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A Prayer for Judging the Wicked

10 [a]Why do you stand far away, Lord?
    Why do you hide in times of distress?
The wicked one arrogantly pursues the afflicted,[b]
    who are trapped in the schemes he devises.
For the wicked one boasts about his own desire;
    he blesses the greedy
        and despises the Lord.
With haughty arrogance, the wicked thinks,
    “God will not seek justice.”[c]
        He always presumes “There is no God.”
Their ways always seem prosperous.

Your judgments are on high,
        far away from them.

They scoff at all their enemies.
They say to themselves,
    “We will not be moved throughout all time,
        and we will not experience adversity.”
Their mouth is full of curses, lies, and oppression,
    their tongues[d] spread trouble and iniquity.
They wait[e] in ambush in the villages,
    they kill the innocent in secret.
Their eyes secretly watch the helpless,
    lying in wait like a lion in his den.
They lie in wait to catch the afflicted.
    They catch the afflicted when they pull him into their net.

10 The victim[f] is crushed,
    and he sinks down;
        the helpless fall by their might.
11 The wicked say to themselves,
    “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face,
    he will never see it.”

12 Rise up, Lord!
    Raise your hand, God.
        Don’t forget the afflicted!
13 Why do the wicked despise God
    and say to themselves, “God[g] will not seek justice.”?[h]

14 But you do see!
    You take note of trouble and grief
        in order to take the matter into your own hand.
The helpless one commits himself[i] to you;
    you have been the orphan’s helper.

15 Break the arm of the wicked and evil man;
    so that when you seek out his wickedness
        you will find it no more.
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
    nations will perish from his land.

17 Lord, you heard the desire of the afflicted;
    you will strengthen them,[j]
        you will listen carefully,
18 to do justice for the orphan[k] and the oppressed,
    so that men of the earth may cause terror no more.


  1. Psalm 10:1 Psalms 9 & 10 constitute a single psalm in the LXX.
  2. Psalm 10:2 Or the poor
  3. Psalm 10:4 The Heb. lacks justice
  4. Psalm 10:7 Lit. under his tongue
  5. Psalm 10:8 Lit. sit
  6. Psalm 10:10 Lit. He
  7. Psalm 10:13 Lit. He
  8. Psalm 10:13 The Heb. lacks justice
  9. Psalm 10:14 The Heb. lacks himself
  10. Psalm 10:17 Lit. strengthen their heart
  11. Psalm 10:18 Or fatherless