let those who rise up against me be put to shame,
and your servant will rejoice.
and wrap themselves in their shame as in a cloak.
in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
to save his life from those who would condemn him.
Interestingly, Psalm 109 came up in the daily office lectionary this morning. I had already spent some time exegeting this scripture and reflecting on it. In the lectionary, the verses from 5-19 are left out, because of their hateful, cursing, and violent language. I see why they are left out, but I think that if they were left in, we might be able to better see that this psalm is far more interesting and complex than some might think it is.
The verse that has become well-known on bumper stickers is 109:8 (or 109:7, depending on your counting of verses - there were no little numbers in the original Hebrew, of course). "May his days be few; may another take his office."
For those who take scripture seriously, it seems to me that it is important to see it in its entirety, and in reading one of the Psalms it is most helpful to look at an entire psalm. While I am no scholar of the Hebrew Scriptures, I do have a few thoughts on this particular psalm.
First, it seems to me that there are three sections of the psalm. There is a section from verses 1-4 that are an opening statement from a ruler or leader who has been unjustly accused by some who: