Psalm 35:15

ESV But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered; they gathered together against me; wretches whom I did not know tore at me without ceasing;
NIV But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; assailants gathered against me without my knowledge. They slandered me without ceasing.
NASB But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; The afflicted people whom I did not know gathered together against me, They slandered me without ceasing.
CSB But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; they gathered against me. Assailants I did not know tore at me and did not stop.
NLT But they are glad now that I am in trouble; they gleefully join together against me. I am attacked by people I don’t even know; they slander me constantly.
KJV But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:

What does Psalm 35:15 mean?

The former friends who turned against David (Psalm 35:11–14) are celebrating as David has trouble. "Stumbling" in this verse suggests calamity, as in Job 18:12 and Jeremiah 20:10. David also refers to a group of strangers, calling them "wretches," which may also be translated as "those crippled" or "ruffians." The main implication is that of coarse, immoral men. This mob is constantly harassing David, including insults intended to tear him apart (Psalm 35:16). Yet, David did not know why they were behaving in such an evil way. He had done nothing to hurt them. Indeed, he had prayed for them. When he was expelled from Saul's court and branded as a criminal (1 Samuel 19:1–2), these former allies were happy and gleefully persecuted him.

Persecuted believers may identify with David. Although they share the gospel because God's love compels them to do so, they encounter hostility. The apostle Peter tells his readers not to be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon them. In that specific context, this might have included the threat of being burned at the stake. He tells them to rejoice if they are insulted for the name of Christ, they are blessed (1 Peter 4:12–14).
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