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BOOK THREE

Psalms 73–89

The Tragedy of the Wicked, and the Blessedness of Trust in God

A Psalm of (A)Asaph.

73 Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly (B)slipped.
(C)For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the (D)wicked.

For there are no [a]pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
(E)They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them (F)like a garment.
(G)Their [b]eyes bulge with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.
(H)They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They (I)speak [c]loftily.
They set their mouth (J)against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return here,
(K)And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
11 And they say, (L)“How does God know?
And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
13 Surely I have [d]cleansed my heart in (M)vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
16 When I thought how to understand this,
It was [e]too painful for me—
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their (N)end.

18 Surely (O)You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
20 As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was [f]vexed in my mind.
22 (P)I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 (Q)You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 (R)Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 (S)My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the [g]strength of my heart and my (T)portion forever.

27 For indeed, (U)those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who [h]desert You for harlotry.
28 But it is good for me to (V)draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord God,
That I may (W)declare all Your works.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 73:4 pains
  2. Psalm 73:7 Tg. face bulges; LXX, Syr., Vg. iniquity bulges
  3. Psalm 73:8 Proudly
  4. Psalm 73:13 kept my heart pure in vain
  5. Psalm 73:16 troublesome in my eyes
  6. Psalm 73:21 Lit. pierced in my kidneys
  7. Psalm 73:26 Lit. rock
  8. Psalm 73:27 Are unfaithful to You

BOOK III

Psalms 73–89

Psalm 73

A psalm of Asaph.

Surely God is good to Israel,
    to those who are pure in heart.(A)

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;(B)
    I had nearly lost my foothold.(C)
For I envied(D) the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.(E)

They have no struggles;
    their bodies are healthy and strong.[a]
They are free(F) from common human burdens;
    they are not plagued by human ills.
Therefore pride(G) is their necklace;(H)
    they clothe themselves with violence.(I)
From their callous hearts(J) comes iniquity[b];
    their evil imaginations have no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice;(K)
    with arrogance(L) they threaten oppression.(M)
Their mouths lay claim to heaven,
    and their tongues take possession of the earth.
10 Therefore their people turn to them
    and drink up waters in abundance.[c]
11 They say, “How would God know?
    Does the Most High know anything?”

12 This is what the wicked are like—
    always free of care,(N) they go on amassing wealth.(O)

13 Surely in vain(P) I have kept my heart pure
    and have washed my hands in innocence.(Q)
14 All day long I have been afflicted,(R)
    and every morning brings new punishments.

15 If I had spoken out like that,
    I would have betrayed your children.
16 When I tried to understand(S) all this,
    it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary(T) of God;
    then I understood their final destiny.(U)

18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;(V)
    you cast them down to ruin.(W)
19 How suddenly(X) are they destroyed,
    completely swept away(Y) by terrors!
20 They are like a dream(Z) when one awakes;(AA)
    when you arise, Lord,
    you will despise them as fantasies.(AB)

21 When my heart was grieved
    and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless(AC) and ignorant;
    I was a brute beast(AD) before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.(AE)
24 You guide(AF) me with your counsel,(AG)
    and afterward you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?(AH)
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.(AI)
26 My flesh and my heart(AJ) may fail,(AK)
    but God is the strength(AL) of my heart
    and my portion(AM) forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;(AN)
    you destroy all who are unfaithful(AO) to you.
28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.(AP)
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;(AQ)
    I will tell of all your deeds.(AR)

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 73:4 With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text struggles at their death; / their bodies are healthy
  2. Psalm 73:7 Syriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew Their eyes bulge with fat
  3. Psalm 73:10 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.

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