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[a]“The clean of hand and pure of heart,
    who has not given his soul to useless things,
    what is vain.
He will receive blessings from the Lord,
    and justice from his saving God.

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  1. 24:4–5 Lit., “the one whose hands are clean.” The singular is used for the entire class of worshipers.

Third Book—Psalms 73–89

Psalm 73[a]

The Trial of the Just

A psalm of Asaph.

How good God is to the upright,
    to those who are pure of heart!

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  1. Psalm 73 The opening verse of this probing poem (cf. Ps 37; 49) is actually the psalmist’s hard-won conclusion from personal experience: God is just and good! The psalmist describes near loss of faith (Ps 73:2–3), occasioned by observing the wicked who blasphemed God with seeming impunity (Ps 73:4–12). Feeling abandoned despite personal righteousness, the psalmist could not bear the injustice until an experience of God’s nearness in the Temple made clear how deluded the wicked were. Their sudden destruction shows their impermanence (Ps 73:13–20). The just can thus be confident, for, as the psalmist now knows, their security is from God (Ps 73:1, 23–28).

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