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Psalm 35

Judica, Domine

Plead thou my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me, and fight thou against them that fight against me. Lay hand upon the shield and buckler, and stand up to help me. Bring forth the spear, and stop the way against them that pursue me; say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

Let them be confounded, and put to shame, that seek after my soul; let them be turned back, and brought to confusion, that imagine mischief for me. Let them be as the dust before the wind, and the angel of the Lord scattering them. Let their way be dark and slippery, and let the angel of the Lord persecute them.

For they have privily laid their net to destroy me without a cause; yea, even without a cause have they made a pit for my soul. Let a sudden destruction come upon him unawares, and his net that he hath laid privily catch himself, that he may fall into his own mischief. And, my soul, be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in his salvation. All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee, who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him? yea, the poor, and him that is in misery, from him that spoileth him?

False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good, to the great discomfort of my soul. Nevertheless, when they were sick, I put on sackcloth, and humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer shall turn into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother; I went heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together; yea, the very abjects came together against me unawares, making mouths at me, and ceased not. With the flatterers were busy mockers, who gnashed upon me with their teeth.

Lord, how long wilt thou look upon this? O deliver my soul from the calamities which they bring on me, and my darling from the lions. So will I give thee thanks in the great congregation; I will praise thee among much people. O let not them that are mine enemies triumph over me ungodly; neither let them wink with their eyes, that hate me without a cause. And why? their communing is not for peace; but they imagine deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land. They gaped upon me with their mouths, and said, Fie on thee! We on thee! we saw it with our eyes.

This thou hast seen, O Lord. Hold not thy tongue then; go not far from me, O Lord. Awake, and stand up to judge my quarrel; avenge thou my cause, my God and my Lord. Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness, and let them not triumph over me.

Let them not say in their hearts, There! there! so would we have it; neither let them say, We have devoured him. Let them be put to confusion and shame together, that rejoice at my trouble; let them be clothed with rebuke and dishonour, that boast themselves against me. Let them be glad and rejoice, that favour my righteous dealing; yea, let them say always, Blessed be the Lord, who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And as for my tongue, it shall be talking of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

The coverdale translation edited by W.S. Peterson and Valerie Macys — used with permission.