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13 When they were sick, I wore sackcloth,[a]
and refrained from eating food.[b]
(If I am lying, may my prayers go unanswered.)[c]

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  1. Psalm 35:13 tn Heb “as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth.” Sackcloth was worn by mourners. When the psalmist’s enemies were sick, he was sorry for their misfortune and mourned for them.
  2. Psalm 35:13 sn Fasting was also a practice of mourners. By refraining from normal activities, such as eating food, the mourner demonstrated the sincerity of his sorrow.
  3. Psalm 35:13 tn Heb “and my prayer upon my chest will return.” One could translate, “but my prayer was returning upon my chest,” but the use of the imperfect verbal form sets this line apart from the preceding and following lines (vv. 13a, 14), which use the perfect to describe the psalmist’s past actions.