The Wicked and the Righteous Contrasted
A song of Asaph.#The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm
1Surely God is good to Israel,
to those pure of heart.
2But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled.
My steps had nearly slipped,
3because I envied the boastful
when I saw the well-being#Or “peace” or “prosperity” of the wicked.
4For there are no pains up to their death,
and their bodies are healthy.#Literally “fat”
5They do not have ordinary trouble,#Literally “the trouble of man”
and they are not plagued as other people.#Hebrew “humankind”
6Therefore pride is their necklace;
an outfit of violence covers them.
7Their eye bulges from fat.#A slightly different Hebrew reading might be reflected in the LXX’s “their iniquity comes out of fatness”
Imaginings overflow their heart.
8They mock and speak maliciously of oppression;
they speak as though from on high.
9They set their mouth against the heavens,
and their tongue roams the earth.
10Therefore his people turn there,#That is, toward the wicked
and abundant waters are slurped up by them.
11And they say, “How does God know?”
and, “Does the Most High have knowledge?”
12See, these are the wicked,
and they increase wealth, ever carefree.
13Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure,
and washed my hands in innocence.
14And I have been plagued all day
and rebuked every morning.#Literally “to the mornings”
15If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
behold, I would have acted treacherously
against your children’s generation.
16When I thought about how to understand this,
it was troubling in my eyes
17until I went into the sanctuary of God.
Then I understood their fate.
18Surely you set them on slippery places.
You cause them to fall onto ruin.#Or “fall for deceptions”
19How they become a desolation in a moment!
They come to a complete end by terrors.
20Like a dream upon awakening,
when you wake up, O Lord,
you will despise their fleeting form.#Or “image”
21When my heart was embittered
and I felt stabbed in my kidneys,
22then I was brutish and ignorant.
With you I was like the beasts.
23But I am continually with you;
you have hold of my right hand.
24You will guide me with your advice,
and afterward you will take me into honor.#Or “to glory”
25Whom do I have in the heavens except you?
And with you I have no other desire on earth.
26My flesh and heart failed,
but God is the strength#Literally “rock” of my heart and my reward forever.
27For indeed, those distancing themselves from you will be ruined.
You destroy each who abandons you for harlotry.
28But as for me, the approach to God is for my good.
I have set the Lord Yahweh as my refuge,
in order to tell all your works.