Psalm 35

Psalm 35  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
This Psalm may be read as a silent musing of the afflicted soul of Jesus as he stood before Pilate. He pleads with God both for His own rescue and for the judgment and confusion of His persecutors. The “false witnesses” of Psalm 35:1111False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. (Psalm 35:11) are heard in Matthew 26:5959Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death; (Matthew 26:59); the “abjects” of Psalm 35:1515But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: (Psalm 35:15) are seen in Luke 23:11And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. (Luke 23:1); the Lord’s saying, “I knew not,” in Psalm 35:1515But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: (Psalm 35:15), is verified by His attitude in Luke 22:6464And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? (Luke 22:64); His “quietness in the land,” of Psalm 35:2020For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. (Psalm 35:20), is seen in Matthew 12:19; 22:2119He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. (Matthew 12:19)
21They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's. (Matthew 22:21)
; and this shows that the charge against Him in Luke 23:22And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. (Luke 23:2) was the “deceitful matter” here referred to by this blessed sufferer and witness in Psalm 35:2020For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. (Psalm 35:20).
One thing especially might be observed here—that the Lord Jesus pleads for judgment upon the persecutor and the enemy. But we should be prepared for this; for in the Gospels we get the same, just heard from His lips for a moment—“O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee.” In these words He does not utter the full request which we meet occasionally in the Psalms, but as distinctly does He leave the world in its unbelief and rejection of grace before the righteous judgment. So that these words in John 17 are of the spirit of those Psalms where Messiah calls for judgment. And if in the Psalms He is heard even pronouncing judgment, that would not be beyond His language in the Gospels “Behold your house is left unto you desolate;” or, as He again says, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin, woe unto thee, Bethsaida;” or still more fully, and in the solemnities of a judgment seat in Matthew 23 His words to Caiaphas in Matthew 26:6464Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. (Matthew 26:64) savor of the same. And beside, we are told that the Lord committed Himself to the righteous judge (1 Peter 2:2323Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (1 Peter 2:23)), without reviling or threatening. This Psalm appears to be a sample of such communion. In Psalm 69, with the commentary we get on it in Romans 11, we find the same. (See also Psa. 40:14-1514Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. 15Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. (Psalm 40:14‑15).)