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Rescue Me

A poetic song by King David[a]

Part One – David, a Warrior

35 O Lord, fight for me! Harass the hecklers; accuse my accusers.
    Fight those who fight against me.
2–3 Put on your armor, Lord; take up your shield and protect me.
    Rise up, mighty God! Grab your weapons of war
    and block the way of the wicked who come to fight me.
    Stand for me when they stand against me!
    Speak over my soul: “I am your strong Savior!”[b]
Humiliate those who seek my harm. Defeat them all!
    Frustrate their plans to defeat me and drive them back.
    Disgrace them all as they have devised their plans to disgrace me.
Blow them away like dust in the wind,
    with the angel of Almighty God driving them back!
Make the road in front of them nothing but slippery darkness,
    with the angel of Yahweh behind them, chasing them away!
For though I did nothing wrong to them, they set a trap for me,
    wanting me to fail and fall.
Surprise them with your ambush, Lord,
    and catch them in the very trap they set for me.
    Let them be the ones to fail and fall into destruction!
Then my fears will dissolve into limitless joy;
    my whole being will overflow with gladness
    because of your mighty deliverance.
10 Everything inside of me will shout it out:
    “There’s no one like you, Lord!”
    For look at how you protect the weak and helpless
    from the strong and heartless who oppress them.

Part Two – David, a Witness

11 They are malicious men, hostile witnesses of wrong.
    They rise up against me, accusers appearing out of nowhere.
12 When I show them mercy, they bring me misery.
    I’m forsaken and forlorn, like a motherless child.
13 I even prayed over them when they were sick.
    I was burdened and bowed low with fasting
    and interceded for their healing,
    and I didn’t stop praying.
14 I grieved for them, heavyhearted,
    as though they were my dearest family members
    or my good friends who were sick,
    nearing death, needing prayer.
15 But when I was the one who tripped up and stumbled,
    they came together to slander me,
    rejoicing in my time of trouble, tearing me to shreds
    with their lies and betrayal.
16 These nameless ruffians,
    mocking me like godless fools at a feast—
    how they delight in throwing mud on my name.
17 God, how long can you just stand there doing nothing?
    Now is the time to act.
    Rescue me from these brutal men,
    for I am being torn to shreds by these beasts
    who are out to get me.
    Save me from their rage, their cruel grasp.
18 Then I will praise you wherever I go.
    And when everyone gathers for worship,
    I will lift up your praise with a shout
    in front of the largest crowd I can find!

Part Three – David, a Worshiper

19 Don’t let those who fight me for no reason be victorious.
    Don’t let them succeed, these heartless haters
    who come against me with their gloating sneers.
20 They are the ones who would never seek peace as friends,
    for they are ever devising deceit against the innocent ones
    who mind their own business.
21 They open their mouths with ugly grins,
    gloating with glee over my every fault.
    “Look,” they say, “we caught him red-handed!
    We saw him fall with our own eyes!”
22 Yahweh, my caring God, you have been there all along.
    You have seen their hypocrisy.
    Yahweh, don’t let them get away with this.
    Don’t walk away without doing something.
23 Now is the time to awake! Rise up, Lord!
    Vindicate me, my Lord and my God!
24 You have every right to judge me, Lord,
    according to your righteousness,
    but don’t let them rejoice over me when I stumble.
25–26 Let them all be ashamed of themselves,
    humiliated when they rejoice over my every blunder.
    Shame them, Lord, when they say, “We saw what he did.
    Now we have him right where we want him.
    Let’s get him while he’s down!”
    Make them look ridiculous when they exalt themselves over me.
    May they all be disgraced and dishonored!
27 But let all my true friends shout for joy,
    all those who know and love what I do for you.
    Let them all say, “The Lord is great,
    and he delights in the prosperity of his servant.”
28 Then I won’t be able to hold it in—
    everyone will hear my joyous praises all day long!
    Your righteousness will be the theme of my glory-song of praise!


  1. 35 This is the first of seven Psalms in which David cried out for vengeance upon his enemies (see Pss. 52; 58; 59; 69; 109; 137).
  2. 35:2–3 The Aramaic word used here is found thirty-three times in the Psalms and clearly means “Savior.” Although a New Testament concept, David had a deep understanding almost one thousand years before the Savior was born that God would become his Savior. The Hebrew word for “Savior,” Yasha, is very similar to the name Jesus, Yeshua.

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,