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Book 3

Psalms 73—89

Should the Wicked Be Rich?

A song of Asaph.

73 God is truly good to Israel,
    to those who have pure hearts.
But I had almost stopped believing this truth.
    I had almost lost my faith
because I was jealous of proud people.
    I saw wicked people doing well.

They are not suffering.
    They are healthy and strong.
They don’t have troubles like the rest of us.
    They don’t have problems like other people.
So they wear pride like a necklace.
    They put on violence as their clothing.
They are looking for profits.
    They do not control their selfish desires.
They make fun of others and speak evil.
    Proudly they speak of hurting others.
They brag to the sky.
    Their mouths gossip on the earth.
10 So their people turn to them
    and give them whatever they want.
11 They say, “How can God know?
    What does God Most High know?”
12 These people are wicked,
    always at ease and getting richer.
13 So why have I kept my heart pure?
    Why have I kept my hands from doing wrong?
14 I have suffered all day long.
    I have been punished every morning.

15 God, if I had decided to talk about this,
    I would have let your people down.
16 I tried to understand all this.
    But it was too hard for me to see
17 until I went to the Temple of God.
    Then I understood what will happen to them.
18 You have put them in danger.
    You cause them to be destroyed.
19 They are destroyed in a moment.
    They are swept away by terrors.
20 It will be like waking from a dream.
    Lord, when you come, they will disappear.

21 When my heart was sad and
    I was angry,
22 I was senseless and stupid.
    I acted like an animal toward you.
23 But I am always with you.
    You have held my hand.
24 You guide me with your advice.
    And later you will receive me in honor.
25 I have no one in heaven but you.
    I want nothing on earth besides you.
26 My mind and my body may become weak.
    But God is my strength.
    He is mine forever.

27 Those who are far from God will die.
    You destroy those who are unfaithful.
28 But I am close to God, and that is good.
    The Lord God is my protection.
    I will tell all that you have done.


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)


  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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