Verse

Psalm 35:19

ESV Let not those rejoice over me who are wrongfully my foes, and let not those wink the eye who hate me without cause.
NIV Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.
NASB Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; Nor let those who hate me for no reason wink maliciously.
CSB Do not let my deceitful enemies rejoice over me; do not let those who hate me without cause wink at me maliciously.
NLT Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat. Don’t let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow.
KJV Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.

What does Psalm 35:19 mean?

Those who hated David often worked against him, plotting for his death (1 Samuel 19:1–2; 2 Samuel 15:13–14). He prays the Lord would deny them an opportunity to celebrate his demise. In earlier verses, David pointed out that his enemies had no valid reason to oppose him (Psalm 35:11–16). He had been kind to them, and they repaid his goodness with betrayal and evil.

In the context of David's culture, "to wink the eye" meant signals between criminals up to no good. This imagery is used several times in the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 6:13; 10:10; 16:30). This is a figure of speech implying people using secretive methods to plot another person's misery. Apparently, David's enemies were confident he would fall to their slander and attacks (Psalm 35:4, 7). These enemies failed to see that the Lord was on David's side and would not let him suffer defeat or disgrace.

Jesus predicted undeserved persecution for His followers. He said, "If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you" (John 15:19). Furthermore, He said, "But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: 'They hated me without a cause'" (John 15:25). Most interpreters believe Jesus was citing this very verse when making His remarks.
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