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Psalm 35

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

Of David.

Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
    fight against those who fight against me!(A)
Take hold of shield and buckler,
    and rise up to help me!
Draw the spear and javelin
    against my pursuers;
say to my soul,
    “I am your salvation.”

Let them be put to shame and dishonor
    who seek after my life.
Let them be turned back and confounded
    who devise evil against me.(B)
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
    with the angel of the Lord driving them on.(C)
Let their way be dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.(D)

For without cause they hid their net[a] for me;
    without cause they dug a pit[b] for my life.(E)
Let ruin come on them unawares,
and let the net that they hid ensnare them;
    let them fall in it—to their ruin.(F)

Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
    exulting in his deliverance.(G)
10 All my bones shall say,
    “O Lord, who is like you?
You deliver the weak
    from those too strong for them,
    the weak and needy from those who despoil them.”(H)

11 Malicious witnesses rise up;
    they ask me about things I do not know.(I)
12 They repay me evil for good;
    my soul is forlorn.(J)
13 But as for me, when they were sick,
    I wore sackcloth;
    I afflicted myself with fasting.
I prayed with head bowed[c] on my bosom,(K)
14     as though I grieved for a friend or a brother;
I went about as one who laments for a mother,
    bowed down and in mourning.

15 But at my stumbling they gathered in glee;
    they gathered together against me;
ruffians whom I did not know
    tore at me without ceasing;(L)
16 they impiously mocked more and more,[d]
    gnashing at me with their teeth.

17 How long, O Lord, will you look on?
    Rescue me from their ravages,
    my life from the lions!(M)
18 Then I will thank you in the great congregation;
    in the mighty throng I will praise you.(N)

19 Do not let my treacherous enemies rejoice over me
    or those who hate me without cause wink the eye.(O)
20 For they do not speak peace,
    but they conceive deceitful words
    against those who are quiet in the land.
21 They open wide their mouths against me;
    they say, “Aha, Aha,
    our eyes have seen it.”(P)

22 You have seen, O Lord; do not be silent!
    O Lord, do not be far from me!(Q)
23 Wake up! Rouse yourself for my defense,
    for my cause, my God and my Lord!(R)
24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
    according to your righteousness,
    and do not let them rejoice over me.(S)
25 Do not let them say to themselves,
    “Aha, we have our heart’s desire.”
Do not let them say, “We have swallowed you[e] up.”(T)

26 Let all those who rejoice at my calamity
    be put to shame and confusion;
let those who exalt themselves against me
    be clothed with shame and dishonor.(U)

27 Let those who desire my vindication
    shout for joy and be glad
    and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
    who delights in the welfare of his servant.”(V)
28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
    and of your praise all day long.(W)


  1. 35.7 Heb a pit, their net
  2. 35.7 The word pit is transposed from the preceding line
  3. 35.13 Or My prayer turned back
  4. 35.16 Cn Compare Gk: Heb like the profanest of mockers of a cake
  5. 35.25 Heb him

(A psalm by David.)

A Prayer for Protection from Enemies

Fight my enemies, Lord!
Attack my attackers!
    Shield me and help me.
Aim your spear at everyone
who hunts me down,
    but promise to save me.

Let all who want to kill me
be disgraced
    and put to shame.
Chase away and confuse
    all who plan to harm me.
Send your angel after them
and let them be like straw
    in the wind.
Make them run in the dark
on a slippery road,
    as your angel chases them.
I did them no harm,
but they hid a net
    to trap me,
and they dug a deep pit
    to catch and kill me.
(A) Surprise them with disaster!
    Trap them in their own nets
and let them fall and rot
    in the pits they have dug.

I will celebrate and be joyful
because you, Lord,
    have saved me.
10 Every bone in my body
    will shout:
“No one is like the Lord!”
You protect the helpless
    from those in power;
you save the poor and needy
    from those who hurt them.

11 Liars accuse me of crimes
    I know nothing about.
12 They repay evil for good,
    and I feel all alone.
13 When they were sick,
I wore sackcloth[a]
    and went without food.[b]
I truly prayed for them,[c]
14 as I would for a friend
    or a relative.
I was in sorrow and mourned,
    as I would for my mother.

15 I have stumbled,
    and worthless liars
I don't even know
    surround me and sneer.
16 Worthless people make fun[d]
    and never stop laughing.
17 But all you do is watch!
    When will you do something?
Save me from the attack
    of those vicious lions.
18 And when your people meet,
    I will praise you
and thank you, Lord,
    in front of them all.

19 (B) Don't let my brutal enemies
    be glad because of me.
They hate me for no reason.
Don't let them wink
    behind my back.
20 They say hurtful things,
and they lie to people
    who want to live in peace.
21 They are quick to accuse me.
They say, “You did it!
    We saw you ourselves.”

22 You see everything, Lord!
Please don't keep silent
    or stay so far away.
23 Fight to defend me, Lord God,
24 and prove that I am right
    by your standards.
Don't let them laugh at me
25     or say to each other,
“Now we've got what we want!
    We'll gobble him up!”

26 Disappoint and confuse
all who are glad
    to see me in trouble;
disgrace and embarrass
my proud enemies who say to me,
    “You are nothing!”

27 Let all who want me to win
    be happy and joyful.
From now on let them say,
    “The Lord is wonderful!
God is glad when all goes well
    for his servant.”
28 Then I will shout all day,
“Praise the Lord God!
    He did what was right.”


  1. 35.13 sackcloth: See the note at 30.11.
  2. 35.13 went without food: People sometimes went without food (called “fasting”) to show sorrow.
  3. 35.13 I … them: Or “My prayer wasn't answered, but I prayed.”
  4. 35.16 Worthless … fun: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.