Psalm 35:7

ESV For without cause they hid their net for me; without cause they dug a pit for my life.
NIV Since they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me,
NASB For they hid their net for me without cause; Without cause they dug a pit for my soul.
CSB They hid their net for me without cause; they dug a pit for me without cause.
NLT I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me. I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me.
KJV For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.

What does Psalm 35:7 mean?

The "imprecatory psalms" are songs including prayers for God to actively, immediately attack one's enemies. David is credited with several of these (Psalm 69:1; 109:1). Their general theme is a plea for the Lord to take vengeance against evil people who attack His servants. Here, David claims to be innocent. This is not a claim of sinlessness or moral perfection. Rather, it means David's enemies have no justification for their actions. These foes have no reason to seek his life.

"Pitfalls" are common forms of traps: narrow holes disguised with flimsy covers. Depending on their intent, the person digging the pit might add spikes or other dangerous objects so that anything falling in will be wounded or killed. Nets, as well, are useful for entangling enemies. In one variation of the pitfall, the hunter digs a deep hole and covers it loosely with a net. This is then hidden by leaves and branches. When an unwary target steps on the net, they fall into the pit and are entangled.

Some of David's imprecatory psalms were likely inspired by the persecution of Saul (1 Samuel 19:1–2). Saul had no legitimate reason to want to kill David. He was simply jealous of David's popularity. When David was returning home from a decisive battle over the Philistines, women from all over Israel celebrated David's victory by singing and dancing. They sang, "Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands" (1 Samuel 18:7). This infuriated Saul, and he feared David would overtake him to become king (1 Samuel 18:8). This made him suspicious and antagonistic towards David from then on (1 Samuel 18:9).
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