Psalms 10

1 Lord,[a] why do You stand so far away? Why do You hide in times of trouble?
2 In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue the afflicted; let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.
3 For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings; the one who is greedy curses[b] and despises the Lord.
4 In all his scheming, the wicked arrogantly thinks:[c] "There is no accountability, [since] God does not exist."[d]
5 His ways are always secure;[e] Your lofty judgments are beyond his sight; he scoffs at all his adversaries.
6 He says to himself, "I will never be moved- from generation to generation without calamity."[f]
7 Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth; trouble and malice are under his tongue.[g]
8 He waits in ambush near the villages; he kills the innocent in secret places; his eyes are on the lookout for the helpless.
9 He lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket. He lurks in order to seize the afflicted. He seizes the afflicted and drags him in his net.[h]
10 He crouches and bends down; the helpless fall because of his strength.
11 He says to himself, "God has forgotten; He hides His face and will never see."
12 Rise up, Lord God! Lift up Your hand. Do not forget the afflicted.
13 Why has the wicked despised God? He says to himself, "You will not demand an account."
14 But You Yourself have seen trouble and grief, observing it in order to take the matter into Your hands. The helpless entrusts himself to You; You are a helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evil person; call his wickedness into account until nothing remains of it.[i]
16 The Lord is King forever and ever;[j] the nations will perish from His land.
17 Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;[k] You will strengthen their hearts. You will listen carefully,
18 doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed, so that men of the earth may terrify [them] no more.[l]

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Psalms 10 Commentary

Chapter 10

The psalmist complains of the wickedness of the wicked. (1-11) He prays to God to appear for the relief of his people. (12-18)

Verses 1-11 God's withdrawings are very grievous to his people, especially in times of trouble. We stand afar off from God by our unbelief, and then complain that God stands afar off from us. Passionate words against bad men do more hurt than good; if we speak of their badness, let it be to the Lord in prayer; he can make them better. The sinner proudly glories in his power and success. Wicked people will not seek after God, that is, will not call upon him. They live without prayer, and that is living without God. They have many thoughts, many objects and devices, but think not of the Lord in any of them; they have no submission to his will, nor aim for his glory. The cause of this is pride. Men think it below them to be religious. They could not break all the laws of justice and goodness toward man, if they had not first shaken off all sense of religion.

Verses 12-18 The psalmist speaks with astonishment, at the wickedness of the wicked, and at the patience and forbearance of God. God prepares the heart for prayer, by kindling holy desires, and strengthening our most holy faith, fixing the thoughts, and raising the affections, and then he graciously accepts the prayer. The preparation of the heart is from the Lord, and we must seek unto him for it. Let the poor, afflicted, persecuted, or tempted believer recollect, that Satan is the prince of this world, and that he is the father of all the ungodly. The children of God cannot expect kindness, truth, or justice from such persons as crucified the Lord of glory. But this once suffering Jesus, now reigns as King over all the earth, and of his dominion there shall be no end. Let us commit ourselves unto him, humbly trusting in his mercy. He will rescue the believer from every temptation, and break the arm of every wicked oppressor, and bruise Satan under our feet shortly. But in heaven alone will all sin and temptation be shut out, though in this life the believer has a foretaste of deliverance.

Footnotes 12

  • [a]. A few Hb mss and LXX connect Pss 9-10. Together these 2 psalms form a partial acrostic.
  • [b]. Or he blesses the greedy
  • [c]. Lit wicked according to the height of his nose
  • [d]. Ps 10:11; 14:1; 53:1
  • [e]. Or prosperous
  • [f]. Ps 49:11
  • [g]. Rm 3:13-14
  • [h]. Ps 17:11-12
  • [i]. Lit account You do not find
  • [j]. Ps 29:10
  • [k]. Other Hb mss, LXX, Syr read afflicted
  • [l]. Ps 68:5; Ex 22:22-24; Dt 10:18

Chapter Summary


This psalm in the Septuagint version, and those that follow it, is a part and continuation of the preceding psalm, and makes but one with it; hence in these versions the number of the following psalms differ from others, and what is the eleventh with others is the tenth with them, and so on to the hundred fourteenth and one hundred fifteenth, which also are put into one; but in order to make up the whole number of one hundred and fifty, the hundred sixteenth and the hundred forty seventh are both divided into two; and indeed the subject of this psalm is much the same with the former. Antichrist and antichristian times are very manifestly described; the impiety, blasphemy, and atheism of the man of sin; his pride, haughtiness, boasting of himself, and presumption of security; his persecution of the poor, and murder of innocents, are plainly pointed at; nor does the character of the man of the earth agree to well to any as to him: his times are times of trouble; but at the end of them the kingdom of Christ will appear in great glory, when the Gentiles, the antichristian nations, will perish out of his land, Ps 10:1-11,16,18.

Psalms 10 Commentaries

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