What does Psalm 10:15 mean?
ESV: Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.
NIV: Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out.
NASB: Break the arm of the wicked and the evildoer, Seek out his wickedness until You find none.
CSB: Break the arm of the wicked, evil person, until you look for his wickedness, but it can't be found.
NLT: Break the arms of these wicked, evil people! Go after them until the last one is destroyed.
KJV: Break thou the arm of the wicked and the evil man: seek out his wickedness till thou find none.
NKJV: Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; Seek out his wickedness until You find none.
Verse Commentary:
Still praying for God to punish the wicked, David asks God to break the arm of the wicked and evildoer. This is not simply a graphic or vengeful request: the "arm" represents a person's power. If his arm is broken, his power is greatly reduced. If God breaks the power of wicked persons, they cannot continue to afflict the helpless.

David prays further for God to expose and judge every evil deed committed by the wicked. He asks God to search the evil person's life, uncovering every sin, until nothing is left unpunished. This would overthrow the wicked man's false claim that God is unable or unwilling to deal with sin (Psalm 10:11). Jesus told His disciples: "For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light" (Luke 8:17). The wicked will not escape God's judgment.
Verse Context:
Psalm 10:12–18 closes the song by asking God to avenge those harmed by wicked men. David trusts the Lord to hear the cry of the afflicted and end the persecution brought on by the wicked. These closing verses resemble the divine judgment Asaph predicted in Psalm 73:18–20, 27.
Chapter Summary:
This song opens with a common question humanity asks in hard times: "where are you, God?" There follows a description of wicked people and their deeds and motives. Evil people feel free to be depraved and arrogant, assuming there is no God to judge them. Like predators, these wicked people ambush helpless people. Despite their wrong assumptions, God keeps His promises. He will judge the wicked and defend His people. Helpless people can trust God to make matters right. Someday, He will rid the earth of all sin and suffering. His justice will prevail, and His people will never again experience persecution.
Chapter Context:
According to some scholars, Psalms 9 and 10 might have been composed together, possibly even as one psalm. No title is affixed to Psalm 10, and it seems to continue the acrostic pattern of Psalm 9, starting each section with a successive letter from the Hebrew alphabet. The Septuagint and the Vulgate place the two psalms as one. However, the mood shifts from one psalm to the other. Psalm 9 focuses on judgment to come; Psalm 10 focuses on the presence of widespread injustice. Whether literally composed together, or separately, they deal with related issues using profoundly different tones.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
Accessed 5/20/2024 11:27:01 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com