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)

Psalm 74

A maskil[d] of Asaph.

O God, why have you rejected(AS) us forever?(AT)
    Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?(AU)
Remember the nation you purchased(AV) long ago,(AW)
    the people of your inheritance,(AX) whom you redeemed(AY)
    Mount Zion,(AZ) where you dwelt.(BA)
Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,(BB)
    all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.

Your foes roared(BC) in the place where you met with us;
    they set up their standards(BD) as signs.
They behaved like men wielding axes
    to cut through a thicket of trees.(BE)
They smashed all the carved(BF) paneling
    with their axes and hatchets.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
    they defiled(BG) the dwelling place(BH) of your Name.(BI)
They said in their hearts, “We will crush(BJ) them completely!”
    They burned(BK) every place where God was worshiped in the land.

We are given no signs from God;(BL)
    no prophets(BM) are left,
    and none of us knows how long this will be.
10 How long(BN) will the enemy mock(BO) you, God?
    Will the foe revile(BP) your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?(BQ)
    Take it from the folds of your garment(BR) and destroy them!

12 But God is my King(BS) from long ago;
    he brings salvation(BT) on the earth.

13 It was you who split open the sea(BU) by your power;
    you broke the heads of the monster(BV) in the waters.
14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan(BW)
    and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.(BX)
15 It was you who opened up springs(BY) and streams;
    you dried up(BZ) the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.(CA)
17 It was you who set all the boundaries(CB) of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.(CC)

18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,
    how foolish people(CD) have reviled your name.
19 Do not hand over the life of your dove(CE) to wild beasts;
    do not forget the lives of your afflicted(CF) people forever.
20 Have regard for your covenant,(CG)
    because haunts of violence fill the dark places(CH) of the land.
21 Do not let the oppressed(CI) retreat in disgrace;
    may the poor and needy(CJ) praise your name.
22 Rise up,(CK) O God, and defend your cause;
    remember how fools(CL) mock you all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamor(CM) of your adversaries,(CN)
    the uproar(CO) of your enemies,(CP) which rises continually.


  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.
  4. Psalm 74:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term