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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Psalms 73



Verse 1

Psalm 73:1-28. Of Asaph - (see on Introduction). God is good to His people. For although the prosperity of the wicked, and the afflictions of the righteous, tempted the Psalmist to misgivings of God‘s government, yet the sudden and fearful ruin of the ungodly, seen in the light of God‘s revelation, reassures his heart; and, chiding himself for his folly, he is led to confide renewedly in God, and celebrate His goodness and love.

The abrupt announcement of the theme indicates that it is the conclusion of a perplexing mental conflict, which is then detailed (compare Jeremiah 12:1-4).

Truly — or, “Surely it is so.”

clean heart — (Psalm 18:26) describes the true Israel.

Verse 2

The figures express his wavering faith, by terms denoting tottering and weakness (compare Psalm 22:5; Psalm 62:3).

Verses 3-9

The prosperous wicked are insolently proud (compare Psalm 5:5). They die, as well as live, free from perplexities: pride adorns them, and violence is their clothing; indeed they are inflated with unexpected success. With all this -

Verse 8

They are corrupt — or, literally, “they deride,” they speak maliciously and arrogantly and invade even heaven with blasphemy (Revelation 13:6), and cover earth with slanders (Job 21:7-14).

Verses 10-12

Hence God‘s people are confounded, turned hither (or back) and thither, perplexed with doubts of God‘s knowledge and care, and filled with sorrow.

Verse 12

prosper in the word — literally, “secure for ever.”

Verse 13-14

The Psalmist, partaking of these troubles, is especially disturbed in view of his own case, that with all his diligent efforts for a holy life, he is still sorely tried.

Verse 15

Freed from idiomatic phrases, this verse expresses a supposition, as, “Had I thus spoken, I should,” etc., intimating that he had kept his troubles to himself.

generation of thy children — Thy people (1 John 3:1).

offend — literally, “deceive, mislead.”

Verse 16-17

Still he -

thought — literally, “studied,” or, “pondered this riddle”; but in vain; it remained a toil (compare Margin), till he -

Verse 17

went into the sanctuary — to enquire (compare Exodus 25:22; Psalm 5:7; Psalm 27:4).

Verses 18-20

their end — future (Psalm 37:37, Psalm 37:38), which is dismal and terribly sudden (Proverbs 1:27; Proverbs 29:1), aggravated and hastened by terror. As one despises an unsubstantial dream, so God, waking up to judgment (Psalm 7:6; Psalm 44:23), despises their vain shadow of happiness (Psalm 39:6; Isaiah 29:7). They are thrown into ruins as a building falling to pieces (Psalm 74:3).

Verse 21-22

He confesses how -

foolish — literally, “stupid,” and

ignorant — literally, “not discerning,” had been his course of thought.

Verse 22

before thee — literally, “with Thee,” in conduct respecting Thee.

Verse 23

Still he was with God, as a dependent beneficiary, and so kept from falling (Psalm 73:2).

Verse 24

All doubts are silenced in confidence of divine guidance and future glory.

receive me to glory — literally, “take for (me) glory” (compare Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8).

Verse 25-26

God is his only satisfying good.

Verse 26

strength — literally, “rock” (Psalm 18:2).

portion — (Psalm 16:5; Lamentations 3:24).

Verse 27-28

The lot of apostates, described by a figure of frequent use (Jeremiah 3:1, Jeremiah 3:3; Ezekiel 23:35), is contrasted with his, who finds happiness in nearness to God (James 4:8), and his delightful work the declaration of His praise.


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 73:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

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Saturday, January 18th, 2020
the First Week after Epiphany
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