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BOOK III (Psalms 73-89)

A song of Asaph.

A Plea for Deliverance

73 God is indeed good to Israel,
    to those pure in heart.

Now as for me, my feet nearly stumbled,
    as I almost lost my step.
For I was envious of the proud
    when I observed the prosperity of the wicked.
For there is no struggle at their deaths,
    and their bodies are healthy.
They do not experience problems common to ordinary people;
    they aren’t afflicted as others[a] are.
Therefore pride is their necklace
    and violence covers them like a garment.

Their eyes bulge from obesity
    and the imaginations of their mind cross the border into sin.[b]
In their mockery they speak evil;
    from their arrogant position they speak oppression.
They choose to speak[c] against heaven;
    while they talk about things on earth.
10 Therefore God’s[d] people return there
    and drink it all in like water until they’re satiated.
11 Then they say,
    “How can God know?
        Does the Most High have knowledge?”

12 Just look at these wicked people!
    They’re perpetually carefree
        as they increase their wealth.
13 I kept my heart pure for nothing
    and kept my hands clean from guilt.
14 For I suffer all day long
    and I am punished every morning.

15 If I say, “I will talk like this,”
    I would betray a generation of your children.
16 When I tried to understand this,
    it was too difficult for me
17 until I entered the sanctuaries of God.
    Then I understood their destiny.
18 You have certainly set them in slippery places;
    you will make them fall to their ruin.

19 How desolate they quickly become,
    completely destroyed by calamities.
20 Like a dream when one awakens, Lord,
    you will despise their image when you arise.
21 When I chose to be bitter
    I was emotionally pained.
22 Then, I was too stupid
    and didn’t realize I was acting like[e] a wild animal with you.

23 But now I am always with you,
    for you keep holding my right hand.
24 You will guide me with your wise advice,
    and later you will receive me with honor.

25 Whom do I have in heaven but you?
    I desire nothing on this [f]earth.
26 My body and mind may fail,
    but God is my strength[g] and my portion forever.

27 Those far from you will perish;
    you will destroy those who are unfaithful to you.
28 As for me, how good for me it is that God is near!
    I have made the Lord God my refuge
        so I can tell about all your deeds.


  1. Psalm 73:5 Lit. human beings
  2. Psalm 73:7 The Heb. lacks into sin
  3. Psalm 73:9 Lit. They set their mouth
  4. Psalm 73:10 Lit. his
  5. Psalm 73:22 The Heb. lacks acting like
  6. Psalm 73:25 The Heb. lacks this
  7. Psalm 73:26 Lit. is the rock of my heart


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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