4 They answer my love with accusation but I am all prayer
TA-khat a-ha-va-TEE yis-t’-NU-nee va-a-NEE t’-fi-LAH
ד תַּחַת־אַהֲבָתִי יִשְׂטְנוּנִי וַאֲנִי תְפִלָּה׃
109:4 I am all prayer
According to Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, this psalm is about evil people trying to eradicate David’s very essence. Despite the love he has shown them and the good he has done for them, they pour curses and ridicule created from lies and hatred upon him. This psalm most likely refers to the events recorded in Shmuel II 16, when David flees his kingdom to escape his son Avshalom who wants to kill him. On his way out of the city, Shim’i the son of Gera from the house of Shaul spews vile curses at him, which the king accepts with resignation. This psalm, however, begins with David turning to Hashem with a plea not to stay silent. Only God’s justice can eliminate the lies directed against David. Instead of hatred and vitriol, David says “I am all prayer.” Only through God’s intervention will his name be cleared.