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Justice for the Oppressed

Psalm 35

A psalm of David.
Adonai, oppose those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight me.
Take hold of shield and buckler,
and rise up to my help.
Draw out also a spear and battle-axe.
Stop those who pursue me.
Say to my soul: “I am your salvation.”
May those who seek my life
be ashamed and disgraced.
May they be turned back and humiliated
—those who plot evil against me.
May they be like chaff before the wind,
with the angel of Adonai driving them off.
May their way be dark and slippery,
with the angel of Adonai pursuing them.
For without cause they hid their net for me,
and without cause they dug a pit for my soul.
Let ruin come upon him by surprise.
Let the net he hid entangle himself
—into that same pit let him fall.
Then my soul will rejoice in Adonai
and delight in His salvation.
10 All my bones will say:
Adonai, who is like You,
rescuing the poor from one too strong for him,
the poor and needy from one who robs him?”
11 Violent witnesses rise up.
They question me about things I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good—
my soul is forlorn.
13 But as for me, when they were sick,
    my clothing was sackcloth.
I afflicted my soul with fasting,
    my prayer kept returning to my heart.
14 I went about mourning as though for my own friend or brother.
I bowed down dressed in black as though for my own mother.
15 But at my stumbling they gathered in glee.
Wretches gathered against me whom I did not know,
    tearing at me without ceasing.
16 They mocked profanely, as if at a feast,
they gnashed at me with their teeth.

17 My Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue my soul from their ravages—
my solitary existence from the lions.
18 I praise You in the great assembly,
acclaiming You among a throng of people.
19 Do not let my deceitful enemies gloat over me without cause,
nor let those who hate me for nothing wink an eye.[a]
20 For they never speak shalom,
but devise deceitful words against the quiet ones in the land.
21 Yes, they open their mouth wide against me, saying:
“Aha! Aha! Our own eyes have seen it!”
22 You have seen it, Adonai—be not silent!
Adonai, be not far from me.
23 Arise, awaken to my defense,
to my cause—my God and my Lord!
24 Vindicate me, Adonai my God,
according to Your justice,
and do not let them gloat over me.
25 Don’t let them say in their heart:
    “Aha! Just what we wanted!”
Don’t let them say:
    “We swallowed him up!”
26 May they be ashamed and humiliated,
    those who rejoice over my misery.
May they who exalt themselves over me
be clothed with shame and disgrace.
27 May they shout for joy and be glad,
those who delight in my righteous cause.
May they always say:
    “Exalted be Adonai, who delights in His servant’s shalom.”
28 Then my tongue will declare aloud
Your justice and Your praises all day.


  1. Psalm 35:19 cf. John 15:25.