Psalm 10:14
You have seen it; for you behold mischief and spite, to requite it with your hand: the poor commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) The poor committeth himself.—Better, the helpless leaveth it to Thee. By a slight alteration in the division of the Hebrew letters, and of the pointing, we should get, It is against thee that he is strong in darkness. (See Notes above, Psalm 10:8; Psalm 10:10.)

Psalm 10:14. Thou hast seen it — Or, But thou hast seen it, and therefore they are horribly mistaken, as they will find to their cost; for thou beholdest — And not as an idle spectator, but with an eye of observation and vindication; mischief and spite — All the malicious, spiteful, and injurious conduct of wicked men toward those who are more righteous than they; to requite it with thy hand — Hebrew, to give (to restore, to repay to them the mischief they have done to others) by the hand of thy extraordinary providence, because the oppressed were destitute of all other succours. The poor committeth himself unto thee — Hebrew, יעזב עליךְ, jagnazob gnalecka, leaveth to thee the care of his person and righteous cause. Thou art the helper of the fatherless — Of such poor and oppressed ones as have no friend nor helper; one kind of them being put for all. “We may collect from hence,” says Dodd, “that there were two kinds of infidels at the time this Psalm was written; one of whom made God a sort of epicurean deity, and supposed him not to concern himself with the moral government of the world; the other altogether denied his being,” Psalm 10:4.10:12-18 The psalmist speaks with astonishment, at the wickedness of the wicked, and at the patience and forbearance of God. God prepares the heart for prayer, by kindling holy desires, and strengthening our most holy faith, fixing the thoughts, and raising the affections, and then he graciously accepts the prayer. The preparation of the heart is from the Lord, and we must seek unto him for it. Let the poor, afflicted, persecuted, or tempted believer recollect, that Satan is the prince of this world, and that he is the father of all the ungodly. The children of God cannot expect kindness, truth, or justice from such persons as crucified the Lord of glory. But this once suffering Jesus, now reigns as King over all the earth, and of his dominion there shall be no end. Let us commit ourselves unto him, humbly trusting in his mercy. He will rescue the believer from every temptation, and break the arm of every wicked oppressor, and bruise Satan under our feet shortly. But in heaven alone will all sin and temptation be shut out, though in this life the believer has a foretaste of deliverance.Thou hast seen it - Thou seest all. Though people act as if their conduct was not observed, yet thou art intimately acquainted with all that they do. The workers of iniquity cannot hide themselves. The idea here is, that although God seemed not to notice the conduct of the wicked, and though the wicked acted as if he did not, yet that all this was seen by God, and that he would deal with men according to justice and to truth.

For thou beholdest mischief - All that is done on the earth, though perhaps in this case referring particularly to that which gave the psalmist trouble.

And spite - The word spite with us, though it originally denoted rancour, malice, ill-will, now denotes usually a less deliberate and fixed malice than is indicated by those words, but is used to denote a sudden fit of ill-will excited by temporary vexation. It relates to small subjects, and is accompanied with a desire of petty revenge, and implies that one would be gratified with the disappointment or misfortune of another. The word here, however, in the original, means anger, wrath, malice; and the idea is, that God had seen all the anger of the enemies of the psalmist.

To requite it with thy hand - By thine own interposition or agency - the hand being the instrument by which we accomplish anything. The idea is, that the psalmist felt assured that God would not pass this over. Though the wicked acted as if he did not see or regard their conduct, yet the psalmist felt assured that God would not be unmindful of it, but would, in due time, visit them with deserved punishment.

The poor committeth himself unto thee - Margin, "leaveth." The word rendered poor is the same as that which occurs in Psalm 10:10. It means here those who are helpless and defenseless; the oppressed and the downtrodden. The word committeth or leaveth means that he leaves his cause with God; he trusts in his protection and interposition; he gives himself no anxiety as to the result. He knows that God can deliver him if he sees that it is best; and he is assured that God will do that which it is best should be done.

Thou art the helper of the fatherless - That is, this is the general character of God - the character in which he has revealed himself to man. Compare Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 10:18; Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 68:5; Psalm 82:3; Jeremiah 49:11; Hosea 14:3; Malachi 3:5; James 1:27. The psalmist here refers to the "general character" of God as that in which all the oppressed, the crushed, the helpless may trust; and he mentions this particular case as one that best illustrated that character.

14. mischief and spite—provocation and trouble of the sufferer (compare Ps 6:7; 7:14).

committeth—or, "leaves (his burden) on Thee."

Thou hast seen it; or, but thou hast seen it, and therefore they are horribly mistaken, as they will find to their cost. For; or, surely, as this particle is oft used, as Job 8:6 Psalm 73:18.

Thou beholdest; not as an idle spectator, but with an eye of observation and vindication, as it follows. Mischief and spite, i.e. all the injurious and spiteful or malicious carriages of wicked men towards those who are more righteous than they.

To requite it with thy hand, Heb. to give (i.e. to restore or pay, the simple verb for the compound; which is usual in the Hebrew tongue) it (to wit, the mischief which they have done to others)

with thy hand, i.e. by thy own immediate and extraordinary providence, because the oppressed were destitute of all other succours. Or, to put (giving being oft used for putting, as hath been observed before) it in or into thy hand, that thou mayst have it always in thine eye, and under thy care and consideration, as the like phrase is evidently used, Isaiah 49:16 Therefore thou dost not and canst not forget it, but wilt certainly require it.

Committeth himself; or, his matters or cause, i.e. the care of his person and righteous cause. Heb. he leaveth; which word is used for committing to the trust of another, Genesis 39:6 Job 39:14 Isaiah 10:3.

Of the fatherless, i.e. of such poor oppressed ones as have no friend nor helper; one kind of them being put for all the rest. Thou hast seen it,.... Though the wicked say God will never see, Psalm 10:11; he sees all things in general, all men and all their actions; all are manifest and open to him, and everything in particular, especially the wickedness of men; even that which is said or thought in the heart;

for thou beholdest mischief and spite; that mischief which arises from spite or malice in the heart; God beholds the inward principle from whence it proceeds, as well as that itself; the mischief devised in the heart, on the bed, and which lies under the tongue, designed against the people of God, either to the injury of their characters and estates, or to their bodies, and even to their souls, as much as in them lies, proceeding from implacable malice and enmity to them;

to requite it with thy hand: of power, to retaliate it upon their own heads, to render tribulation to them that trouble the saints, which is but a righteous thing with God: or "to put it in thy hand" (k); and the sense is, that God looks upon all the injuries the wicked out of spite devise to do to his people, and puts them in his hand, that they may be ever before him, and always in his sight, and he will take a proper opportunity of avenging them. The Targum interprets it of God's rewarding good men, as well as punishing the wicked, paraphrasing the whole thus,

"it is manifest before thee that thou wilt send sorrow and wrath upon the wicked; thou lookest to render a good reward to the righteous with thy hand;''

the poor committeth himself unto thee: his body, and the outward concerns of life, as to a faithful Creator; his soul, and the spiritual and eternal welfare of it, as to the only Saviour and Redeemer; he commits all his ways to him, as the God of providence and grace; and at last he commits his spirit to him at death, as to his covenant God and Father: the words may be rendered, "the poor leaveth upon thee" (l); that is, he leaves himself and his upon the Lord; he leaves his burden on him, he casts all his care upon him, as he is advised and encouraged to do; he leaves his cause with him to plead it for him, who will plead it thoroughly and maintain it: the phrase is expressive of the poor's faith and hope in God; hence the Chaldee paraphrase renders it, "on thee will thy poor ones hope"; for the supply of their wants, and for help and assistance against their enemies;

thou art the helper of the fatherless; God is the Father of them, provides for them, supplies, supports, and defends them; nor will he in a spiritual sense leave his people orphans or comfortless, but will visit and help them; see Psalm 68:5;

(k) "ut ponas in manibus tuis", Vatablus, Cocceius. (l) "super te relinquit pauper", Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis; so Cocceius.

Thou hast seen it; for thou beholdest mischief and spite, to {h} requite it with thy hand: the poor committeth himself unto thee; thou art the helper of the fatherless.

(h) To judge between the right and the wrong.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. Stanza of Resh, consisting of one long verse. Originally in all probability there were two verses, as in the other alphabetic stanzas.

Thou hast seen it] Whatever the wicked may imagine to the contrary, arguing from his own limited experience (Psalm 10:11). Faith triumphs over appearances, for it rests on the unchanging character of God, Who never ceases to ‘behold,’ to observe all that goes on upon the earth. Cp. Psalm 33:13; Psalm 35:22; Psalm 94:9.

mischief and spite] The words may be understood thus, of the wrong done; or, as in R.V. marg., of the suffering endured, travail and grief. The first word inclines rather to the objective, the second to the subjective sense. Perhaps we might render: mischief and vexation.

to requite it with thy hand] More exactly as R.V., to take it into thy hand. God’s observation cannot fail to lead to action. In His own time He will take the matter in hand. Cp. P.B.V., which however, in opposition to the Hebrew accents, connects the words with the following clause, ‘That thou mayest take the matter into thine hand: the poor &c.’

the poor] The helpless (Psalm 10:8; Psalm 10:10) abandons (such is the literal sense of the word) himself and his cause to God, Who will never abandon him (Psalm 9:10).

thou art] Rather as R.V., thou hast been. It is an appeal to experience. The ‘fatherless’ (or ‘orphan’) is mentioned as a typical example of the friendless and unprotected, who are under God’s special guardianship. Cp. the primitive law of Exodus 22:22 ff., reechoed in the latest utterance of prophecy, Malachi 3:5.Verse 14. - Thou hast seen it. The most emphatic contradiction that was possible to the wicked man's "He will never see it" (ver. 11). God sees, notes, bears in mind, and never forgets, every act of wrong-doing that men commit, and especially acts of oppression. For thou beholdest mischief and spite; or, perhaps, mischief and grief (see Job 6:2); i.e. the "mischief" of the oppressors, and the "grief' of the oppressed. (so Hengstenberg, Cheyne, and the' Speaker's Commentary'). Others refer both words to the feelings of the oppressed, and translate, "travail and grief." To requite it with thy hand. Again the Prayer-book Version is preferable, "to take the matter into thy hand," both for reward and requital. The poor committeth himself unto thee. He has no other possible refuge - therefore no other reliance. Thou art the Helper of the fatherless. The word "thou" is emphatic - "Thou, and no other (אַתָּה)." The ungodly is described as a lier in wait; and one is reminded by it of such a state of anarchy, as that described in Hosea 6:9 for instance. The picture fixes upon one simple feature in which the meanness of the ungodly culminates; and it is possible that it is intended to be taken as emblematical rather than literally. חצר (from חצר to surround, cf. Arab. hdr, hṣr, and especially hdr) is a farm premises walled in (Arab. hadar, hadâr, hadâra), then losing the special characteristic of being walled round it comes to mean generally a settled abode (with a house of clay or stone) in opposition to a roaming life in tents (cf. Leviticus 25:31; Genesis 25:16). In such a place where men are more sure of falling into his hands than in the open plain, he lies in wait (ישׁב, like Arab. q‛d lh, subsedit equals insidiatus est ei), murders unobserved him who had never provoked his vengeance, and his eyes להלכה יצפּנוּ. צפה to spie, Psalm 37:32, might have been used instead of צפן; but צפן also obtains the meaning, to lie in ambush (Psalm 56:7; Proverbs 1:11, Proverbs 1:18) from the primary notion of restraining one's self (Arab. ḍfn, fut. i. in Beduin Arabic: to keep still, to be immoveably lost in thought, vid., on Job 24:1), which takes a transitive turn in צפן "to conceal." חלכה, the dative of the object, is pointed just as though it came from חיל: Thy host, i.e., Thy church, O Jahve. The pausal form accordingly is חלכה with Segol, in Psalm 10:14, not with Ṣere as in incorrect editions. And the appeal against this interpretation, which is found in the plur. חלכאים Psalm 10:10, is set aside by the fact that this plural is taken as a double word: host (חל equals חיל equals חיל as in Obadiah 1:20) of the troubled ones (כּאים, not as Ben-Labrat supposes, for נכאים, but from כּאה weary, and mellow and decayed), as the Ker (which is followed by the Syriac version) and the Masora direct, and accordingly it is pointed חלכּאים with Ṣere. The punctuation therefore sets aside a word which was unintelligible to it, and cannot be binding on us. There is a verb הלך, which, it is true, does not occur in the Old Testament, but in the Arabic, from the root Arab. ḥk, firmus fuit, firmum fecit (whence also Arab. ḥkl, intrans. to be firm, ferm, i.e., closed), it gains the signification in reference to colour: to be dark (cognate with חכל, whence חכלילי) and is also transferred to the gloom and blackness of misfortune.

(Note: Cf. Samachschari's Golden Necklaces, Proverbs 67, which Fleischer translates: "Which is blacker: the plumage of the raven, which is black as coal, or thy life, O stranger among strangers?" The word "blacker" is here expressed by Arab. ahlaku, just as the verb Arab. halika, with its infinitives halak or hulkat and its derivatives is applied to sorrow and misery.)

From this an abstract is formed חלך or חלך (like חפשׁ): blackness, misfortune, or also of a defective development of the senses: imbecility; and from this an adjective חלכּה equals חלכּי, or also (cf. חפשׁי, עלפּה Ezekiel 31:15 equals one in a condition of languishing, עלף) חלכּה equals חלכּי, plur. חלכּאים, after the form דּוּדאים, from דּוּדי, Ew. 189, g.

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