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.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

73 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.

They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.

Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.

Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.

They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.

11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?

12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.

16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.

19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

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