Psalms 73 to 74 : English Standard Version   | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Book Three

God Is My Strength and Portion Forever

A Psalm of Asaph.

73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, my steps had nearly slipped. 3For I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4For they have no pangs until death; their bodies are fat and sleek. 5They are not in trouble as others are; they are not stricken like the rest of mankind. 6Therefore pride is their necklace; violence covers them as a garment. 7Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies. 8They scoff and speak with malice; loftily they threaten oppression. 9They set their mouths against the heavens, and their tongue struts through the earth. 10Therefore his people turn back to them, and find no fault in them.[1] 11And they say, “How can God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?” 12Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. 13All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. 14For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. 15If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children.

16But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, 17until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end.

18Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. 19How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! 20Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. 21When my soul was embittered, when I was pricked in heart, 22I was brutish and ignorant; I was like a beast toward you.

23Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. 24You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. 25Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength[2] of my heart and my portion forever.

27For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you. 28But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.

[1] Probable reading; Hebrew the waters of a full cup are drained by them  [2] Hebrew rock

Psalm 74

Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause

A Maskil[3] of Asaph.

74:1 O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? 2Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old, which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage! Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt. 3Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins; the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!

4Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place; they set up their own signs for signs. 5They were like those who swing axes in a forest of trees.[4] 6And all its carved wood they broke down with hatchets and hammers. 7They set your sanctuary on fire; they profaned the dwelling place of your name, bringing it down to the ground. 8They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”; they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

9We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long. 10How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever? 11Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the fold of your garment[5] and destroy them!

12Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. 13You divided the sea by your might; you broke the heads of the sea monsters[6] on the waters. 14You crushed the heads of Leviathan; you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness. 15You split open springs and brooks; you dried up ever-flowing streams. 16Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have established the heavenly lights and the sun. 17You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.

18Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name. 19Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor forever.

20Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence. 21Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame; let the poor and needy praise your name.

22Arise, O God, defend your cause; remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day! 23Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!

[3] Probably a musical or liturgical term  [4] The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain  [5] Hebrew from your bosom  [6] Or the great sea creatures

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