Psalm 35:24

ESV Vindicate me, O LORD, my God, according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me!
NIV Vindicate me in your righteousness, LORD my God; do not let them gloat over me.
NASB Judge me, Lord my God, according to Your righteousness, And do not let them rejoice over me.
CSB Vindicate me, Lord my God, in keeping with your righteousness, and do not let them rejoice over me.
NLT Declare me not guilty, O Lord my God, for you give justice. Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
KJV Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.

What does Psalm 35:24 mean?

David is keenly aware that his enemies would celebrate if he were disgraced (Psalm 35:11–16). Therefore, he prays again, asking his Lord and God (Psalm 35:23) to "vindicate" him. The Hebrew word here simply refers to judgment. It is clear, though, that David is asking God to judge in his favor. To vindicate is "to justify, prove correct, absolve from blame." David is praying that the Lord would make it clear, to all, that these accusations are false. Earlier references in the same psalm referred to literal battle (Psalm 35:1–10). Part of the "vindication" David seeks is worldly victory, as a sign that God is with him.

The context for this intervention is God's righteous character. Because the Lord is righteous—true, moral, and good—He will not allow the wicked to go unpunished (Proverbs 11:21; Numbers 14:18). Nor will he let His people suffer disgrace without it being avenged (Deuteronomy 32:35). One day, the Lord will descend from heaven with His mighty angels and execute eternal destruction on the wicked. At that time, He will be glorified in His people (2 Thessalonians 1:5–10).

Unbelievers nailed Jesus to a cross, but God vindicated Him by raising Him from the dead to sit at His right hand in glory (Acts 5:30–31). When He comes to earth again, Christ will wear a crown and brandish a sword used to utterly defeat His enemies (Revelation 19:11–16). God is too righteous to allow the wicked to rejoice over His wrongfully maligned people—they may think they are "getting away with it," for now, but their fate is only delayed (2 Peter 3:4, 10).
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