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[a] The Cry of the Oppressed

The Lord is Concealed

10 Lord, why do you seem so far away when evil is near?
    Why have you hidden yourself when I need you the most?[b]
The arrogant in their elitist pride persecute the poor and helpless.
    May you pour out upon them
    the very evil they’ve dreamed up against others!
How they brag and boast of their cravings, exalting the greedy.
    They congratulate themselves as they despise you—
these arrogant ones, so smug and secure!
    In their delusion the wicked boast, saying,
    “God doesn’t care about what we do.
    There’s nothing to worry about!”
So successful are they in their schemes
    and prosperous in all their plans!
    Your laws are far from them;
    they scoff at their enemies.
They boast that neither God nor men will bring them down.
    They sneer at all their enemies, saying in their hearts,
    “We’ll have success in all we do
    and never have to face trouble.”
Their mouths spew out cursing, lies, and threats.
    Only trouble and turmoil come from all their plans.
8–9 Like beasts lurking in the shadows of the city,
    they crouch silently in ambush, waiting for the innocent to pass by.
    Pouncing on the poor, they catch them in their snare
    to murder their prey in secret
    as they plunder their helpless victims.
10 They crush the lowly as they fall beneath their brutal blows,
    watching their victims collapse in defeat!
11 Then they say to themselves,
    “The Lofty One[c] is not watching while we do this.
    He doesn’t even care! We can get away with it!”

The Lord is Concerned

12 Now arise, Yahweh-God! Crush them once and for all!
    Don’t forget the helpless and oppressed.
13 How dare the wicked think they’ll reject God and escape judgment.
    They say to themselves,
    “God won’t hold me accountable.”
14 Lord, I know you see all that they’re doing,
    noting their each and every deed.
    You know the trouble and turmoil they’ve caused.
    Now punish them thoroughly for all that they’ve done!
    The poor and helpless ones trust in you, Lord,
    for you are famous for being the helper of the fatherless.
    I know you won’t let them down.
15 Break the power of the wicked and all their strong-arm tactics.
    Search them out and destroy them
    for the evil things they’ve done.
16 You, Yahweh, are King forever and ever!
    All the nations will perish from your land.
17 Yahweh, you have heard the desires of the humble
    and seen their hopes.[d]
    You will hear their cries and encourage their hearts.
18 The orphans and the oppressed will be terrified no longer,
    for you will bring them justice, and no earth-dweller will trouble them again.

Footnotes

  1. 10 It is likely that Pss. 9 and 10 were originally one acrostic psalm. Eight Hebrew manuscripts unite them as well as the Aramaic, Septuagint, and the Latin Vulgate.
  2. 10:1 Or “when trouble is near.”
  3. 10:11 This is the Hebrew name for God El, the “Lofty [Exalted] God.”
  4. 10:17 The tenderhearted, compassionate God is able to hear our unspoken desires. What moves our hearts moves his heart. How kind is Yahweh!

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