”
26 Instead, let those who gloat over the evil directed against me
    be ashamed and confounded together;
Let those who exalt themselves over me
    be clothed with shame and dishonor.
27 Let those who delight in my vindication
    shout for joy and rejoice!
Let them continuously say,
    “Magnify the Lord, who delights in giving peace to[h] his servant.”
28 My tongue will declare your righteousness
    and praise you all day long.


  1. Psalm 35:1 The Heb. lacks my case
  2. Psalm 35:2 I.e. a small shield
  3. Psalm 35:8 Lit. him
  4. Psalm 35:13 The Heb. lacks for them
  5. Psalm 35:16 So LXX; DSS 4QPsa read They mocked me viciously; MT reads Mockers of cake
  6. Psalm 35:16 So DSS 4QPsa LXX; MT reads gnashing
  7. Psalm 35:21 The Heb. lacks him do
  8. Psalm 35:27 So MT; DSS 4QPsa LXX read Lord, you who delight in the welfare of

Psalm 35

Of David.

Contend,(A) Lord, with those who contend with me;
    fight(B) against those who fight against me.
Take up shield(C) and armor;
    arise(D) and come to my aid.(E)
Brandish spear(F) and javelin[a](G)
    against those who pursue me.
Say to me,
    “I am your salvation.(H)

May those who seek my life(I)
    be disgraced(J) and put to shame;(K)
may those who plot my ruin
    be turned back(L) in dismay.
May they be like chaff(M) before the wind,
    with the angel of the Lord(N) driving them away;
may their path be dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.

Since they hid their net(O) for me without cause(P)
    and without cause dug a pit(Q) for me,
may ruin overtake them by surprise—(R)
    may the net they hid entangle them,
    may they fall into the pit,(S) to their ruin.
Then my soul will rejoice(T) in the Lord
    and delight in his salvation.(U)
10 My whole being will exclaim,
    “Who is like you,(V) Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong(W) for them,
    the poor and needy(X) from those who rob them.”

11 Ruthless witnesses(Y) come forward;
    they question me on things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good(Z)
    and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth(AA)
    and humbled myself with fasting.(AB)
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14     I went about mourning(AC)
    as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
    as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;(AD)
    assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
    They slandered(AE) me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;[b](AF)
    they gnashed their teeth(AG) at me.

17 How long,(AH) Lord, will you look on?
    Rescue me from their ravages,
    my precious life(AI) from these lions.(AJ)
18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;(AK)
    among the throngs(AL) I will praise you.(AM)
19 Do not let those gloat over me
    who are my enemies(AN) without cause;
do not let those who hate me without reason(AO)
    maliciously wink the eye.(AP)
20 They do not speak peaceably,
    but devise false accusations(AQ)
    against those who live quietly in the land.
21 They sneer(AR) at me and say, “Aha! Aha!(AS)
    With our own eyes we have seen it.”

22 Lord, you have seen(AT) this; do not be silent.
    Do not be far(AU) from me, Lord.
23 Awake,(AV) and rise(AW) to my defense!
    Contend(AX) for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
    do not let them gloat(AY) over me.
25 Do not let them think, “Aha,(AZ) just what we wanted!”
    or say, “We have swallowed him up.”(BA)

26 May all who gloat(BB) over my distress(BC)
    be put to shame(BD) and confusion;
may all who exalt themselves over me(BE)
    be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May those who delight in my vindication(BF)
    shout for joy(BG) and gladness;
may they always say, “The Lord be exalted,
    who delights(BH) in the well-being of his servant.”(BI)

28 My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,(BJ)
    your praises all day long.(BK)


  1. Psalm 35:3 Or and block the way
  2. Psalm 35:16 Septuagint; Hebrew may mean Like an ungodly circle of mockers,

35 Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.

Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.

Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the Lord chase them.

Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.

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

Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation.

10 All my 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?

11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.

12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.

13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.

14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:

16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.

17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.

18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.

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.

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