Psalms 10

Listen to Psalms 10
1 Why, O LORD, do you stand 1far away? Why 2do you hide yourself in 3times of trouble?
2 In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them 4be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
3 For the wicked 5boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain 6curses[a] and 7renounces the LORD.
4 In the pride of his face[b] the wicked does not 8seek him;[c] all his thoughts are, 9"There is no God."
5 His ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, 10out of his sight; as for all his foes, he 11puffs at them.
6 He 12says in his heart, "I shall not be moved; throughout all generations I 13shall not meet adversity."
7 14His mouth is filled with cursing and 15deceit and 16oppression; 17under his tongue are 18mischief and 19iniquity.
8 He sits in ambush in the villages; in 20hiding places he murders the innocent. His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
9 he lurks in ambush like 21a lion in his 22thicket; he 23lurks that he may seize the poor; he seizes the poor when he draws him into his 24net.
10 The helpless are crushed, sink down, and fall by his might.
11 He says in his heart, "God has forgotten, he has 25hidden his face, he 26will never see it."
12 27Arise, O LORD; O God, 28lift up your hand; 29forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked 30renounce God and say in his heart, "You will not 31call to account"?
14 But you do see, for you 32note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless 33commits himself; you have been 34the helper of the fatherless.
15 35Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; 36call his wickedness to account till you find none.
16 37The LORD is king forever and ever; the 38nations perish from his land.
17 O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will 39strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to 40do justice to the fatherless and 41the oppressed, so that 42man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

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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.

Cross References 42

  • 1. Ps. 22:1, 11, 19; Psalms 35:22; Psalms 38:21
  • 2. Psalms 13:1
  • 3. Psalms 9:9
  • 4. [Psalms 7:15, 16]
  • 5. Psalms 94:4; [Isaiah 3:9]
  • 6. ver. 13
  • 7. Job 1:5, 11
  • 8. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 9. Psalms 14:1; Psalms 53:1
  • 10. [Isaiah 26:11]
  • 11. Psalms 12:5
  • 12. ver. 11, 13
  • 13. [Revelation 18:7]
  • 14. Cited Romans 3:14
  • 15. Psalms 36:3
  • 16. Psalms 55:11; Psalms 72:14
  • 17. Job 20:12; [Psalms 140:3; Song of Songs 4:11]
  • 18. Psalms 7:14
  • 19. Psalms 5:5; Psalms 6:8
  • 20. Psalms 17:12; Psalms 64:4; [Habakkuk 3:14]
  • 21. Psalms 17:12
  • 22. Job 38:40
  • 23. Psalms 59:3; Micah 7:2
  • 24. Psalms 9:15
  • 25. [Psalms 73:11]; Job 22:13
  • 26. Psalms 94:7; Ezekiel 8:12; Ezekiel 9:9; [Zephaniah 1:12]
  • 27. See Psalms 3:7
  • 28. Micah 5:9
  • 29. Psalms 9:12, 18
  • 30. ver. 3
  • 31. Psalms 9:12
  • 32. Psalms 33:13
  • 33. 2 Timothy 1:12; 1 Peter 4:19
  • 34. Psalms 68:5; Psalms 146:9; Hosea 14:3
  • 35. See Psalms 37:17
  • 36. [Psalms 37:36; Isaiah 41:12]
  • 37. Psalms 29:10; Exodus 15:18; Jeremiah 10:10; Lamentations 5:19; Daniel 4:34; Daniel 6:26; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 11:15
  • 38. Deuteronomy 8:20
  • 39. 1 Chronicles 29:18
  • 40. Psalms 82:3; [Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 11:4]
  • 41. Psalms 9:9; Psalms 74:21
  • 42. Psalms 9:19, 20; Psalms 17:14

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Or and he blesses the one greedy for gain
  • [b]. Or of his anger
  • [c]. Or the wicked says, "He will not call to account"

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.