Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Psalm 10 (and 9) jottings

Psalm 10 (and Psalm 9) notes


When feeling abandoned by God / when God seems distant

When the wicked seem to dominate


O LORD, eternal king of the nations and defender of the fatherless,

Forgive my forgetfulness of you.

Deliver me from pride, arrogance and boasting, from all self-sufficiency.

Teach me humility.

May I know my dependence on you and always seek you.

I acknowledge my helplessness before you.

I commit myself to you.

Be my helper.

May my mouth be full of blessings and truth.

Rise up, O LORD, against the wicked and arrogant and all who persecute your people.

Thank you, Lord, that you see and know and hear.

Consider the cause of your people and take it in hand.

Encourage and strengthen me and all your people I pray.

May I fear you and fear nothing else.

Outlines / structure:

Expositor’s Bible:

Goldingay, Baker Commentary

Wilcock, BST:

The other side of the picture (vv1-11)

A prayer in the light (vv12-18)

Kidner, Tyndale:

Man: Predator and Prey

Vv1-11 – The tyrant’s boast

Vv12-18 – The victim’s prayer

Dale Ralph Davis, The Way of the Righteous in the Muck of Life

Hidden Hearer

Lament (vv1-2)

Description (vv3-11)

The wicked: (1) his apparent immunity (vv3-6) (2) his ingenuity (vv7-10) (3) his philosophy (v11)

Intercession (vv12-18)

Reasons for hope: (1) The Lord’s sight (vv13-14); (2) The Lord’s reign (vv15-16); (3) The Lord’s Strength (vv17-18)


No heading – a continuation of Psalm 9

Ps 9-10 the longest Psalm so far

Patrick D. Miller, “no other psalm so fully joins the basic themes of the Psalter – the rule of God, the representative role of the king, the plea for help in time of trouble, the ways of the wicked and the righteous, and the justice of God on behalf of the weak and poor.” (quoted in Goldingay, p184)

Goldingay: Pss 9 & 10 have an unconventional interweaving of prayer and praise and of verbal forms which make their interpretation uncertain

Statement of faith and praise for Yahweh’s past acts (9:1-12)

Plea (9:13-14)

Statement of faith and praise for Yahweh’s past acts (9:19-10:2)

Lament at the present (10:3-11)

Plea (10:12-15)

Statement of faith and praise for Yahweh’s past acts (10:16-18)

Psalm 9 focused on the judgement to come; this Psalm focuses on the present age when injustice is rampant (Kidner, p71)

“Psalm 9:1-12 focused on God, and the wicked were only mentioned to be dismissed; 10:1-11 focus on the wicked, and God is mentioned only to be dismissed.” (Wilcock, p43)

Both Psalms 9 and 10 begin with prayer and then later revert to it (Wilcock, p44)

Broken acrostic

Address to God v1, (v5) vv12-15, v17f

The Psalmist speaks to God; the ungodly only speak about God (v11)

V1 a shock after the largely positive Psalm 9

Davis emphasises that this is a faithful lament (p117)

Godward insult and manward injury (Kidner, p71)

V1 - Cf. Yahweh sitting in Ps 9

V1 – Does the LORD really stand far off or is this just how the Psalmist feels? Is the question answered in the Psalm? The later part of the Psalm tends to deny it. – For the Psalmist’s good – to teach him to live by faith?

Yahweh’s apparent inaction seems out of character to the Psalmist – an implicit faith

Kidner: does the wicked man protest too much, betraying a basic disquiet, desperate to reassure himself? (p71)

V1 cf. 9:10

V2 – description (NIV) or petition (NKJV, NASB)?

Faith can be both perplexed (v1) and pleading (v2) – Davis, p117 – This is not a philosophical discussion but prayer, not an intellectual quandary but a devotional dilemma – He does not understand Yahweh but he is still dealing with Yahweh – Davis, p118

God is far off (vv1-2) and the tyrant is doing nicely (vv3-11) – The psalm holds this problem before us – it should disturb us and drive us to prayer

The heart (vv4, 6, 11) determines and directs actions (vv8-10)

Some contradiction between v4 and v11 – he does think of God – Kidner, “he is a practicing atheist, if hardly a convinced one.” (p71) – he acts as if there were no God – Wilcock, p44: It is the God he doesn’t believe in, he is hoping will leave him alone!

V3a cf. 44:8a

The defenceless as his natural prey (v2a, vv8-10)

V4 – or “There is no God” (Goldingay) – for all practical purposes God can be left out of account as he does not act to hold people to account – God is up on high, far off, not engaged in the world

God does not seem to be doing his job / what he ought to do!

V5 – God’s laws / judgements both his rulings / standards but also his action to enforce them

Vv8-10 – the wicked man is doing some hiding, but he also believes God is hiding

V8 – repetition of victim / hapless / poor wretch vv8, 10, 14 a word found only here a probable Egyptian cognate with the sense of overwhelmed / demoralized (Kidner, p71)

V12 – arise – cf. 9:19

V12 – Lift your hand suggests taking firm action for or against someone – often the same act does both, judging and saving – deliver the faithful and put down the faithless

V13 – The why echoes the why of v1

9:12 – to seek out / avenge = 10:13 – call to account

V14 functions as a retort to the cocky security of the wicked in vv4, 11, 13 (Davis, p120)

V14 – a rising sequence – see, consider, take in hand

V14 cf. Jer 23:24

V14 – The victim commits himself – lit. he abandons himself – cf. 37:5

V15 – break the arm = break the power of – 44:3 – break his arm and therefore frustrate his strong arm tactics – arm, cf. 71:18, strength

V15b – seek out his wickedness until you find none, to the last trace

Vv16-18 – the prayer turns to affirmation so that the Psalm ends with a series of statements of faith

V16 – the nations cf. Ps 9

First reference in the Psalms to Yahweh as the king (5:2 – my king) – cf. Ps 9 - enthroned

V17 – cf. 2 Cor 12:8-10

V18 – the ultimate solution, but also v17, stamina for the meantime

2 Tim 4:16-17

Similarity between final v and final v of Ps 9 – puny man, of the earth, mortal

God’s perception (vv13-14), position (vv15-16) and power (vv17-18) (Davis, p122)

John 14:18

Christ as the speaker of this Psalm? V1 – his abandonment? His innocent suffering?

No comments: