Psalms 10

1 [a]Why, LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
2 In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak, who are caught in the schemes he devises.
3 He boasts about the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the LORD.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by[b] him; he sneers at all his enemies.
6 He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
7 His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.
8 He lies in wait near the villages; from ambush he murders the innocent. His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
9 like a lion in cover he lies in wait. He lies in wait to catch the helpless; he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
10 His victims are crushed, they collapse; they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees.”
12 Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.
13 Why does the wicked man revile God? Why does he say to himself, “He won’t call me to account”?
14 But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.
16 The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.
17 You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
18 defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.

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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 33

  • 1. Psalms 22:1,11; Psalms 35:22; Psalms 38:21; Psalms 71:12
  • 2. Psalms 13:1
  • 3. ver 9; S Job 20:19
  • 4. Psalms 49:6; Psalms 94:4; Jeremiah 48:30
  • 5. S Job 1:5
  • 6. Psalms 14:1; Psalms 36:1
  • 7. Psalms 18:27; Psalms 101:5; Proverbs 6:17; Isaiah 13:11; Jeremiah 48:29
  • 8. Revelation 18:7
  • 9. Romans 3:14*
  • 10. Psalms 73:8; Psalms 119:134; Ecclesiastes 4:1; Isaiah 30:12
  • 11. S Job 20:12; Psalms 140:3
  • 12. Psalms 37:32; Psalms 59:3; Psalms 71:10; Proverbs 1:11; Jeremiah 5:26; Micah 7:2
  • 13. Hosea 6:9; Psalms 94:6
  • 14. S ver 2; Psalms 17:12; Psalms 59:3; Psalms 140:5
  • 15. S Job 18:8
  • 16. S Job 9:17
  • 17. Job 22:13; Psalms 42:9; Psalms 77:9
  • 18. S Job 22:14
  • 19. Psalms 3:7
  • 20. Psalms 17:7; Psalms 20:6; Psalms 106:26; Isaiah 26:11; Micah 5:9
  • 21. Psalms 9:12
  • 22. ver 3
  • 23. S Job 31:14
  • 24. ver 7; Psalms 22:11
  • 25. Psalms 37:5
  • 26. S Deuteronomy 33:29; Psalms 68:5
  • 27. S Job 31:22; Psalms 37:17
  • 28. S Exodus 15:18; Psalms 29:10
  • 29. S Deuteronomy 8:20
  • 30. S Psalms 9:12; 1 Chronicles 29:18; Psalms 34:15
  • 31. S Exodus 22:23
  • 32. S Deuteronomy 24:17; Psalms 146:9; Psalms 82:3
  • 33. S Psalms 9:9

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Psalms 9 and 10 may originally have been a single acrostic poem in which alternating lines began with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the Septuagint they constitute one psalm.
  • [b]. See Septuagint; Hebrew "/ they are haughty, and your laws are far from"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 10

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