What does Psalm 10:18 mean?
ESV: to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
NIV: defending the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.
NASB: To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed, So that mankind, which is of the earth, will no longer cause terror.
CSB: doing justice for the fatherless and the oppressed so that mere humans from the earth may terrify them no more.
NLT: You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.
KJV: To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.
NKJV: To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.
Verse Commentary:
Not only will God hear the prayers of the afflicted and encourage them, but He will also bring justice to those who are helpless, abandoned, or abused by others. In ancient cultures, those who were orphaned—the "fatherless"—were incredibly vulnerable, as were widows. Those who are "oppressed" by others includes those abused by authority, government, or others who wield power over them.

Today, many of the Lord's people suffer injustice and oppression at the hands of their persecutors. Difficult as this is to endure, the situation should not surprise them. Jesus predicted that His followers would experience terrible hardship in the world, but He said, "take heart; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). Someday God will make everything right. He will end the injustice and will wipe away every tear from the eyes of the oppressed (Revelation 7:17). When the Lord executes justice, He will punish the wicked, and they will never terrorize anyone again. In the tribulation period, the beast and the false prophet will launch a reign of terror, but their terror will end when the Lord casts them both alive into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20).
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.
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