Psalm 10

Need for God’s Justice

Lord,[a][b] why do you stand so far away?(A)
Why do you hide in times of trouble?(B)
In arrogance the wicked relentlessly pursue their victims;
let them be caught in the schemes they have devised.(C)

For the wicked one boasts about his own cravings;(D)
the one who is greedy curses[c] and despises the Lord.(E)
In all his scheming,
the wicked person arrogantly thinks,[d]
“There’s no accountability,
since there’s no God.”(F)
His ways are always secure;[e]
your lofty judgments have no effect on him;[f]
he scoffs at all his adversaries.(G)
He says to himself, “I will never be moved—
from generation to generation I will be without calamity.”(H)
Cursing, deceit, and violence fill his mouth;
trouble and malice are under his tongue.(I)
He waits in ambush near settlements;(J)
he kills the innocent in secret places.
His eyes are on the lookout for the helpless;(K)
he lurks in secret like a lion in a thicket.
He lurks in order to seize a victim;
he seizes a victim and drags him in his net.
10 So he is oppressed and beaten down;
helpless people fall because of the wicked one’s strength.(L)
11 He says to himself, “God has forgotten;
he hides his face and will never see.”(M)

12 Rise up, Lord God! Lift up your hand.(N)
Do not forget the oppressed.(O)
13 Why has the wicked person despised God?
He says to himself, “You will not demand an account.”(P)
14 But you yourself have seen trouble and grief,
observing it in order to take the matter into your hands.(Q)
The helpless one entrusts himself to you;
you are a helper of the fatherless.(R)
15 Break the arm of the wicked, evil person,(S)
until you look for his wickedness,
but it can’t be found.(T)

16 The Lord is King forever and ever;(U)
the nations will perish from his land.(V)
17 Lord, you have heard the desire of the humble;
you will strengthen their hearts.
You will listen carefully,(W)
18 doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed
so that mere humans from the earth may terrify them no more.(X)


  1. 10:1 Some Hb mss, LXX connect Pss 9–10.
  2. 10:1 Together Pss 9–10 form a partial acrostic.
  3. 10:3 Or he blesses the greedy
  4. 10:4 Lit wicked according to the height of his nose
  5. 10:5 Or prosperous
  6. 10:5 Lit judgments are away from in front of him

Psalm 10[a]

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?(A)
    Why do you hide yourself(B) in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,(C)
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts(D) about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.(E)
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.(F)
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.”(G)

His mouth is full(H) of lies and threats;(I)
    trouble and evil are under his tongue.(J)
He lies in wait(K) near the villages;
    from ambush he murders the innocent.(L)
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;(M)
    he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.(N)
10 His victims are crushed,(O) they collapse;
    they fall under his strength.
11 He says to himself, “God will never notice;(P)
    he covers his face and never sees.”(Q)

12 Arise,(R) Lord! Lift up your hand,(S) O God.
    Do not forget the helpless.(T)
13 Why does the wicked man revile God?(U)
    Why does he say to himself,
    “He won’t call me to account”?(V)
14 But you, God, see the trouble(W) of the afflicted;
    you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;(X)
    you are the helper(Y) of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked man;(Z)
    call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
    that would not otherwise be found out.

16 The Lord is King for ever and ever;(AA)
    the nations(AB) will perish from his land.
17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;(AC)
    you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,(AD)
18 defending the fatherless(AE) and the oppressed,(AF)
    so that mere earthly mortals
    will never again strike terror.


  1. Psalm 10:1 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.
  2. Psalm 10:5 See Septuagint; Hebrew / they are haughty, and your laws are far from

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