|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-11 God's withdrawings are very grievous to his people, especially in times of trouble. We stand afar off from God by our unbelief, and then complain that God stands afar off from us. Passionate words against bad men do more hurt than good; if we speak of their badness, let it be to the Lord in prayer; he can make them better. The sinner proudly glories in his power and success. Wicked people will not seek after God, that is, will not call upon him. They live without prayer, and that is living without God. They have many thoughts, many objects and devices, but think not of the Lord in any of them; they have no submission to his will, nor aim for his glory. The cause of this is pride. Men think it below them to be religious. They could not break all the laws of justice and goodness toward man, if they had not first shaken off all sense of religion.
Verse 2. - The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor. Dr. Kay translates, "Through the pride of the wicked man the poor is set on fire;" and our Revisers, "In the pride of the wicked, the poor is hotly pursued;" and so (nearly) the LXX., the Vulgate, Aquila, Symmachus, Kohler, Hengstenberg, and others. The Authorized Version paraphrases rather than translates; but it does not misrepresent the general sense, which is a complaint that the poor are persecuted by the wicked. Let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined (comp. Psalm 35:8, "Let his net that he hath hid catch himself;" and Psalm 141:10, "Let the wicked fall into their own nets;" see also Psalm 7:15, 16; Psalm 9:15; Proverbs 5:22; Proverbs 26:27: Ecclesiastes 10:8). Some, however, translate, "They (i.e. the poor) are ensnared in the devices which they (i.e. the wicked) have imagined;" and this is certainly a possible rendering. Hengstenberg regards it as preferable to the other "on account of the parallelism and connection."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor,.... The "poor" is the good and gracious man, who is commonly poor in this world's things, and is sensibly poor in spirit, or sensible of his spiritual poverty; or he is so called because "afflicted", as the word signifies; and he is afflicted because he is poor: these two characters generally go together. The "wicked" man is the wicked one, the lawless one, the man of sin, and son of perdition, antichrist, the great persecutor of Christ's poor saints and faithful witnesses, more or less, ever since he has been in power; and which arises from the "pride" of his heart, not bearing that any should refuse to pay homage to him, contradict his will, or dissent from him. The word (s) signifies to follow after, to pursue, as Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, interpret it; and "to pursue hotly", as it is rendered in Genesis 31:36; and denotes the vehemence and heat of his wrath and fury, with which antichrist persecutes the followers of the Lamb; hence persecution is compared to the heat of the sun, Matthew 13:6; Some render the words, "through the pride of the wicked the poor is burned", or "the poor burns" (t): which may be understood either literally, of the burning of the martyrs of Jesus by antichrist, as here in Queen Mary's days; and which was foretold, that some of the saints should fall by flame, as well as by sword, captivity, and spoil; and to which that part of the description of Christ answers, whose feet are said to be like fine brass, as if it burned in a furnace; and which is prefaced to the epistle to the church at Thyatira, which is an emblem of the apostate church: see Daniel 11:33; or figuratively, of the poor saints burning with grief at the pride and wickedness of the man of sin, and with zeal for the honour and glory of God; see 2 Corinthians 11:29, Sol 8:6;
let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined: we read the words as a petition; and so the sense is, let the wicked persecutors be taken in the wicked and crafty schemes which they have devised for the hurt of others, as they are, or will be; see Psalm 9:15. But the psalmist is not yet come to petitions, nor does he until Psalm 10:12; but is all along describing the wickedness of the wicked one. It seems better therefore to render the words as do the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, "they are taken in the devices that they have imagined": and the meaning is, that the poor, who are persecuted by the wicked, are taken by their crafty schemes they lay for them, as Jarchi interprets it, and are put to death by them. So these words show the issue and event of persecution: and this sense best agrees with the boasted success of the wicked man Psalm 10:3.
(s) "fervide persequitur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "ferventer", Gejerus; so Ainsworth. (t) "Incenditur", V. L. "ardet", Tigurine version, Muis, Cocceius.
The Treasury of David
2 The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor: let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined.
3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.
4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments art far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
8 He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
9 He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.
10 He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.
11 He hath said in his heart, God hath forgotten: he hideth his face; he will never see it.
The second verse contains the formal indictment against the wicked: "The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor." The accusation divides itself into two distinct charges - pride and tyranny; the one the root and cause of the other. The second sentence is the humble petition of the oppressed: "Let them be taken in the devices that they have imagined." The prayer is reasonable, just, and natural. Even our enemies themselves being judges, it is but right that men should be done by as they wished to do to others. We only weigh you in your own scales, and measure your corn with your own bushel. Terrible shall be the day, O persecuting Babylon! when thou shalt be made to drink of the winecup which thou thyself hast filled to the brim with the blood of saints. There are none who will dispute the justice of God, when he shall hang every Haman on his own gallows, and cast all the enemies of his Daniels into their own den of lions.
The indictment being read, and the petition presented, the evidence is now heard upon the first count. The evidence is very full and conclusive upon the matter of pride, and no jury could hesitate to give a verdict against the prisoner at the bar. Let us, however, hear the witnesses one by one. The first testifies that he is a boaster. "For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire." He is a very silly boaster, for he glories in a mere desire: a very brazen-faced boaster, for that desire is villainy; and a most abandoned sinner, to boast of that which is his shame. Bragging sinners are the worst and most contemptible of men, especially when their filthy desires - too filthy to be carried into act - become the theme of their boastings. When Mr. Hate-Good and Mr. Heady are joined in partnership, they drive a brisk trade in the devil's wares. This one proof is enough to condemn the prisoner at the bar. Take him away, jailor! But stay, another witness desires to be sworn and heard. This time, the impudence of the proud rebel is even more apparent; for he "blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth." This is insolence, which is pride unmasked. He is haughty enough to differ from the Judge of all the earth, and bless the men whom God hath cursed. So did the sinful generation in the days of Malachi, who called the proud happy, and set up those that worked wickedness (Malachi 3:15). These base pretenders would dispute with their Maker; they would -
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Literally, "In pride of the wicked they (the poor or humble, Ps 10:17; 12:5) shall be taken in the devices they (the proud) have imagined."
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