Psalm 10:3
For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
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(3) Afar off.—Comp. Psalm 22:1-2; Psalm 22:19; Psalm 35:22, &c

Hidest.Isaiah 1:15 supplies the ellipsis, “thine eyes,” used of a judge bribed to wink at offence 1Samuel 12:3; comp. Leviticus 20:4), of indifference to suffering (Proverbs 28:27); LXX. and Vulg. “to overlook.”

(3) For the wicked boasteth.—Literally, for the wicked speaketh praise to the lust of his soul, which has been understood either as in the Authorised Version, “prides himself upon his evil desires;” or “prides himself in or according to his sinful wish,” as LXX., Vulg., Syriac, and Chaldee. The former of these follows most naturally on Psalm 10:2. His wiles, so successful in snaring his victim, are a cause of self-gratulation. The representation of the villain addressing his own evil passions in laudatory terms is highly poetic. So the rich fool in the parable congratulates his soul on his greed.

And blesseth.—Rather, curseth by a common euphemism. (Comp. 1Kings 21:23; Job 1:5.)

The covetous—properly, robber—may either be subject or object, as also may “Jehovah;or being a participle, may be adverbial (as Ewald). Hence we get, besides the Authorised Version and the margin, either, “the robber curses (and) despises Jehovah,” or, “he greedily (literally, robbing) curses, despises Jehovah;” the last makes a better echo to the first clause. The LXX. and Vulg. read, “The wicked is praised; the sinner has irritated the Lord,” getting the second subject from the next verse.

Psalm 10:3. The wicked boasteth himself of — Hebrew, הלל, hillel, glorieth, or, praiseth himself, upon, concerning, or, because of his heart’s desire — נפשׁו תאות, naphsho taavath, the concupiscence, or, lust of his soul, which latter word is added to denote the vehemence and fervency of his desire. He glorieth in his very sins, which are his shame, and especially in the satisfaction of his desire, how wickedly soever he obtains it. And blesseth the covetous — As he applaudeth himself, so he commends others that eagerly pursue and get abundance of gain, though it be by fraud and violence, accounting such the only happy men; whom the Lord abhorreth — So his judgment, as well as practice, is contrary to God. But the latter part of this verse is differently rendered in some other versions, namely, The covetous blesseth himself in those things which the Lord abhorreth, namely, in his unjustly gotten riches. See also the margin.

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.For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire - Margin, as in Hebrew, soul's. The main idea in this verse seems to be that he is a boaster - a man who makes some proclamation about himself as being superior to others, and who, in that proportion, looks with disdain or contempt on others. He vaunts himself, or makes an ostentatious display of something on which he prides himself, as wealth, strength, beauty, talent, prowess, etc. The particular thing here, it would seem, of which he boasted was his natural inclinations; the propensities and passions of his soul; that is, he took pride in himself, in his own passions, desires, lusts, tastes, and made a boastful display of them, as if he regarded them as something honorable, or as something fitted to excite admiration in others. This is not a very uncommon characteristic of wicked men; at least it is found in a certain class of wicked men. They pride themselves in whatever they have in their character that is special, or that is their own, for the very reason that it is theirs; and they become so shameless that they do not hesitate publicly to boast of that which should be regarded as a disgrace. A certain class of younq men are very apt to "boast" of passions and practices which should cover their faces with the burning blush of shame.

And blesseth the covetous - Margin, "the covetous blesseth himself, he abhorreth the Lord." Prof. Alexander renders this, "And winning (that is, when he wins) blesses, despises Jehovah." In other words, he hypocritically thanks God for his success, but despises him in his heart. This probably expresses the correct idea. The word rendered "the covetous" - בצע botsē‛ - is a participle, from the verb - בצע bâtsa‛, to cut in pieces; then, to plunder, to spoil; and then, to be greedy after gain. Here, the natural construction would seem to be to refer it not to another, as one who was covetous, but to himself, as greedy, or as succeeding in the object of his desire; as referring to the fact that he obtained his heart's desire, and as showing what his feelings were then. He was filled with evil desires, and was so shameless of them that he openly avowed them; and when he obtained the object of his wishes, he did what is here denoted by the word bless - as will be explained directly.

The idea in the mind of the writer seems to be that he cherished the desire, and made no secret of it, and obtained the object of his wishes. The natural explanation of the manner in which he did this is, that it was by plunder, rapine, or spoil, for this would be most literally expressed by the word used. Compare Proverbs 1:19; Proverbs 15:27; Jeremiah 6:13; Jeremiah 8:10; Ezekiel 22:12. It might be, however, by unjust gains, or dishonest dealing, 1 Samuel 8:3; Isaiah 33:15; Isaiah 57:17. The word bless here may mean, as in the margin, blesses himself; or, as Prof. Alexander supposes, may mean that he blesses the Lord, that is, renders hypocritical thanks for his success, and professes to acknowledge that all is the gift of God, while at the same time he expresses contempt for him, and despises him in his heart. If the usual meaning of the word bless is to be retained, however, it would seem to be most in accordance with the spirit of the passage that he should bless himself, that is, his own talents, skill, power; in other words, that he should attribute all his success to himself.

The idea does not seem to be that he was even professedly a religious man, but that he was a proud and vain boaster who attributed all success to himself, and despised God and his claims. It has been supposed by some, however, and with plausibility (DeWette, and others), that the word rendered "bless" here - ברך bērēk - as in Job 1:5, Job 1:11; Job 2:9, means, not to bless, but to curse. See the notes at Job 1:5. DeWette renders it, Der Rauber lastert schmahend Jehovah. This seems to me to be the true idea - that this braggart or braggadocio did not make any pretensions to religion, but was a profane man, and one who despised God and abhorred His cause.

Whom the Load abhorreth - Or, more correctly, despises, or abhors the Lord. That is, he makes shameless boast of his own corrupt and base passions; when he is successful he makes no acknowledgment to God, but Curses him and despises or contemns him in his heart. A correct rendering then of the whole would be, "And having obtained, he curses - he despises Jehovah." Coverdale renders this, "The covetous blesseth himself, and blasphemeth the Lord." We have thus an example of lost finished and shameless depravity - but alas! One that was not found in the time of David only.

3. heart's—or, "soul's."

desire—that is, his success in evil.

and blesseth, &c.—he (the wicked) blesseth the covetous, he despiseth the Lord.

Boasteth, or glorieth, or praiseth, or pleaseth himself.

Of his heart’s desire; or, in, or concerning, or because of the desire, or concupiscence, or lust of his heart, or soul; which word is added to note the vehemency and fervency of it. He glorieth in his very lusts, which are his shame, Philippians 3:19, and especially in the satisfaction of his desires, how wickedly soever he gets it.

Desire is oft put for the thing desired, as Psalm 21:2 78:29,30.

And blesseth the covetous; and as he applaudeth himself, so he commends others that are greedy after and get abundance of gain, though it be done by fraud and violence, accounting such the only happy men. Or, the covetous (the same with the wicked enlarging his desire, as was now said) blesseth, or applaudeth, or flattereth himself in what he hath already gotten, and in the confident expectation of the continuance and increase of his worldly wealth and glory.

Whom the Lord abhorreth; so his judgment as well as practice is contrary to God’s. Or rather, without any supplement, as it is in the margin, he abhorreth, or despiseth, or provoketh the Lord. He sets himself not only against men, but against God himself, as he declareth more fully in the next verse.

For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire,.... As antichrist does of his universal power over all bishops and princes, which his heart was long desiring after; of his being Christ's vicar, Peter's successor, and head of the church; and of having power in heaven, earth, and hell: he boasts of his wealth and riches, of the righteousness and merits of saints, of works of supererogation, a stock of which he pretends to have in his hands to dispense to others: he boasts of his own holiness and infallibility, and of miracles, signs, and lying wonders done by his creatures, and of his great success in destroying those that oppose him; see Revelation 18:7. The words may be rendered, "the wicked praiseth himself for the desire of his heart" (u), so the Chaldee paraphrase; to which agrees Jarchi's gloss,

"wicked Esau praiseth himself, because he hath obtained the desire of his soul:''

and thus it is usual for proud, haughty, wicked men, as the Assyrian monarch, Nebuchadnezzar, and so the man of sin, to ascribe whatsoever they have or do to their own power and prudence; see Isaiah 10:12, Daniel 4:30. Or they may be rendered, "he praiseth the wicked for his heart's desire" (w); or for his lusts, for his indulging them: for a wicked man not only delights in committing sin himself, but he also takes pleasure in those that do it; and some of the antichristian party have even wrote in commendation of the most unnatural lusts;

and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth: the covetous man is one that makes no use of what he has but for himself; and oftentimes withholds that which is meet from himself, as well as from others; and who makes use of unlawful ways to get, retain, and increase wealth, and is never satisfied: such an one God abhors, because he is an idolater, he has other gods before him; he worships his gold, be sets his affection on it, places his confidence in it, and expects protection and security from it, to a neglect of divine Providence; and yet the wicked man blesses him, calls his covetousness frugality and good husbandry; ascribes what he has to his diligence, care, and industry, and bestows gifts upon him. The words may be rendered, "the covetous man blesses himself" (x); with the good things he has laid up for many years; he pronounces himself blessed, and promises himself a great deal of happiness, in futurity; and ascribes all he has to his own hands. Or, "the covetous man curses, he abhors the Lord" (y); for the same word in the Hebrew language signifies to bless and curse, Job 1:5, which Aben Ezra on the place observes; and it is applicable enough to antichrist, who opens his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven; see Revelation 13:6.

(u) "nam laudat improbus animam suam in desiderio ipsius", Junius & Tremellius; so Michaelis. (w) "Quoniam laudat ipsium pro desiderio animi sui", Tigurine version. (x) "et avarus benedicit sibi", Piscator; so Ainsworth. (y) "Avarus maledicit sive blasphemat Jehovam", Tarnovius, Hammond; so some in Michaelis.

For the wicked {b} boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.

(b) The wicked man rejoices in his own lust he boasts when he has that he would; he brags of his wit and wealth and blesses himself and thus blasphemes the Lord.

3. A difficult verse. Boasteth of his heart’s desire may mean either, makes shameless boast of his selfish greed without any pretence at concealment: or, boasts that he obtains all that he desires, and that, as the next clause shews, without troubling himself about God. This clause may be rendered;

and in his rapacity renounceth, yea contemneth Jehovah.

The verb rendered bless in A.V. means also to bid farewell to, to renounce (Job 1:5; Job 2:9, &c.; R.V.). Covetous is an inadequate rendering for a word which means to appropriate by violence or injustice. The wicked man’s lawless plundering of the poor is a virtual renunciation of Jehovah; nay more, it indicates positive contempt for Him (Psalm 10:13; Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 5:14).

Another rendering however deserves consideration:

For the wicked singeth praise over his own soul’s lust:

And in his rapacity blesseth, (but) contemneth Jehovah.

He gives thanks for his prosperity, and like the shepherds of Zechariah 11:5, blesses God, though his conduct is really the grossest contempt for Him.

Grammatically possible, but far less forcible, is the rendering of R.V. marg., blesseth the covetous, but contemneth &c.: and Psalm 10:13, which combines 3 b and 4 a, is decisive against the rendering of A.V., whom the Lord abhorreth.

3–11. The Psalmist justifies his complaint by a description of the reckless character (3–6) and the ruthless conduct (7–11) of the wicked man, and he traces them to their source in his virtual atheism. The alphabetic structure disappears in this section.

Verse 3. - For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire; rather, for the wicked sings praise over his own soul's greed. Instead of praising God, he praises his *own greed and its success (comp. Her., 'Sat.,' 1:1. 66, "At mihi plaudo ipse dotal, stimul ac nummos contemplor in area." And blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth; rather, and when he gets a gain blesses (but) despises the Lord (so Kay, Alexander, Cheyne, and Hengstenberg). Each time that he gets a gain, he says, "Thank God!" - but, in thanking God for an unjust gain, he shows that he despises him. Psalm 10:3The prominent features of the situation are supported by a detailed description. The praett. express those features of their character that have become a matter of actual experience. הלּל, to praise aloud, generally with the accus., is here used with על of the thing which calls forth praise. Far from hiding the shameful desire or passion (Psalm 112:10) of his soul, he makes it an object and ground of high and sounding praise, imagining himself to be above all restraint human or divine. Hupfeld translates wrongly: "and he blesses the plunderer, he blasphemes Jahve." But the רשׁע who persecutes the godly, is himself a בּצע a covetous or rapacious person; for such is the designation (elsewhere with בּצע Proverbs 1:19, or רע בּצע Habakkuk 2:9) not merely of one who "cuts off" (Arab. bḍ‛), i.e., obtains unjust gain, by trading, but also by plunder, πλεονέκτης. The verb בּרך (here in connection with Mugrash, as in Numbers 23:20 with Tiphcha בּרך) never directly signifies maledicere in biblical Hebrew as it does in the alter Talmudic (whence בּרכּת השּׁם blasphemy, B. Sanhedrin 56a, and frequently), but to take leave of any one with a benediction, and then to bid farewell, to dismiss, to decline and abandon generally, Job 1:5, and frequently (cf. the word remercier, abdanken; and the phrase "das Zeitliche segnen" equals to depart this life). The declaration without a conjunction is climactic, like Isaiah 1:4; Amos 4:5; Jeremiah 15:7. נאץ, properly to prick, sting, is sued of utter rejection by word and deed.

(Note: Pasek stands between נאץ and יהוה, because to blaspheme God is a terrible thought and not to be spoken of without hesitancy, cf. the Pasek in Psalm 74:18; Psalm 89:52; Isaiah 37:24 (2 Kings 19:23).)

In Psalm 10:4, "the evil-doer according to his haughtiness" (cf. Proverbs 16:18) is nom. absol., and בּל־ידרשׁ אין אלהים (contrary to the accentuation) is virtually the predicate to כּל־מזמּותיו. This word, which denotes the intrigues of the ungodly, in Psalm 10:2, has in this verse, the general meaning: thoughts (from זמם, Arab. zmm, to join, combine), but not without being easily associated with the secondary idea of that which is subtly devised. The whole texture of his thoughts is, i.e., proceeds from and tends towards the thought, that he (viz., Jahve, whom he does not like to name) will punish with nothing (בּל the strongest form of subjective negation), that in fact there is no God at all. This second follows from the first; for to deny the existence of a living, acting, all-punishing (in one word: a personal) God, is equivalent to denying the existence of any real and true God whatever (Ewald).

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