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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, Psalms 10:1.
Why standest thou afar off, O Lord?.... This psalm begins with a complaint which proceeds on two general heads; the one is with respect to God, his distance from his people, and desertion of them in times of trouble, in this verse; and the other is with respect to the wicked in some following ones. God by his infinite essence and power is everywhere, and is never far off from any of his creatures; and though his glorious presence is in heaven, which, with respect to us on earth, is a land afar off, yet this hinders not but that there is often great nearness between God and his people; and when he stands afar off from them in their apprehensions, it is when he withdraws his gracious presence from them, and defers help and assistance to them, and does not immediately and directly come and visit them: this they cannot bear, they complain; they wonder that, seeing they are the objects of his love, this should be his manner of conduct towards them; they expostulate with him, and inquire for what end and upon what account he should so use them, and most earnestly desire that he would haste and come unto them and help them; see Psalms 22:1;
[why] hidest thou [thyself] in times of trouble? when God seems to take no notice of his people, does not look upon them, but turns a deaf ear to them, he is said to hide his face, his eyes and ears, from them: and this is sometimes the case of the best of saints, as it has been of Job, David, Heman, and others; and though this is done in a sovereign way by God, who comes and goes when he pleases; for sensible communion with him as much depends upon his sovereign pleasure as the gift of his grace itself does; yet, generally speaking, the denial or withdrawing of his gracious presence is by way of resentment for some disagreeable conduct and behaviour of his people; and is consistent with his everlasting and unchangeable love to them, but is what fills them with grief and sorrow; nor can they: forbear making mournful complaints upon it; and this is aggravated when it is a time of trouble with them, either of soul trouble, by reason of the prevalence of unbelief, and the force of Satan's temptations; or of bodily affliction; though times of trouble here seem to design times of persecution, as may be concluded from the connection of these words with the following; and antichristian times are times of persecution: during the reign of antichrist, in which he is suffered to make war with the saints and overcome them; and during the church's being in the wilderness the space of one thousand two hundred and sixty days or years, God may seem to stand at a distance, and to hide himself from her.
The wicked in [his] pride doth persecute the poor,.... The "poor" is the good and gracious man, who is commonly poor in this world's things, and is sensibly poor in spirit, or sensible of his spiritual poverty; or he is so called because "afflicted", as the word signifies; and he is afflicted because he is poor: these two characters generally go together. The "wicked" man is the wicked one, the lawless one, the man of sin, and son of perdition, antichrist, the great persecutor of Christ's poor saints and faithful witnesses, more or less, ever since he has been in power; and which arises from the "pride" of his heart, not bearing that any should refuse to pay homage to him, contradict his will, or dissent from him. The word s signifies to follow after, to pursue, as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, interpret it; and "to pursue hotly", as it is rendered in
Genesis 31:36; and denotes the vehemence and heat of his wrath and fury, with which antichrist persecutes the followers of the Lamb; hence persecution is compared to the heat of the sun, Matthew 13:6; Some render the words, "through the pride of the wicked the poor is burned", or "the poor burns" t: which may be understood either literally, of the burning of the martyrs of Jesus by antichrist, as here in Queen Mary's days; and which was foretold, that some of the saints should fall by flame, as well as by sword, captivity, and spoil; and to which that part of the description of Christ answers, whose feet are said to be like fine brass, as if it burned in a furnace; and which is prefaced to the epistle to the church at Thyatira, which is an emblem of the apostate church: see Daniel 11:33; or figuratively, of the poor saints burning with grief at the pride and wickedness of the man of sin, and with zeal for the honour and glory of God; see 2 Corinthians 11:29 Song of Solomon 8:6;
let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined: we read the words as a petition; and so the sense is, let the wicked persecutors be taken in the wicked and crafty schemes which they have devised for the hurt of others, as they are, or will be; see Psalms 9:15. But the psalmist is not yet come to petitions, nor does he until Psalms 10:12; but is all along describing the wickedness of the wicked one. It seems better therefore to render the words as do the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, "they are taken in the devices that they have imagined": and the meaning is, that the poor, who are persecuted by the wicked, are taken by their crafty schemes they lay for them, as Jarchi interprets it, and are put to death by them. So these words show the issue and event of persecution: and this sense best agrees with the boasted success of the wicked man Psalms 10:3.
s ידלק "fervide persequitur", Junius Tremellius, Piscator "ferventer", Gejerus; so Ainsworth. t "Incenditur", V. L. "ardet", Tigurine version, Muis, Cocceius.
For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire,.... As antichrist does of his universal power over all bishops and princes, which his heart was long desiring after; of his being Christ's vicar, Peter's successor, and head of the church; and of having power in heaven, earth, and hell: he boasts of his wealth and riches, of the righteousness and merits of saints, of works of supererogation, a stock of which he pretends to have in his hands to dispense to others: he boasts of his own holiness and infallibility, and of miracles, signs, and lying wonders done by his creatures, and of his great success in destroying those that oppose him; see Revelation 18:7. The words may be rendered, "the wicked praiseth himself for the desire of his heart" u, so the Chaldee paraphrase; to which agrees Jarchi's gloss,
"wicked Esau praiseth himself, because he hath obtained the desire of his soul:''
and thus it is usual for proud, haughty, wicked men, as the Assyrian monarch, Nebuchadnezzar, and so the man of sin, to ascribe whatsoever they have or do to their own power and prudence; see Isaiah 10:12 Daniel 4:30. Or they may be rendered, "he praiseth the wicked for his heart's desire" w; or for his lusts, for his indulging them: for a wicked man not only delights in committing sin himself, but he also takes pleasure in those that do it; and some of the antichristian party have even wrote in commendation of the most unnatural lusts;
and blesseth the covetous, [whom] the Lord abhorreth: the covetous man is one that makes no use of what he has but for himself; and oftentimes withholds that which is meet from himself, as well as from others; and who makes use of unlawful ways to get, retain, and increase wealth, and is never satisfied: such an one God abhors, because he is an idolater, he has other gods before him; he worships his gold, be sets his affection on it, places his confidence in it, and expects protection and security from it, to a neglect of divine Providence; and yet the wicked man blesses him, calls his covetousness frugality and good husbandry; ascribes what he has to his diligence, care, and industry, and bestows gifts upon him. The words may be rendered, "the covetous man blesses himself" x; with the good things he has laid up for many years; he pronounces himself blessed, and promises himself a great deal of happiness, in futurity; and ascribes all he has to his own hands. Or, "the covetous man curses, he abhors the Lord" y; for the same word in the Hebrew language signifies to bless and curse, Job 1:5, which Aben Ezra on the place observes; and it is applicable enough to antichrist, who opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven; see Revelation 13:6.
u כי הלל רשע על תאות נפשו "nam laudat improbus animam suam in desiderio ipsius", Junius Tremellius so Michaelis. w "Quoniam laudat ipsium pro desiderio animi sui", Tigurine version. x ובוצע ברך "et avarus benedicit sibi", Piscator; so Ainsworth. y "Avarus maledicit sive blasphemat Jehovam", Tarnovius, Hammond; so some in Michaelis.
The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek [after God],.... We supply it, "after God"; as do the Targum and Kimchi on the place: the sense is, he will not seek to God for counsel or assistance, he will not pray unto him; which is the character of every unregenerate man, Romans 3:11; or, he will not inquire into the will of God, to know what is right or what is wrong, but will do what seems best in his own eyes: and this arises from the pride of his heart, which shows itself in his countenance, in his proud and haughty look. It is said of the little horn, who is antichrist, that he has a look more stout than his fellows, Daniel 7:20. The words may be rendered, "the wicked inquires not into the height of his anger"; so Ainsworth observes; that is, of God's anger; he is not concerned about it; he neither fears God nor regards men. Jarchi's sense of the words is,
"all his thoughts say unto him, God will not inquire into everything that I shall do, for there is no judgment.''
God [is] not in all his thoughts; nor in any of them, for they are evil continually; and if he does at any time think of him, his thoughts of him are wrong; he thinks he is altogether such an one as himself: or, "all his thoughts [are, there is] no God" z: though he does not choose to say so, he thinks so; at least, he wishes it may be so; and he works himself into such impiety and atheism as to deny the providence of God, and thinks that he does not govern the world, nor concern himself with what is done below; that he takes no notice of men's actions, nor will call them to an account for them; and that there will be no future state or judgment, in which secret as well as open things will be made manifest: or, as the Chaldee paraphrase glosses it, "that all his thoughts are not manifest before the Lord".
z אין אלהים כל מזמותיו "non Deus, omnes cogitationes ejus", Montanus, Vatablus, Muis; "nullum esse Deum hae sunt omnes cogitationes ejus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Ainsworth.
His ways are always grievous,.... To God and to his people; or, "his ways cause terror" a, so Aben Ezra; make men fear; as antichrist has made the whole world tremble at him, Revelation 13:4; or, "his ways are defiled", as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin render it; for to him is nothing pure, his mind and conscience being defiled, Titus 1:15; or, "his ways always remain" b; they are always the same, there is no change in them for the better: or they "prosper" c as Jarchi interprets it; and this is sometimes stumbling to the saints,
thy judgments [are] far above, out of his sight: meaning either the laws, statutes, and commandments of God, which are not taken notice of by him; but his own decrees or orders are set in the room of them; or the examples of punishment inflicted on wicked men, as on the old world, on Sodom and Gomorrah, the Egyptians, and other nations; these are not regarded, when they should be a terror to him;
[as for] all his enemies, he puffeth at them; who are the poor saints, and are looked upon by antichrist as feeble creatures, and all their efforts against him and his kingdom are treated with contempt: he blows upon them, and suggests that he can cause them to fall with the breath of his mouth, or strike them down with a straw or a feather; see
a יחילו "terrent", Cocceius. b "Permanent sive perdurant", Lutherus, Gejerus. c "Prosperantur", Musculus, Calvin, Ainsworth, Piscator.
He hath said in his heart,.... To and within himself, he thought in his own mind; for the thought is the word or speech of the mind, λογος ενδιαυετος;
I shall not be moved; from his prosperous and happy condition, abounding: with riches and honours; from his seat of empire, over kings, princes, and the nations of the world; flattering himself that it would never be otherwise with him than it is: even "to generation and generation", I shall not be moved; so the words may be rendered;
for [I shall] never [be] in adversity, or "in evil" d: meaning either the evil of sin; so asserting his innocence, wiping himself clean of all iniquity, claiming to himself the title of "holiness" itself, and the character of infallibility; giving out that he is impeccable, and cannot err; when he is not only almost, but altogether, in all evil; and is ο ανομος, the lawless and wicked one, the man of sin, who is nothing but sin itself. The Targum paraphrases the whole thus; "I shall not be moved from generation to generation from doing evil"; and so it is a boast of impiety, and that none can restrain him from it, no one having a superior power over him; see Psalms 12:4. Or the evil of affliction, or calamity; wherefore we render it "adversity", so Jarchi and Aben Ezra understand it: the note of the former is,
"evil shall not come upon me in my generation,''
or for ever; and the latter compares it with Numbers 11:15; Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it of long life. It is a vaunt of antichrist, promising himself a continuance of his grandeur, ease, peace, and prosperity; in which he will be wretchedly disappointed. The language and sense are much the same with that of the antichristian Babylon,
d ברע "in malo", Montanus, Junius Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Gejerus so Ainsworth.
His mouth is full of cursing,.... Or, "he has filled his mouth with cursing" e God and good men, his superiors, himself and others. The word signifies "an oath"; and may design either a profane oath, taking the name of God in vain; or an oath on a civil account, a false oath, taken with a design to defraud and deceive others, as follows, and intends perjury; and this, as applicable to antichrist, regards his mouth speaking great things and blasphemies against God, and uttering curses and anathemas against the saints, Revelation 13:5;
and deceit and fraud; such as flattery and lying, which are both used by him with an intention to impose upon and deceive. The apostle, in Romans 3:14; renders both these words by one, "bitterness"; which may be said of sin in general, which is a very bitter thing; though it is rolled as a sweet morsel in the mouth of a wicked man, yet in the issue it is bitterness to him: and it is applicable to sinful words, which are bitter in their effects to those against whom they are spoken, or who are deceived and imposed upon by them: and, as they refer to antichrist, may have respect to the lies in hypocrisy spoken by him, and to the deceitfulness of unrighteousness, by which he works upon those that perish, 1 Timothy 4:2;
under his tongue [is] mischief and vanity; alluding to serpents, who have little bags of poison under their teeth; see Psalms 140:3; Kimchi and Ben Melech observe, that the heart is under the tongue, being lower than it, and so denotes the wickedness which that is full of, and devises continually, and is latent in it until discovered; and is mischievous iniquity, injurious to God, and the honour of his law, and to fellow creatures; and especially to the saints, whose persons, characters, and estates, are aimed at; but in the issue it is all vanity, and a fruitless attempt, being blasted by God, and overruled for good to him; see Isaiah 54:17;
e אלה פיהו מלא.
He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages,.... Which were by the wayside, where thieves and robbers harboured, and out of which they came, and robbed passengers as they came by. The word f signifies "palaces" or "courts": and so it is rendered by the Chaldee paraphrase and Syriac version; and so the allusion is not to mean thieves and robbers, but to persons of note and figure. Hence the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, render it, "he sitteth in lurking places with the rich"; and may be fitly applied to the pope and his cardinals. Antichrist sits in the temple of God, and by his emissaries gets into the villages, the particular churches and congregations of saints, where they lie in ambush to do mischief, to corrupt their faith, worship, and manners; and like thieves and robbers enter in to steal, kill, and destroy;
in secret places doth he murder the innocent; the harmless lambs and sheep of Christ; who, though they are not without sin in themselves, yet are innocent with respect to the cause and the things for which they suffer: these are the saints and prophets and martyrs of Jesus, whose blood is shed by antichrist; and the taking away of their lives is reckoned murder with God; and is so styled in the Scriptures, Revelation 9:21; though the antichristian party call it doing God good service, and impute it to zeal for the good of holy church; and yet this they choose to do in secret, by private massacres, or by the inquisition; which having condemned men to death, delivers them over to the secular power to execute the sentence on them: just as the Jews delivered Christ to the Roman governor, to shift off the sin and blame from themselves; murder being what no one cares to be known in, or chargeable with;
his eyes are privily set against the poor: the word חלכה, rendered "poor", is used nowhere but in this psalm, in which it is used three times, here, and in Psalms 10:1; and in the plural number in
Psalms 10:10. It is translated "poor" both in the Chaldee paraphrase and Septuagint version, and in those that follow them. In the Arabic language it signifies "black" g, and may design such who are black by reason of persecution and affliction, who go mourning all the day long on account of sin, their own and others; and because of the distresses and calamities of the church and people of God. These the eyes of the wicked watch and observe, and are set against them to do them all the mischief they can; their eyes are full of envy and indignation at them, though it is all in a private and secret way. The allusion is to thieves and robbers, who hide themselves in some secret place, and from thence look out for them that pass by, and narrowly observe whether they are for their purpose, and when it will be proper to come out and seize upon them.
f חצרים αυλας, Symmachus in Drusius; "atriorum", Munster; so Hammond, Ainsworth, & Michaelis. g "Chalae, valde niger fuit", Golius, col. 646.
He lieth in wait secretly as a lion,.... The first beast in
Revelation 13:2; is said to have a mouth like a lion, and the second beast in
Psalms 10:11; spake like a dragon; and both design one and the same, antichrist, in his twofold capacity, civil and ecclesiastical; this metaphor of the lion lying in wait secretly for his prey denotes the insidious methods used by antichrist to destroy the faithful witnesses of Christ; who lies like a lion
in his den, in the temple of God, now become a den of thieves;
he lieth in wait to catch the poor: to snatch and carry them away captive as his prey; see Revelation 13:10;
he doth catch the poor when he draweth him into his net; this metaphor is taken from fowlers, who spread nets, into which they allure and draw the birds and catch them. The allurements, snares, and nets, which antichrist lays to catch the poor saints and people of God in, are the riches and honours of this world, great pretensions to holiness, devotion; and religion, and many lying signs and wonders.
He croucheth [and] humbleth himself,.... As the lion before he leaps and seizes on his prey, and as the fowler creepeth upon the ground to draw the bird into his net and catch it; so the antichristian beast has two horns like a lamb; though he has the mouth of a lion, and speaks like a dragon, he would be thought to be like the Lamb of God, meek, and lowly, and humble, and therefore calls himself "servus servorum", "the servant of servants"; but his end is,
that the poor may fall by his strong ones; the word for "poor" is here used, as before observed on Psalms 10:8, in the plural number, and is read by the Masorites as two words, though it is written as one, and is by them and other Jewish writers h interpreted a multitude, company, or army of poor ones, whose strength is worn out; these weak and feeble ones antichrist causes to fall by his strong ones; either by his strong decrees, cruel edicts, and severe punishments, as by sword, by flame, by captivity and by spoils, Daniel 11:33; or by the kings of the earth and their armies, their mighty men of war, their soldiers, whom he instigates and influences to persecute their subjects, who will not receive his mark in their right hands or foreheads, Revelation 13:15. It is very observable, that those persecuted by antichrist are so often in this prophetic psalm called "poor"; and it is also remarkable, that there were a set of men in the darkest times of Popery, and who were persecuted by the Papists, called the "poor" men of Lyons: the whole verse may be rendered and paraphrased thus, "he tears in pieces", that is, the poor, whom he catches in his net; "he boweth himself", as the lion does, as before observed; "that he may fall", or rush upon; with his strong ones, his mighty armies, "upon the multitude of the poor".
h Jarchi, Kimchi, & Ben Melech in loc.
He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten,.... Meaning either his own sins, because they are not immediately punished; wherefore he hopes to go on for ever with impunity, but will be mistaken, for God will remember the iniquities of Babylon, and render to her double, Revelation 18:5; see Amos 7:17; or else the poor ones he oppresses; for though they seem for a while to be forgotten by God, they are not, a book of remembrance is written for them;
he hideth his face; that is, from his poor saints, which is true oftentimes; but then the use the wicked one makes of it is bad, namely, to insult them on that account, and to imagine that it is grateful to God, and doing him good service, to afflict and persecute them; and that God will never regard them, nor return to them more, as follows;
he will never see [it]; or them; he will never more look upon the poor, he will no more regard them, and take notice of them and their afflictions; than which nothing is more false; for though he hides his face for a moment, yet with everlasting kindness will he gather them to himself; and he beholds all their oppressions and afflictions, and not as a bare spectator; he sympathizes with them, and delivers them out of them. Or "he will never" the wickedness committed by the wicked; which is a very foolish thought, since what is done in the dark, and in the most secret manner, is seen by God, the darkness and the light are alike to him; he is all-seeing and ever-seeing, and everywhere seeing; and he it is that has made the eye, and shall not he see? Psalms 94:5; the sense of the whole in general is, that God takes no notice of good men or bad men, nor of what is done by either of them; he does not concern himself with the affairs of this world, which is an impious denial of divine Providence; see Ezekiel 9:9.
Arise, O Lord,.... See Psalms 3:7;
O God, lift up thine hand; either on the behalf of his people, to help and deliver them; his hand may be said to be let down when their enemies prevail, and to be lifted up or exalted when it does valiantly, and works salvation for them; so when Moses's hands were let down Amalek prevailed, and when his hands were lifted up Israel prevailed,
Exodus 17:11; or against their enemies, to strike them, to inflict punishment upon them, as God's hand is said to be stretched out against the Egyptians, and to lie upon them, when he sent his plagues among them, Exodus 7:4; and a dreadful thing it is to fall both into and under the hand of the living God, and to feel the weight of the lighting down of his arm with indignation. The Targum understands it as a gesture of swearing; see Genesis 14:22; and paraphrases it, "confirm the oath of thine hand"; either sworn in wrath against his enemies, or in love to his people; either of which is sure and certain, and according to the immutable counsel of his will;
forget not the humble; the followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, the Lamb of God, by which character the saints are distinguished from the antichristian party, Revelation 14:4; these are such who are made so by the Spirit of God, who in conversion brings down the pride and haughtiness of man, that Christ and his grace may be alone exalted; these have the meanest thoughts of themselves, and the best of others; their motto is,
"less than the least of all saints, and the chief of sinners;''
they envy not the gifts and graces of others, and ascribe all they have and are to the free grace of God; they are not easily provoked, they patiently bear injuries, and quietly submit to the adverse dispensations of Providence: the word in the original text is read "humble", but written "afflicted": both characters generally meet together in the people of God; Revelation 14:4- :; this prayer for the humble is a prayer of faith; for though the humble may seem to be forgotten by God, they are not, they are precious in his sight; he dwells among them, he gives more grace unto them, he comforts them when disconsolate, he feeds them when they are hungry, he teaches and guides them when they want direction, he lifts them up when they are cast down, and beautifies them with salvation.
Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God?.... God may be said to be contemned or despised, when his being, perfections, and providence are denied, or called in question, or abused, Psalms 10:9; when his word is derided, the great things of his law are counted as a strange thing Hosea 8:12, and the truths of his Gospel are reckoned foolishness; and instead of these, the decrees, doctrines, and traditions of men, are set up, as by antichrist; and when his ministers, and especially his Son, are treated with disdain, Luke 10:16;
he hath said in his heart, thou wilt not require [it], or "seek [it]" i; or inquire after it, his iniquity; the sense is, that God will make no inquiry after sin, and bring it into judgment, unto account, and under examination; or will not make inquisition, that is, for blood, for the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus, shed by antichrist; or will not require it at his hands, or recompense vengeance for it: all which is false and vain; the contrary to it will be found true.
i לא תדרוש "te non inquisiturum", Piscator, Michaelis; so Ainsworth.
Thou hast seen [it],.... Though the wicked say God will never see, Psalms 10:11; he sees all things in general, all men and all their actions; all are manifest and open to him, and everything in particular, especially the wickedness of men; even that which is said or thought in the heart;
for thou beholdest mischief and spite; that mischief which arises from spite or malice in the heart; God beholds the inward principle from whence it proceeds, as well as that itself; the mischief devised in the heart, on the bed, and which lies under the tongue, designed against the people of God, either to the injury of their characters and estates, or to their bodies, and even to their souls, as much as in them lies, proceeding from implacable malice and enmity to them;
to requite [it] with thy hand: of power, to retaliate it upon their own heads, to render tribulation to them that trouble the saints, which is but a righteous thing with God: or "to put [it] in thy hand" k; and the sense is, that God looks upon all the injuries the wicked out of spite devise to do to his people, and puts them in his hand, that they may be ever before him, and always in his sight, and he will take a proper opportunity of avenging them. The Targum interprets it of God's rewarding good men, as well as punishing the wicked, paraphrasing the whole thus,
"it is manifest before thee that thou wilt send sorrow and wrath upon the wicked; thou lookest to render a good reward to the righteous with thy hand;''
the poor committeth himself unto thee: his body, and the outward concerns of life, as to a faithful Creator; his soul, and the spiritual and eternal welfare of it, as to the only Saviour and Redeemer; he commits all his ways to him, as the God of providence and grace; and at last he commits his spirit to him at death, as to his covenant God and Father: the words may be rendered, "the poor leaveth upon thee" l; that is, he leaves himself and his upon the Lord; he leaves his burden on him, he casts all his care upon him, as he is advised and encouraged to do; he leaves his cause with him to plead it for him, who will plead it thoroughly and maintain it: the phrase is expressive of the poor's faith and hope in God; hence the Chaldee paraphrase renders it, "on thee will thy poor ones hope"; for the supply of their wants, and for help and assistance against their enemies;
thou art the helper of the fatherless; God is the Father of them, provides for them, supplies, supports, and defends them; nor will he in a spiritual sense leave his people orphans or comfortless, but will visit and help them; see Psalms 68:5;
k לתת בידך "ut ponas in manibus tuis", Vatablus, Cocceius. l עליך יזוב חלכה "super te relinquit pauper", Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Cocceius.
Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil [man],.... His power and strength, so that he shall not be able to hold the sword, to strike a blow, or do any hurt to the people of God; see Ezekiel 30:21. This prayer is in some measure already fulfilled in antichrist, the man of sin, or pope of Rome; though his kingdom is not broke to pieces; as it will be when Christ's kingdom shall be more visibly set up, to which reference is had in Psalms 10:16; see Daniel 2:44; yet his strength is weakened, his arm is broken, he has not the power he had, nor can he tyrannise and do the mischief he once did: "but as [for] the evil man" m, for so the words should be read, there being an "athnach" under the word "wicked", which ends the proposition there:
seek out his wickedness [till] thou find none; which designs a thorough search after sin, full punishment of it, and the entire ruin and destruction of the wicked; and the sense is, that God would make a strict inquiry into the wickedness of the man of sin, which he promised himself he would not, Psalms 10:13; and that he would punish him and his followers to the uttermost for it, until there should not be one of the antichristian party found upon earth; with which sense agrees
Psalms 10:16; see Psalms 104:35.
m ורע "improbum quod attinet, requiras", c. Gejerus so Michaelis.
The Lord [is] King for ever and ever,.... Christ was King from everlasting, and during the Old Testament dispensation he was promised and prophesied of as King; and he had a kingdom when he was here on earth, though not of this world; nor was it with observation. At his ascension to heaven, and session at the right hand of God, he sat down upon the same throne with his Father, and was made or declared Lord and Christ, and appeared more visibly in his kingly office; and in the latter day it will be yet more manifest that he is King of saints, and when indeed he will be King over all the earth, and his kingdom will be an everlasting one: he will have no successor in it, nor will any usurper obtain any more; the devil, beast, and false prophet, will be cast into the lake of fire; all antichristian states will be destroyed, and all authority, rule, and power, put down; nor can his kingdom ever be subverted, he must reign till all enemies are put under his feet; he will reign to the end of the present world, and with the saints a thousand years in the new heaven and earth, and in the ultimate glory to all eternity; nor will his government cease when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to the Father, only the mode of the administration of it. Here begins the song of praise; the reign of Christ is matter of joy; see Psalms 97:1;
the Heathen are perished out of his land: not the seven nations which were driven out of the land of Canaan, to make way for the people of Israel, that was long ago; nor the wicked and degenerate Jews, called the Heathen, Psalms 2:1; compared with Acts 4:27; on whom, and on whose temple, city, and nation, Christ's native land, wrath is come to the uttermost; and they are perished out of it: nor hypocrites out of churches, which are Christ's property; but the antichristian party out of the world, which is Christ's land by creation, as God, and by the gift of his father to him, as Mediator. The followers of antichrist are called Gentiles, and the nations of the earth, Revelation 11:2; and these will be no more; they will be utterly destroyed, when the man of sin shall be consumed with the breath of Christ's mouth and the brightness of his coming. The seventh vial will clear the world of all the remains of Christ's enemies: this also is cause of rejoicing,
Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble,.... See
Psalms 10:12; for the coming of Christ's kingdom, and that the kingdoms of this world may become his; for the destruction of antichrist, and for the avenging the blood of the saints. The prayers of God's people sometimes lie in inward and secret desires of the soul, and are not expressed in words; and these desires are all before the Lord, and are well known unto him; yea, such prayers of the heart, and which come from it, are principally regarded by him; they being his own preparation, as is suggested in the next clause, and the breathings of his Spirit; and especially the desires of humble souls are regarded, whose prayers he never despises, nor sends them away empty, but fills with his good things;
thou wilt prepare their heart; for prayer, by pouring a spirit of grace and supplication on them, impressing their minds with a sense of things to be prayed for, and drawing out the desires of their souls unto them, and making intercession for them with groanings according to the will of God, and so helping their infirmities; and it is God's work to prepare the heart for prayer, as well as to put words into the mouth,
Proverbs 16:1; or "thou wilt direct their heart" n; to the object of prayer, himself, and to the things to be prayed for, for they know not what to pray for, nor how as they should; and to what may encourage to it, as the love of God, the covenant of grace, the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ: or "confirm" or "establish their heart" o; strengthen and fix them, that they be not wavering and doubtful, but certain and assured of success, believing that their desires will be fulfilled in God's own time;
thou wilt cause thine ear to hear; God has an ear to hear the prayers of his people, nor is his ear heavy that it cannot hear; his ears are open to the cries of righteous ones; nor will he ever turn a deaf ear to them, but will give an answer in his own time and way; which is an instance of his sovereign grace and goodness. These words express the faith of the psalmist in God being a God hearing and answering prayer, particularly in things relating to the ruin of antichrist and his followers, and to the kingdom and glory of his son Jesus Christ.
n תכין לבם "dirigis", Vatablus; "diriges", Tigurine version. o "Confirmas", Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis; "confirmes", Cocceius; "confirma", Junius & Tremellius.
To judge the fatherless and the oppressed,.... That is, God will cause his ear to hear the cries of his people, so as to avenge the wrongs done to the fatherless, and them that are oppressed by the man of sin; see Revelation 11:18;
that the man of the earth may no more oppress: or "terrify" p, the dear children of God, and faithful witnesses of Christ, as he has done; for by "the man of the earth" is not meant carnal worldly men in general, "the wicked of the earth", as the Targum renders it; who are so called because their original is from the earth, and they dwell in earthly tabernacles, and shall return to the earth again, and are earthly minded men, and have much of this world's things; and are therefore sometimes called the men and children of this world, and who, generally speaking, are oppressors of the saints; and who shall cease to be so in the latter day, when the kingdom shall be given to the saints of the most High; but particularly the man of sin, the Romish antichrist, seems intended, who is the beast that is risen up out of the earth, Revelation 13:11; and so the words may be rendered here, "the man out of the earth" q; whose kingdom and government is an earthly one, and is supported by the kings of the earth, and with earthly power and grandeur, and with earthly views and worldly ends: he has been the great oppressor and terrifier of the poor people of God; but when Christ comes to avenge them on him, he will no more oppress, he will be taken and cast alive into the lake of fire; see Revelation 13:10. The words may be rendered according to the accents thus, "to judge the fatherless and the oppressed; he shall not add any more": for there is an "athnach" which makes a proposition "under" עוד, "any more": and the sense is, God shall so thoroughly avenge the injuries of the fatherless and the oppressed, that there will be no need to add thereunto or repeat the vengeance, it will be an utter destruction; and then follows another distinct end of causing his ear to hear, namely, "to shake terribly the man of the earth", or "to shake terribly man from off the earth" r, the man of sin, as before; see Isaiah 2:19; or, as Jarchi interprets the words, "to beat and break in pieces"; that is, antichrist and his kingdom; so Montanus.
p לערוץ "perterrefacere", Piscator; "terrere", Musculus, Vatablus; so Ainsworth. q אנוש מן הארץ "homines de terra", Pagninus, Montanus. r So Jarchi from Aben Ezra.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 10". "Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12