The Treasury of David

The Treasury of David is one of several C.H. Spurgeon books that are in the public domain. If you propose to study the Psalms, I suggest you download this as a companion for your other references.

Psalm 35

Title. A Psalm of David. Here is all we know concerning this Psalm, but internal evidence seems to fix the date of its composition in those troublous times when Saul hunted David over hill and dale, and when those who fawned upon the cruel king, slandered the innocent object of his wrath, or it may be referred to the unquiet days of frequent insurrections in David’s old age. The whole Psalm is the appeal to heaven of a bold heart and a clear conscience, irritated beyond measure by oppression and malice. Beyond a doubt David’s Lord may be seen here by the spiritual eye.

Divisions. The most natural mode of dividing this Psalm is to note its triple character. Its complaint, prayer, and promise of praise are repeated with remarkable parallelism three times, even as our Lord in the Garden prayed three times, using the same words. The first portion occupies from Psalms 35:1-10, the second from Psalms 35:11-18, and the last from Psalms 35:19-28; each section ending with a note of grateful song.
The Treasury of David.

Psalm 35:10

Exposition

As the tongue were not enough to bless God with, David makes every limb vocal—All my bones shall say, Lord, who is like unto thee? His whole anatomy he would make resonant with gratitude. Those bones which were to have been broken by my enemies shall now praise God; every one of them shall bring its tribute, ascribing unrivalled excellence to Jehovah the Saviour of his people. Even if worn to skin and bone, yet my very skeleton shall magnify the Lord, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him. God is the champion, the true knight errant of all oppressed ones. Where there is so much condescension, justice, kindness, power, and compassion, the loftiest songs should be rendered. Come, dear reader, have you not been delivered from sin, Satan, and death, and will not you bless the Redeemer? You were poor and weak, but in due time Christ sought you, and set you free. O magnify the Lord today, and speak well of his name.

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings

All my bones, etc. These words contain the most vivid description of the highest delight which by the whole soul and body should be experienced and openly manifested. He mentions his soul Psalms 35:9 and all his bones as about to take part in the joy, to indicate that he most heartily and with his whole body was about to rejoice, and that the joy which he would manifest would not be of an ordinary character, but of the highest order, so that each several bone should sing forth the praises of God. Herman Venema, 1697-1787.

All my bones. In the Scriptures emotions are generally ascribed to the viscera, the bones are usually regarded as passive; in this place and Psalms 51:8, and in these two places only, exulting joy is attributed to the bones. Ordinary experience shows us that the intestines have sympathy with our passionate excitements, but we have no consciousness of the bones becoming sympathetically sensitive. The expression therefore is highly poetical, and indicates that they joy intended would be far beyond ordinary and common delight; it would be so profound that even the most callous part of the human frame would partake of it. Doubtless the poetry has a basis of truth in it, for though we may not perceive it, there is most assuredly a true and real sympathy with our mental states in every particle of bone and muscle, as well as in those tender organs which are more apparently affected. C.H.S. Thoughts suggested by a passage in “Biblical Psychology,” by Franz Delitzsch.

All my bones. That is, whatsoever strength and vigour is in me shall be spent in celebrating thy praises. Or, although I have nothing left me but skin and bones so poor am I grown, yet I will not be wanting to the work. John Trapp.

My bones are riving through my skin, and yet all my bones are praising him. “I said, I am cast out of thy sight, but I will look again towards thy holy temple.” Thomas Halyburton. 1674-1711.

Hints to the Village Preacher

A matchless God, and his matchless grace—these are the themes. An experienced heart, thoroughly quickened—this is the songster; and from this cometh matchless music.

The music of a shattered harp.
The Treasury of David.

Singing psalms

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