Psalm 31:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 31:11, NIV: Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors and an object of dread to my closest friends-- those who see me on the street flee from me.

Psalm 31:11, ESV: Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.

Psalm 31:11, KJV: I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.

Psalm 31:11, NASB: Because of all my adversaries, I have become a disgrace, Especially to my neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances; Those who see me in the street flee from me.

Psalm 31:11, NLT: I am scorned by all my enemies and despised by my neighbors--even my friends are afraid to come near me. When they see me on the street, they run the other way.

Psalm 31:11, CSB: I am ridiculed by all my adversaries and even by my neighbors. I am dreaded by my acquaintances; those who see me in the street run from me.

What does Psalm 31:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Being persecuted by one's enemies is difficult. It can be even harder, emotionally, to see friends turn away simply to avoid being caught in that same trouble. This seems to be what David had experienced. Either because of physical threats (1 Samuel 19:2; 22:17; Psalm 54:3) or slander (Psalm 31:13, 18; 38:12; 59:12), David's enemies caused his friends to turn their backs on him.

What David describes here is an almost-total rejection. Friends and neighbors are treating him like an object of fear and loathing. They avoid even associating with him in public. In modern English, acting as if another does not exist means the person is "dead to them." In the next verse, David describes himself in a comparable way (Psalm 31:12). He is as rejected as a broken and value-less container.

In this and other psalms, David foreshadows the suffering of Jesus, who was also rejected. Isaiah 53:3 prophesies concerning Jesus' sufferings: "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not." John 1:11 says, "He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him." Matthew 27:27–31 reports the atrocious way the governor's soldiers treated Jesus when He was their prisoner. Verse 39 indicates that those who passed by Jesus' cross derided and mocked Him.