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Book III: Psalms 73–89

73 (0) A psalm of Asaf:

(1) How good God is to Isra’el,
to those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, I lost my balance,
my feet nearly slipped,
when I grew envious of the arrogant
and saw how the wicked prosper.
For when their death comes, it is painless;
and meanwhile, their bodies are healthy;
they don’t have ordinary people’s troubles,
they aren’t plagued like others.

So for them, pride is a necklace;
and violence clothes them like a robe.
Their eyes peep out through folds of fat;
evil thoughts overflow from their hearts.
They scoff and speak with malice,
they loftily utter threats.
They set their mouths against heaven;
their tongues swagger through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return here
and [thoughtlessly] suck up that whole cup of water.
11 Then they ask, “How does God know?
Does the Most High really have knowledge?”

12 Yes, this is what the wicked are like;
those free of misfortune keep increasing their wealth.
13 It’s all for nothing that I’ve kept my heart clean
and washed my hands, staying free of guilt;
14 for all day long I am plagued;
my punishment comes every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will talk like them,”
I would have betrayed a generation of your children.
16 When I tried to understand all this,
I found it too hard for me —
17 until I went into the sanctuaries of God
and grasped what their destiny would be.
18 Indeed, you place them on a slippery slope
and make them fall to their ruin.

19 How suddenly they are destroyed,
swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakens;
Adonai, when you rouse yourself,
you will despise their phantoms.

21 When I had a sour attitude
and felt stung by pained emotions,
22 I was too stupid to understand;
I was like a brute beast with you.
23 Nevertheless, I am always with you;
you hold my right hand.
24 You will guide me with your advice;
and afterwards, you will receive me with honor.

25 Whom do I have in heaven but you?
And with you, I lack nothing on earth.
26 My mind and body may fail; but God
is the rock for my mind and my portion forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who adulterously leave you.
28 But for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made Adonai Elohim my refuge,
so that I can tell of all your works.

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