What does Psalm 35:18 mean?
ESV: I will thank you in the great congregation; in the mighty throng I will praise you.
NIV: I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the throngs I will praise you.
NASB: I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty people.
CSB: I will praise you in the great assembly; I will exalt you among many people.
NLT: Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly. I will praise you before all the people.
KJV: I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
NKJV: I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people.
Verse Commentary:
David promises to thank the Lord publicly for delivering him from his enemies. The "great congregation" and "the mighty throng" seem to refer to the assembly of worshipers in the tabernacle. David's first act of praising the Lord would be private (Psalm 35:9–10). Proper worship naturally begins in a person's innermost thoughts and motivations, then expresses itself outwardly. So, David's second act of praise would be public; in fact, he would make a point of celebrating God's goodness among others.

Praise ought to be both private and public. A believer should thank the Lord daily for His many blessings. Also, if opportunity presents itself, he should praise God when his fellow Christians gather for worship. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul admonishes the believers at Thessalonica to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus." A Christian often seeks to know God's will for his life, and one aspect of the Lord's will is clear in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. He wants every believer to give thanks.
Verse Context:
Psalm 35:11–18 is the second of three variations on the same themes, which make up Psalm 35. David describes the attacks he endured. His enemy lied and used unscrupulous witnesses to level false accusations. This betrayal is made worse because David had been kind and loving towards them when they were in need. When they were sick, he prayed for them, and mourned when they did not recover. Yet now they ridiculed him. David calls out for God's intervention.
Chapter Summary:
This is one of the "imprecatory psalms," which call on God to immediately judge or destroy His enemies. David echoes the same ideas in three phases. Each segment includes a plea for rescue, a request for God to conquer David's foes, and a promise to praise the Lord. David makes a point of noting that his enemies have no good reason for their hatred, since he was kind to them. With faith, David looks ahead, trusting he will have the opportunity to worship the Lord for His rescue and vindication.
Chapter Context:
David pleads with the Lord to destroy his enemies and vindicate him. As such, Psalm 35 is labeled an "imprecatory psalm." Other examples include psalms 5, 69, 109, and 140. This song might have been written when King Saul was seeking David's life (1 Samuel 19:1–2), or when Absalom was spreading rebellion in Israel (2 Samuel 15:13–14). David' notes three basic ideas in this psalm: vindication, defeat of enemies, and praise of God. Each is repeated in a series of three variations.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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