Psalm 10:15
Break you the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till you find none.
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(15) Seek out.—The meaning of the verse is clear, from Psalm 37:36, and Isaiah 41:12, where we see that to seek and not find was a proverb expressing “riddance of evil;” but the construction is difficult. The first clause should end at “wicked,” the words “and the evil” being absolute; and the verbs, which are in form either second or third person, should be taken in the second. Translate, and as for the evil man, thou shalt look for his wickedness, and not find it (thou=anybody, which preserves the proverbial tone. So the LXX., “his sin shall be sought, and not be found “).

Psalm 10:15. Break thou the arm of the wicked — That is, their strength, the instrument of their violence and cruelty. Deprive them of all power to do mischief. Seek out his wickedness — Search for it, and punish these wicked atheists; till thou find none — Till no such wickedness be left in the world, or at least, in the church. “This,” says Dr. Horne, “may be either a prayer or a prediction, implying that the time will come when the power of Jehovah will dash in pieces that of the enemy, by the demolition either of sin or the sinner, until wickedness be come utterly to an end, and righteousness be established for ever in the kingdom of Messiah.”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.Break thou the arm of the wicked - The arm is the instrument by which we effect a purpose, and especially in wielding a sword or a spear, as in battle; and if the arm is broken, we are powerless. The psalmist, therefore, prays that God would render the wicked, in this respect, powerless.

And the evil man - Of all the evil, or the wicked. In regard to the prayer here, see the note at Psalm 5:10.

Seek out his wickedness until thou find none - Until it is all punished; until there has been a full recompense. This is a wish that no wicked act of his should be forgotten; that exact justice should be rendered. If it is right to punish the wicked at all, it is right to deal with them just as they deserve; if any wickedness may properly be punished, all may be; and, whatever may occur, the sinner may be assured that he will not be punished merely for a part of his sins. If God punishes the wicked at all, there will be nothing left unpunished.

15. arm—power.

till thou find none—So far from not requiting (Ps 10:11, 13), God will utterly destroy the wicked and his deeds (Ps 9:5, 6; 34:16; 37:36).

Break thou; or, Thou wilt break. For it may be either a prayer or a prophecy.

The arm, i.e. his strength, the instrument of violence and mischief.

Seek out his wickedness; search for it so strictly, and punish these wicked atheists so severely.

Till thou find none, i.e. no such wickedness, to wit, undiscovered and unpunished, or indeed left in the world, or at least in the church; which might happen, because those wicked men here spoken of should be generally either convinced or rooted out, and the rest should be warned and reformed by their example, and so this lewdness should cease out of the land, as the phrase is, Ezekiel 23:48. That is said to be sought for, and not found, which is utterly lost, as Job 20:7,8 Psa 37:36 Revelation 16:20 18:21. And this phrase is used both of good men, whose sins are taken away by God’s grace and mercy, pardoning and purging them away, and of wicked men in the sense above mentioned. Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man,.... His power and strength, so that he shall not be able to hold the sword, to strike a blow, or do any hurt to the people of God; see Ezekiel 30:21. This prayer is in some measure already fulfilled in antichrist, the man of sin, or pope of Rome; though his kingdom is not broke to pieces; as it will be when Christ's kingdom shall be more visibly set up, to which reference is had in Psalm 10:16; see Daniel 2:44; yet his strength is weakened, his arm is broken, he has not the power he had, nor can he tyrannise and do the mischief he once did: "but as for the evil man" (m), for so the words should be read, there being an "athnach" under the word "wicked", which ends the proposition there:

seek out his wickedness till thou find none; which designs a thorough search after sin, full punishment of it, and the entire ruin and destruction of the wicked; and the sense is, that God would make a strict inquiry into the wickedness of the man of sin, which he promised himself he would not, Psalm 10:13; and that he would punish him and his followers to the uttermost for it, until there should not be one of the antichristian party found upon earth; with which sense agrees Psalm 10:16; see Psalm 104:35.

(m) "improbum quod attinet, requiras", &c. Gejerus; so Michaelis.

Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find {i} none.

(i) For you have utterly destroyed him.

15. Break &c.] Paralyse his power to do mischief. Cp. Psalm 37:17; Job 38:15.

of the wicked and the evil man] So the ancient versions, taking the most obvious division of the words. R.V. follows the accentuation of the Hebrew text in rendering, and as for the evil man, seek out &c.

seek out &c.] Lit. when thou requirest his wickedness, thou shall not find. The word is the same as that used in Psalm 9:12 and in Psalm 10:4; Psalm 10:13. The Psalmist looks forward to a time when the wicked will be powerless to do harm. When God ‘makes inquisition’ and holds His assize, He will find no crime to punish, cp. Psalm 17:3. There may be an allusion to the proverbial phrase ‘to seek and not find,’ used in reference to what has utterly disappeared (Psalm 37:36), but a special word for ‘seek’ is chosen for the sake of the allusion indicated.

15, 16. Stanza of Shin. Prayer for the extermination of evil, based on the facts of faith and history.Verse 15. - Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man; i.e. "break thou his strength; take away his ability to work evil to others." Seek out his wickedness till thou find none; rather, require his wickedness. The verb is the same as that used in the last clause of ver. 13. The wicked man had said in his heart, "Thou wilt not require;" the psalmist calls on God, not only to require, but to require to the uttermost. Seek out, be says, require, and bring to judgment, all his wickedness - every atom of it - until even thy searching eye can find no mere to require, requite, and punish. The picture of the רשׁע, who is become as it were a beast of prey, is now worked out further. The lustrum of the lion is called סך Jeremiah 25:38, or סכּה Job 38:40 : a thicket, from סכך, which means both to interweave and to plait over equals to cover (without any connection with שׂך a thorn, Arab. shôk, a thistle). The figure of the lion is reversed in the second line, the עני himself being compared to the beast of prey and the רשׁע to a hunter who drives him into the pit-fall and when he has fallen in hastens to drag him away (משׁך, as in Psalm 28:3; Job 24:22) in, or by means of (Hosea 11:4, Job 41:1), his net, in which he has become entangled.
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