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Psalms 10:10

    Psalms 10:10 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    He croucheth, and humbleth himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    He crouches, and humbles himself, that the poor may fall by his strong ones.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    He croucheth, he boweth down, And the helpless fall by his strong ones.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The upright are crushed and made low, and the feeble are overcome by his strong ones.

    Webster's Revision

    He croucheth, he boweth down, And the helpless fall by his strong ones.

    World English Bible

    The helpless are crushed. They collapse. They fall under his strength.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    He croucheth, he boweth down, and the helpless fall by his strong ones.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 10:10

    He croucheth - Of the scoffing, mocking, insulting, and insidious conduct of Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem, the fourth and sixth chapters of Nehemiah give abundant proof; and possibly the allusion is to them. The lion squats down and gathers himself together, that he may make the greater spring.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 10:10

    He croucheth - Margin, "breaketh himself." Coverdale, "Then smiteth he, then oppresseth he." Prof. Alexander, "And bruised he will sink." Horsley, "And the overpowered man submits." Luther, "He slays, and thrusts down, and presses to the earth the poor with power." This variety of interpretation arises from some ambiguity in regard to the meaning of the original. The word rendered "croucheth" - ודכה, in the Kethib (the text) - is in the Qeri' (margin), ידכה, "and crushed, he sinks down." There is some uncertainty about the form in which the word is used, but it is certain that it does not mean, as in our translation, "he croucheth." The word דכה dâkâh, properly means to be broken in pieces, to be crushed; and this idea runs through all the forms in which the word occurs. The true idea, it seems to me, is that this does not refer to the wicked man, but to his victim or victims, represented here by a word in the collective singular; and the meaning is that such a victim, crushed and broken down, sinks under the power of the persecutor and oppressor. "And the crushed one sinks down."

    And humbleth himself - The word used here - ישׁח yāśoch - from שׁוּח śûch - means to sink down; to settle down. Here it means to sink down as one does who is overcome or oppressed, or who is smitten to the earth. The idea is, that he is crushed or smitten by the wicked, and sinks to the ground.

    That the poor may fall - Rather, as in the original, "and the poor fall;" that is, they do fall. The idea is, that they do in fact fall by the arm of the persecutor and oppressor who treads them down.

    By his strong ones - Margin, "Or, into his strong parts." The text here best expresses the sense. The reference is to the strong ones - the followers and abettors of the "wicked" here referred to - his train of followers. The allusion seems to be to this wicked man represented as the head or leader of a band of robbers or outlaws - strong, athletic men engaged under him in committing robbery on the unprotected. See Psalm 10:8-9. Under these strong men the poor and the unprotected fall, and are crushed to the earth. The meaning of the whole verse, therefore, may be thus expressed: "And the crushed one sinks down, and the poor fall under his mighty ones." The word rendered "poor" is in the plural, while the verb "fall" is in the singular; but this construction is not uncommon when the verb precedes. Nordheimer, Hebrew Grammar, Section 759, i., a. The word rendered "poor" means the wretched or the afflicted, and refers here to those who were unprotected - the victims of oppression and robbery.

    The following account of the condition of Palestine at the present time will illustrate the passage here, and show how true the statements of the psalmist are to nature. It occurs in "The land and the Book," by W. M. Thomson, D. D., Missionary in Syria. He is speaking of the sandy beach, or the sand hills, in the neighborhood of Mount Carmel, and says, respecting these "sandy downs, with feathery reeds, running far inland, the chosen retreat of wild boars and wild Arabs," "The Arab robber larks like a wolf among these sand heaps, and often springs out suddenly upon the solitary traveler, robs him in a trice, and then plunges again into the wilderness of sand hills and reedy downs, where pursuit is fruitless. Our friends are careful not to allow us to straggle about or lag behind, and yet it seems absurd to fear a surprise here - Khaifa before, and Acre in the rear, and travelers in sight on both sides. Robberies, however, do often occur, just where we now are. Strange country! and it has always been so." And then quoting the passage before us Psalm 10:8-10, he adds, "A thousand rascals, the living originals of this picture, are this day crouching and lying in wait all over the country to catch poor helpless travelers. You observe that all these people we meet or pass are armed; nor would they venture to go from Acre to Khaifa without their musket, although the cannon of the castles seem to command every foot of the way." Vol. i., pp. 487, 488.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 10:10

    10:10 Croucheth - Like a lion (for he continues the same metaphor) which lies close upon the ground, partly that he may not be discovered, and partly that he may more suddenly and surely lay hold on his prey.