Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 10

Coke's Commentary on the Holy BibleCoke's Commentary

Verse 1

Psalms 10:0.

The Psalmist complaineth to God of the outrage of the wicked: he prayeth for remedy: he professeth his confidence.

Psalms 10:1. Why standest thou, &c.— Neither the author nor the particular occasion of this Psalm are certainly known; but it is, as Bishop Patrick observes, a most lively description of wicked men when they are in authority, which they abuse to the oppression of their inferiors, and make no conscience by what arts they bring about their designs. The Vulgate and LXX join this Psalm to the foregoing; and the Rabbis have a rule (which however will not hold good) that every psalm which has not any title prefixed to it, is to be ascribed to the same author who composed the preceding. Mudge observes, that the subject of this psalm is similar to that of the 59th, both of which seem to have been composed at the time when the Assyrians made inroads under Hezekiah.

Verse 3

Psalms 10:3. The wicked boasteth of his heart's desire For the wicked applaudeth himself upon the desire of his soul, and the greedy of gain blesseth himself. Mudge. Others read the latter clause, And the covetous blasphemeth, and contemneth the Lord.

Verse 4

Psalms 10:4. The wicked, &c.— The wicked in the haughtiness of his looks saith, God will never {require: / inquire:} all his thoughts are without God. The Psalmist in this verse has given us the true character of the ungodly of this world. By a long disuse of devotion, and open neglect of divine worship, he gradually forgets every duty that he owes his Maker: and when he has for some time habituated himself to live without God in the world, he then begins to doubt his very existence; he then begins to forget that in him we live and move, and have our being. See Delaney.

Verse 5

Psalms 10:5. His ways are always grievous "Are always inclined to mischief. Thy judgments, the vengeance and punishment with which thou threatenest those sorts of crimes, are far above, as if they rested above in the heavens, and would never come down upon earth, out of his sight:" i.e. he never represents them to his mind, but, as much as is possible for him, banishes all thoughts of them.

Verse 8

Psalms 10:8. His eyes are privily set against the poor {Are watching / Lay wait} for the poor. It may be proper to observe, once for all, that the word poor in the Psalms is not applied to those only who are distressed in their outward circumstances, but also to the poor in spirit; to the humble and afflicted.

Verse 9

Psalms 10:9. He lieth in wait He lurketh in ambush, as a lion in his den; he lurketh to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, by drawing him into his net.

Verse 10

Psalms 10:10. He croucheth As a lion lies down, and is couchant; by that means to secure himself of his prey, or to fit himself to seize it. This, says the Jewish Arabic translator, is a description of the fashion of a lion; for, when he means to leap, he first coucheth, that he may gather himself together; then he rouseth himself, and puts out his strength, that he may tear his prey: therefore when he speaketh thee fair beware of him, for this is but his deceit.

Verse 13

Psalms 10:13. Wherefore doth the wicked, &c.— We may collect from hence, that there were two kinds of infidels at the time this psalm was written; one of which made God a sort of Epicurean deity, and supposed him not to concern himself with the moral government of the world; the other altogether denied his being. See Psalms 10:4.

Verse 15

Psalms 10:15. Break thou the arm of the wicked i.e. "Deprive them of all power to do mischief." Mudge renders the next clause, Seek out his wickedness, &c.—Pursue his wickedness, so that thou find none left: properly, "Sit in judgment upon it, so that there be none left to be found: till there remains nothing to punish." Others say that the clause is, "Destroy him utterly, or so subdue him as to put it out of his power to do hurt;" which very well agrees with the former clause. Houbigant renders it, Seek out for his iniquity, that it may not prevail.

Verse 17

Psalms 10:17. Thou wilt prepare their heart Thou wilt strengthen their heart: Psalms 10:18. Thine ear will listen to judge the fatherless and oppressed; the poor creature of the land shall no longer live in terror. This translation is equally suited to the original as the Vulgate, and much more easy and intelligible. The land is God's land, mentioned Psalms 10:16. The latter clause may, however, be translated, This worthless mortal of earth shall no longer continue to play the tyrant: as much as to say, "This worthless mortal, how much soever a man of earth, cherished with all its favours, and supported with all its strength, shall no longer be able to terrify the people of Jehovah, the God of heaven." Mudge.

REFLECTIONS.—Two things the Psalmist complains of, 1. The distance of God from him, and the hiding of his face in the times of trouble, when most he needed the light of his countenance to cheer and comfort him. Note; (1.) The withdrawing of God's gracious presence, is one of the heaviest burdens of a believer's heart. (2.) If we are at any time left in a state of darkness, and deadness, it becomes us to inquire if there be not a cause, and whether it is not for the correction of our unfaithfulness.

2. The prevalence of the wicked, whose character in strong and striking colours he sets forth.
3. Having represented his own distress, and the wickedness of his enemies, David calls upon God to arise; not that he slept, and needed to be awaked; but to manifest the notice that he took of the ungodly, to punish them; and the remembrance that he had of the humble, to protect them. Lift up thine hand, forget not the humble; and high time it was to curb the insolence of the wicked, now exalted to the highest pitch, contemning God, his threatenings, omniscience, and judgments; he hath said in his heart thou wilt not require it. Note; Confidence of impunity is the great encouragement to sin; but how vain is the hope of the hypocrite? Thou had seen it; for from thine all-searching eye nothing is hid, nothing is secret; nor is there any darkness or shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, their inveterate malice against thy people, though but conceived in thought, to requite it with thy hand, in punishment adequate to their provocations. The poor committeth himself unto thee, in confidence that he shall not be disappointed, whether for body or soul, for time or eternity, he leaveth all his cares in the hands of a faithful creator, for thou art the helper of the fatherless; those who like me are destitute, and unable to provide for themselves, find in thee a guardian and protector. Therefore, in answer so their humble confidence, break thou the arm of the wicked and evil, be they men or devils, disappoint their devices, and restrain their malice; seek out his wickedness till thou find none, make thorough inquisition. And this the faithful may assuredly expect, for the Lord is king for ever and ever, to protect his loyal subjects, and to destroy his rebellious foes, and this for ever and ever. Therefore the heathen are perished out of his land; by David's victories they were expelled from Canaan; by the more glorious victories of the son of David, not a Canaanite shall be shortly left in the believer's heart; and when the Lord Jesus shall appear, to put a final period to the kingdom of Antichrist, and reign over his saints gloriously, not one sinner shall be suffered to have a place in that new heaven and earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: the secret prayers, which arise inwardly in the heart, God notices before the mouth speaks, and grants the request of the humble. Thou wilt prepare their heart, pouring out upon them a spirit of supplication, and teaching them how to pray; or confirm their heart, enable them to trust, and not be afraid. Thou wilt cause thine ear to hear, thou hast, and thou wilt continue so to do; ever attentive to the prayers of thy people, and ready to give more than they are able to ask or think: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, to plead their cause and rescue them from wrong; that the man of the earth may no more oppress, that wicked men in general, and the persecuting antichristian power alluded to in particular, may be utterly and finally destroyed, in the day when the glorious angel shall proclaim, Επεσεν επεσε Βαβυλον, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and Jesus shall complete the salvation of his faithful people, and put all their enemies and his for ever under their feet. Well may every faithful soul with eager expectation cry, Lord, how long?

Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 10". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/psalms-10.html. 1801-1803.
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