PSALMS 10      Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page


  1. Wherefore, O jehovah, stand you afar off? Wherefore hide you yourself in times of distress?
  2. Through the pride of the wicked the poor is grievously anguished; they are taken in the devices that they have contrived.
  3. For the wicked boasts over his soul's desire, and the covetous blesses himself therein.
  4. The wicked, in his pride, despises jehovah, saying, He will not make inquiry. All his thoughts are, There is no god.
  5. His ways are crooked at all times: your judgements, being high, are not before him: as for all his adversaries, he puffs at them.
  6. He says in his heart, I shall not be moved to generation and generation; I who am not in calamity.
  7. His mouth is full of cursing, and deceits, and fraud: under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
  8. He sits in the lurking places of the enclosures: in his hiding-places does he slay the innocent: his eyes watch for the helpless.
  9. He lies in wait in his hiding-place like a lion in his covert: he lies in wait to make prey of the poor. He makes prey of the poor by drawing him into his net.
  10. He crouches, he stoops down, and the helpless fall into his toils.
  11. He says in his heart, god has forgotten: he hides his face; he will never see it.
  12. Arise, jehovah: O god, lift up your hand: forget not the poor.
  13. Wherefore does the wicked despise god? wherefore does he say in his heart. You will not make inquiry?
  14. You do see; for you behold mischief and grief, to put it in your hand. To you the helpless commits his cause: you are the helper of the orphan.
  15. Break you the arm of the wicked and the evil. You shall search for his wickedness; you shall not find it.
  16. JEHOVAH is king for ever and ever: the nations are perished out of his land.
  17. You have heard the desire of the poor, O JEHOVAH; you confirm their heart. You will incline your ear to hear.
  18. To judge the orphan and oppressed. Never more shall man expel them out of the land.

The Internal Sense

That the wicked do evil to the good, and deny god, and are hypocrites and deceivers, verses 1-11. A prayer to the father that they may be requited and brought to judgement, verses 12-18.


Verses 11, 12, 13. He says in his heart, god (El) has forgotten. O god, (El), lift up your hand. Wherefore does the wicked despise god (Elohim.) In the Word, jehovah, or the lord, in several places is named el in the singular, also eloah, and is likewise named elohim in the plural, each sometimes in one verse, or in one series; the reason why he is so named cannot be known, unless the internal sense of the Word be known. That el involves one thing and eloah another, and elohim another, every one may conclude from this, that the Word is divine, that is, derives its origin from the Divine, and that it is hence inspired as to all expressions, yea, as to the smallest apex. What is involved in el, when it is named, and what in elohim, may appear from what has been abundantly shown above, namely that el and elohim, or god, is mentioned, when truth is treated of; see AC 709, 2586, 2769, 2807, 2822; hence it is that by el and elohim, in the supreme sense, is signified the Divine Spiritual, for this is the same with divine truth, but with the difference, that by el is signified truth in the will and act, which is the same thing with the good of truth; see AC 4337. Elohim in the plural is used, because by the divine truth are meant all truths, which are from the lord; hence, also, the angels in the Word are sometimes called elohim, or gods, (AC 4295), as will likewise appear from the passages below, adduced from the Word. Inasmuch now as El and Elohim, in the supreme sense, signify the lord as to truth, they also signify him as to power, for it is truth of which power is predicated, for good acts by truth, when it exercises power; see AC 3091; therefore, wherever power derived from truth is treated of in the Word, the lord is called El and Elohim, or god; hence, also, it is that El in the original tongue, likewise signifies one who is powerful. That the names El and Elohim, or god, are used in the Word where the Divine Spiritual is treated of, or. what is the same thing, the divine truth, and thence the divine power, may further appear from these passages: "god said to Israel in the visions of the night, I am the god of the gods (El elohe) of your father: be not afraid of descending into Egypt; because I will make you there into a great nation;" (Gen 46:2, 3) inasmuch as these words were spoken to Israel, whom he would make into a great nation, and thereby truth and the power thereof are treated of, it is said El elohe, which in the proximate sense signifies god of gods. That elohim in the proximate sense are gods, because they are predicated of truths and the power thence derived, is evident also from the following passage: "There Jacob built an altar, and called the place El-bethel, because there the elohim were revealed to him, in his fleeing before his brother;" (Genesis 35:7) and in another place, jehovah our god, himself the god of gods, and lord of lords, the god, (El), great, powerful, and formidable;" (Deut 10:17) where god of gods is expressed by Elohe elohim, and afterwards god by El, to whom are attributed greatness and power; and in David, "I have said You are gods (elohim), and you are all the sons of the Most High," (Psalm 82:6, John 10:34), where they are called gods from truths, for sons are truths; see AC 489, 491, 533; again, "I will place his hand in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers, he shall call me, You my father, my god, (El), the rock of my salvation;" Psalm 89:25, 26) speaking of power grounded in truths; again, "The wicked says in his heart, god (El) has forgotten, he has hidden his faces, he will never see it. Arise, jehovah, god (El) lift up your hand. Wherefore does the wicked one despise god (Elohim)," Psalm 10:11, 12, 13; where the sense is the same. Inasmuch as several expressions in the Word have also an opposite sense, so also have god and gods; and these expressions are applied, when the false principle is treated of, and power derived from the false principle, as in Ezekiel, "The gods (dim) of the mighty out of the midst of hell shall accost him;" (Ezek 32:21) and in Isaiah, "You have heated yourselves with the gods (elim) under every green tree," (Is 57:5), where gods are predicated of falsities. AC 4402.

Verse 15. Break you the arm of the wicked. The ground and reason why the hands, the arms, and the shoulders, correspond to power in the grand man is because the strength and powers of the whole body, and of all its viscera, have reference thereto, for the body exercises its strength and powers by the arms and hands. Hence also it is that in the Word by hands, arms, and shoulders, are signified powers: that this is signified by hands may be seen, AC 878, 3387; that it is signified by arms, is evident from several passages, as from the following, "Be you their arm every morning;" (Isaiah 33:2) "He works it by the arm of his strength;" (Isaiah 40:12; "My arms shall judge the people;" (Isaiah 51:5) "jehovah break you the arm of the wicked." Psalm 10:15. From these passages also it may be manifest, that by the right hand in the Word is signified superior power, and by sitting on the right hand of jehovah is signified omnipotence, see Matt 26:63, 64; Luke 22:69; Mark 14:61, 62. AC 4933.

Verses 14 and 18. You are the helper of the orphan. To judge the orphan and oppressed. That by orphans are signified those who are in truth and not yet in good, and yet desire good, appears from the signification of orphan or fatherless, when mentioned in the Word. That orphans are those who are instructed in the truths of the faith of the church from the Word, and by them are afterwards led to good, is evident also from the lord's words in John, "I will ask the father, that He may give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him; but you know Him, because He abides with you, and is amongst you; I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you: these things I have spoken to you, abiding with you, but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, He shall teach you all things," John 14:16, 17, 18, 26. That those are orphans, who are in truths and desire good, may be manifest from singular the things there spoken; for by Comforter is meant Divine Truth, which was the lord when in the world, and which proceeded from the lord, after He had glorified His human [principle], and departed from the world, therefore He says that He would send the Comforter, and that Himself would come; to send the Comforter is to illustrate and instruct in the truths of faith; and to come to them is to lead into good, therefore He says, I will not leave you orphans. It was said, that by the Comforter is meant the Divine Truth, which was the lord when in the world, and which proceeded from the lord after He had glorified His human [principle], and departed out of the world; that this is so, the lord occasionally has manifestly taught; but they who distinguish the Divine [being] into persons, and not into essences united into One, do not comprehend this; for the Word is explained and comprehended according to the ideas conceived by man; so also where the lord says, that He is in the father, and the father in Him; that the father and He are one; also that all His [things] are the father's, and all the father's His, John 10:30; 14:1 to 11, 20; 16:15; xvii. But to proceed with the further explication of what has been said above. That by Comforter is meant the Divine Truth, is evident from the words of the lord themselves, for He is called the Spirit of Truth, and it is also said, the Comforter the Holy Spirit will teach you all things. That the lord was Divine Truth when in the world, is evident also from the words of the lord in the above passage, for He says, that He was about to send another Comforter, (that is, instead of Himself), or Spirit of Truth; and concerning Himself, that they know Him, because He abides with you, and is amongst you; and also, "I say the truth to you, if I shall not depart, the Comforter will not come to you, but if I shall depart, I will send Him to you;" (John 16:7) and in another place, "This He said of the Spirit, whom they should receive that believed in Him; for the Holy Spirit was not yet, because jesus was not yet glorified;" (John 7:39) and also in another place, "I am the way and the truth;" (John 14:6) it is also written, that He is the Word, and that god is the Word, and that the Word was made flesh;" (John 1:1, 2, 3, 14) where the Word is Divine Truth; that the lord was Divine Truth when in the world, see AC 3195, 4687. And that the Divine Truth proceeds from the lord after He had glorified His human [principle], and departed out of the world, is evident also from the lord's words, "When I shall depart, I will send the Spirit of Truth to you;" to send is to go forth and to proceed, AC 2397, 4710; and also, "When He shall come, He will teach you in all truth; for He shall not speak from Himself, but whatever things He shall hear, He shall speak; He shall glorify Me, because He shall receive of Mine, and shall announce it to you." (John 16:7, 13, 14, 15.) That the lord, when He departed out of the world, was made Divine Good, even as to the human [principle], see AC 3704, 3712, 3737, and that on this occasion, from the Divine Good, which is Himself, proceeds the Divine Truth, as the light of the universe from the sun, see AC 3636, 3643. AC 9199.

The Translator's Notes and Observations

Verse 4. god is not in all his thoughts. It is not to be supposed from these words, that an ungodly or wicked man never thinks about god, for such is the constitution of his nature, that he cannot avoid occasionally thinking about the great creator of the universe, even against his will. god, however, is not in such thoughts, since god is only in the thought which proceeds from him; and therefore, though an ungodly and wicked man occasionally, and by compulsion thinks about god, yet it may truly be said, that god is not in any of his thoughts, inasmuch as there is nothing in his thoughts which originates in god.

Verse 15. Break you the arm of the wicked and the evil. As the divine principles of love and of wisdom united, which characterise the supreme being, give birth, in their descent, to the principles of good and truth in such minds as receive them according to their original undivided order, so, in their further descent, or when they come into contact with disorderly intelligences, they give birth to the principles of what is evil and false; what is evil being the necessary result of the perversion of good, and what is false being the necessary result of the perversion of truth. Hence it became expedient, in the divine book of revelation, to mark this perversion by distinct terms, one term having relation more to the principle of what is evil in the will, and the other more to the principle of what is false in the understanding. Thus we read of what is sometimes called evil and wickedness, and sometimes sin and iniquity; evil and sin being applied to denote the perversion of good, whilst wickedness and iniquity are applied to denote the perversion of truth. In process of time, however, the distinct meaning of those terms was lost sight of, so that at this day it ia scarcely known that any such distinct meaning exists, when yet the traces of it are to be found through every part of the divine testimony.

PSALMS 10    Other translations  -  previous  -  next  -  meaning  -  Psalms  -  BM Home  -  Full Page