Psalm 109 Bible Commentary

Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown

(Read all of Psalm 109)

Ps 109:1-31. The writer complains of his virulent enemies, on whom he imprecates God's righteous punishment, and to a prayer for a divine interposition in his behalf appends the expression of his confidence and a promise of his praises. This Psalm is remarkable for the number and severity of its imprecations. Its evident typical character (compare Ps 109:8) justifies the explanation of these already given, that as the language of David respecting his own enemies, or those of Christ, it has respect not to the penitent, but to the impenitent and implacable foes of good men, and of God and His cause, whose inevitable fate is thus indicated by inspired authority.

1. God of my praise--its object, thus recognizing God as a certain helper. Be not silent (compare Ps 17:13; 28:1).

2. For the mouth . . . opened--or, "They have opened a wicked mouth"
against me--literally, "with me," that is, Their intercourse is lying, or, they slander me to my face (Mt 26:59).

3. (Compare Ps 35:7; 69:4).

4, 5. They return evil for good (compare Ps 27:12; Pr 17:13).
I give myself unto prayer--or literally, "I (am) prayer," or, "as for me, prayer," that is, it is my resource for comfort in distress.

6. over him--one of his enemies prominent in malignity (Ps 55:12).
let Satan stand--as an accuser, whose place was the right hand of the accused (Zec 3:1, 2).

7. The condemnation is aggravated when prayer for relief is treated as a sin.

8. The opposite blessing is long life (Ps 91:16; Pr 3:2). The last clause is quoted as to Judas by Peter (Ac 1:20).
office--literally, "charge," Septuagint, and Peter, "oversight" [1Pe 5:2].

9, 10. Let his family share the punishment, his children be as wandering beggars to prowl in their desolate homes, a greedy and relentless creditor grasp his substance, his labor, or the fruit of it, enure to strangers and not his heirs, and his unprotected, fatherless children fall in want, so that his posterity shall utterly fail.

13. posterity--literally, "end," as in Ps 37:38, or, what comes after; that is, reward, or success, or its expectation, of which posterity was to a Jew a prominent part.

14, 15. Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered, &c.--Added to the terrible overthrow following his own sin, let there be the imputation of his parents' guilt, that it may now come before God, for His meting out its full consequences, in cutting off the memory of them (that is, the parents) from the earth (Ps 34:16).

16. Let God remember guilt, because he (the wicked) did not remember mercy.
poor and needy . . . broken in heart--that is, pious sufferer (Ps 34:18; 35:10; 40:17).

17-19. Let his loved sin, cursing, come upon him in punishment (Ps 35:8), thoroughly fill him as water and oil, permeating to every part of his system (compare Nu 5:22-27), and become a garment and a girdle for a perpetual dress.

20. Let this . . . reward--or, "wages," pay for labor, the fruit of the enemy's wickedness.
from the Lord--as His judicial act.

21, 22. do . . . for me--that is, kindness.
wounded--literally, "pierced" (Ps 69:16, 29).

23. like the shadow--(Compare Ps 102:11).
tossed up and down--or, "driven" (Ex 10:19).

24, 25. Taunts and reproaches aggravate his afflicted and feeble state (Ps 22:6, 7).

26, 27. Let my deliverance glorify Thee (compare Ps 59:13).

28-31. In confidence that God's blessing would come on him, and confusion and shame on his enemies (Ps 73:13), he ceases to regard their curses, and anticipates a season of joyful and public thanksgiving; for God is near to protect (Ps 16:8; 34:6) the poor from all unrighteous judges who may condemn him.