Psalm 35:1

ESV Of David. Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!
NIV Of David. Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.
NASB Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me.
CSB Oppose my opponents, Lord; fight those who fight me.
NLT O Lord, oppose those who oppose me. Fight those who fight against me.
KJV {A Psalm of David.} Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

What does Psalm 35:1 mean?

The exact inspiration for this psalm is unknown. However, Saul and his men were major antagonists in David's early life (1 Samuel 19:1–2). David asks the Lord to act in his behalf, using the Hebrew root word rib. This implies conflict or opposition, but can also be used in legal settings, such as an attorney in court. Isaiah 49:25 contains a promise from God that He will "contend" with those who "contend" against Israel.

The Hebrew word lacham more literally refers to a physical fight, leading into the next several verses of warlike imagery. David knew the Lord had fought in the past on behalf of His people. When Gideon and his men attacked the Midianites, they cried out, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon" (Judges 7:20). Psalm 24:8 depicts the Lord as "strong and mighty … mighty in battle." In his song of praise for the Lord's victory over Pharaoh's cavalry, Moses depicted the Lord as "a man of war" (Exodus 15:3).

Believers today are linked by faith to the Lord Jesus Christ as their advocate (1 John 2:1) and defender (Romans 8:37). They are also equipped with the armor of God and called upon to stand firm in Him (Ephesians 6:10–18).
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