Plea for Relief from Oppressors

A Psalm of Asaph.

Truly God is good to the upright,

to those who are pure in heart.[a]

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,

my steps had well nigh slipped.

For I was envious of the arrogant,

when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pangs;

their bodies are sound and sleek.

They are not in trouble as other men are;

they are not stricken like other men.

Therefore pride is their necklace;

violence covers them as a garment.

Their eyes swell out with fatness,

their hearts overflow with follies.

They scoff and speak with malice;

loftily they threaten oppression.

They set their mouths against the heavens,

and their tongue struts through the earth.

10 Therefore the people turn and praise them;[b]

and find no fault in them.[c]

11 And they say, “How can God know?

Is there knowledge in the Most High?”

12 Behold, these are the wicked;

always at ease, they increase in riches.

13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean

and washed my hands in innocence.

14 For all the day long I have been stricken,

and chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”

I would have been untrue to the generation of thy children.

16 But when I thought how to understand this,

it seemed to me a wearisome task,

17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;

then I perceived their end.

18 Truly thou dost set them in slippery places;

thou dost make them fall to ruin.

19 How they are destroyed in a moment,

swept away utterly by terrors!

20 They are[d] like a dream when one awakes,

on awaking you despise their phantoms.

21 When my soul was embittered,

when I was pricked in heart,

22 I was stupid and ignorant,

I was like a beast toward thee.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee;

thou dost hold my right hand.

24 Thou dost guide me with thy counsel,

and afterward thou wilt receive me to glory.[e]

25 Whom have I in heaven but thee?

And there is nothing upon earth that I desire besides thee.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is the strength[f] of my heart and my portion for ever.

27 For lo, those who are far from thee shall perish;

thou dost put an end to those who are false to thee.

28 But for me it is good to be near God;

I have made the Lord God my refuge,

that I may tell of all thy works.


  1. Psalm 73:1 Or Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart
  2. Psalm 73:10 Cn: Heb his people return hither
  3. Psalm 73:10 Cn: Heb abundant waters are drained by them
  4. Psalm 73:20 Cn: Heb Lord
  5. Psalm 73:24 Or honor
  6. Psalm 73:26 Heb rock