Psalm 10[a]

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
    your laws are rejected by[b] him;
    he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
    He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”

His mouth is full of lies and threats;
    trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
    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 forever 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.

Psalm 10 Cultural Background

10:1 Why … ? This word begins with the Hebrew letter lamed, which continues the acrostic alphabet from Ps 9, uniting the two psalms thematically (see the article “Acrostic Psalms”). hide yourself. See note on 13:1.

10:8 villages. Most Israelites lived in unwalled villages clustered close to larger walled cities (“surrounding villages” is lit. the “daughter” of the city; cf. 1Ch 7:28). A walled city served as a place of refuge during times of war, provided a central market for villagers to buy and sell goods and produce, and offered important social services such as judicial resources. While traveling to and from cities and fields, people were exposed to danger from robbers lurking among rocks or trees, especially in the more rugged hill country and at night when returning from the fields.

10:16 King for ever. See notes on 97:599:1