|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 8. - He sitteth in the lurking-places of the villages. These "lurking-places" must not be supposed to have been inside the villages, but outside of them They were retired spots at no great distance, where brigands or others might lie in ambush, ready to seize on such of the villagers as might show themselves. In the secret places doth he murder the innocent (comp. Job 24:14). The usual object would be, not murder, but robbery. Still, there would be cases where it would be convenient to remove a man, as Jezebel removed Naboth; and moreover, in every case of robbery, there is a chance that the victim may resist, and a struggle ensue, in which he may lose his life. His eyes are privily set against the poor; or, his eyes lay ambush for the helpless (Kay). The word translated" poor" (הֵלְכָה) is only found in this place and in ver. 10, where the antithesis of "strong ones" seems to imply that the weak and helpless are meant.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages,.... Which were by the wayside, where thieves and robbers harboured, and out of which they came, and robbed passengers as they came by. The word (f) signifies "palaces" or "courts": and so it is rendered by the Chaldee paraphrase and Syriac version; and so the allusion is not to mean thieves and robbers, but to persons of note and figure. Hence the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, render it, "he sitteth in lurking places with the rich"; and may be fitly applied to the pope and his cardinals. Antichrist sits in the temple of God, and by his emissaries gets into the villages, the particular churches and congregations of saints, where they lie in ambush to do mischief, to corrupt their faith, worship, and manners; and like thieves and robbers enter in to steal, kill, and destroy;
in secret places doth he murder the innocent; the harmless lambs and sheep of Christ; who, though they are not without sin in themselves, yet are innocent with respect to the cause and the things for which they suffer: these are the saints and prophets and martyrs of Jesus, whose blood is shed by antichrist; and the taking away of their lives is reckoned murder with God; and is so styled in the Scriptures, Revelation 9:21; though the antichristian party call it doing God good service, and impute it to zeal for the good of holy church; and yet this they choose to do in secret, by private massacres, or by the inquisition; which having condemned men to death, delivers them over to the secular power to execute the sentence on them: just as the Jews delivered Christ to the Roman governor, to shift off the sin and blame from themselves; murder being what no one cares to be known in, or chargeable with;
his eyes are privily set against the poor: the word rendered "poor", is used nowhere but in this psalm, in which it is used three times, here, and in Psalm 10:1; and in the plural number in Psalm 10:10. It is translated "poor" both in the Chaldee paraphrase and Septuagint version, and in those that follow them. In the Arabic language it signifies "black" (g), and may design such who are black by reason of persecution and affliction, who go mourning all the day long on account of sin, their own and others; and because of the distresses and calamities of the church and people of God. These the eyes of the wicked watch and observe, and are set against them to do them all the mischief they can; their eyes are full of envy and indignation at them, though it is all in a private and secret way. The allusion is to thieves and robbers, who hide themselves in some secret place, and from thence look out for them that pass by, and narrowly observe whether they are for their purpose, and when it will be proper to come out and seize upon them.
(f) Symmachus in Drusius; "atriorum", Munster; so Hammond, Ainsworth, & Michaelis. (g) "Chalae, valde niger fuit", Golius, col. 646.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. eyes … privily—He watches with half-closed eyes, appearing not to see.
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