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A Prayer for Rescue from Enemies

Of David.[a]

35 Contend, O Yahweh, with my contenders;
fight those who fight me.
Grasp buckler and shield
and rise to my aid.
And draw the spear and javelin to meet those who pursue me.
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
Let those who seek my life be shamed and humiliated.
Let those who plot calamity against me be repulsed and ashamed.
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of Yahweh driving them.[b]
Let their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of Yahweh pursuing them.
For without cause they secretly hide the pit with their net for me;
without cause they dug it for my life.
Let unforeseen ruin[c] come on him,
and his net that he hid, let it catch him.
Let him fall into it in ruin.
Then my soul will rejoice in Yahweh;
it will rejoice in his salvation.
10 All of my bones shall say, “O Yahweh, who is like you,
who delivers the poor from one stronger than he
and the poor and needy from the one who robs him?”
11 Violent witnesses rise up;
they ask me concerning what I do not know.
12 They repay me evil in place of good.
It is bereavement to my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth.
I weakened my soul with fasting,
and my prayer returned to me unanswered.[d]
14 I behaved[e] as though he were a friend or as a brother to me.
As one lamenting a mother, I was bowed down in mourning.
15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered together;
smiters whom I did not know gathered against me.
They tore and did not cease.
16 Among the ungodly of the mockers at feasts,[f]
they gnashed at me with their teeth.
17 My Lord, how long will you watch?
Restore my life from their ravages,[g]
my only life from the young lions.
18 I will give thanks to you in the great assembly;
among the mighty people I will praise you.
19 Let not those who are wrongfully my enemies[h] rejoice over me.
Nor let those who hate me without cause wink the eye.
20 For they do not speak peace,
but against the quiet ones of the land
they plan deceitful words.
21 They also made wide their mouths[i] against me.
They said, “Aha! Aha!
Our eyes have seen it.”
22 You have seen, O Yahweh. Do not be deaf.
O Lord, do not be far from me.
23 Wake up and rouse yourself for my right,
for my cause, O my God and my Lord.
24 Vindicate me according to your righteousness,
O Yahweh my God,
and do not let them rejoice over me.
25 Do not let them say in their hearts,[j] “Aha, our desire.”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”
26 Let them be shamed and abashed altogether,
who rejoice at my misfortune.
Let them put on shame and insult,
who magnify themselves against me.
27 Let them shout for joy and be glad,
who delight in my vindication;
and let them say continually, “Yahweh is great,
who delights in the welfare of his servant.”
28 Then my tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
and your praise all day.


  1. Psalm 35:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm
  2. Psalm 35:5 Literally “pushing”
  3. Psalm 35:8 Literally “ruin he does not know”
  4. Psalm 35:13 Literally “upon my lap it will return”
  5. Psalm 35:14 Literally “walked about”
  6. Psalm 35:16 With a slight change the Hebrew might read, “The ungodly boldly mocked”
  7. Psalm 35:17 Or “roaring”
  8. Psalm 35:19 Or “those who oppose me with falsehood”
  9. Psalm 35:21 Hebrew “mouth”
  10. Psalm 35:25 Hebrew “heart”