Psalm 109

This article is about Psalm 109 in Hebrew (Masoretic) numbering. For Psalm 109 in Greek Septuagint or Latin Vulgate numbering, see Psalm 110.

Psalm 109 is a psalm in the Book of Psalms. In the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, and in the Latin Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 108 in a slightly different numbering system. It is noted for containing some of the most severe curses in the Bible, such as verses 12 and 13. It has traditionally been called the "Judas Psalm" or "Iscariot Psalm" for an interpretation relating verse 8 to Judas Iscariot's punishment as noted in the New Testament.



The New Oxford Annotated Bible titles this psalm "Prayer for deliverance from enemies", as one of the Imprecatory Psalms against deceitful foes. It starts with the psalmist's plea in verses 1–5, followed by an extensive imprecation (verses 6–19, concluded or summed up in verse 20). The renewed pleading at verse 21 is made with appeals on the grounds of Yahweh's steadfast love, the details of the psalmist's own misery, and the request for vengeance to the enemies, but the lament ends with the vow to offer praise, which is so common in this type of psalm (verses 30–31). In verses 8–14 the curse by the psalmist 'extends through three generations': on the person (verse 8), on the person's children (verses 9–13), and on the person's parents (verse 14). The change from plural enemies (verses 2–5) to a singular individual (verses 6–19) parallels to Psalm 55.

In verse 4, there is evil given 'in return for my love'. The curses here are consistent with Proverbs 17.13 where "if evil is given for good then evil will not depart from their house". Returning evil for good, is also seen in other Psalms often seen as portending Judas being an 'anti-friend' figure returning evil for good or even friendship, namely 41, 69 and here in 109.

The closing of Psalm 109 has God at the right hand of the poor man and is in striking contrast with the opening of Psalm 110 where God calls a man to sit at his right hand, made forever like the priest king, Melchizedek.


Verse 2 and 30

There is an inclusio near the opening and closing of the Psalm. In the opening the Psalmist is facing the lies of accusers mouths while in the close his own mouth greatly praise God.

'For the mouth of the wicke... more
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