Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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).
For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.
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).
They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.
3. (Compare Ps 35:7; 69:4).
For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
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.
And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.
Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
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).
When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.
7. The condemnation is aggravated when prayer for relief is treated as a sin.
Let his days be few; and let another take his office.
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].
Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.
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.
Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.
Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.
Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.
Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
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.
Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.
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).
Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.
Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.
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).
As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.
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.
As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.
Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.
Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.
20. Let this … reward—or, "wages," pay for labor, the fruit of the enemy's wickedness.
from the Lord—as His judicial act.
But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name's sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.
21, 22. do … for me—that is, kindness.
wounded—literally, "pierced" (Ps 69:16, 29).
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.
23. like the shadow—(Compare Ps 102:11).
tossed up and down—or, "driven" (Ex 10:19).
My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.
24, 25. Taunts and reproaches aggravate his afflicted and feeble state (Ps 22:6, 7).
I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.
Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:
26, 27. Let my deliverance glorify Thee (compare Ps 59:13).
That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.
Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.
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.
Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.
I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.
For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.