PS 73 It is probable, Asaph was the author of this psalm; for we read of the words of David and the words of Asaph the seer, which were used in praising God in Hezekiah's time, 2 Chron. xxix, 30. He begins with laying down a general principle, ver. 1. Confesses his temptation to envy the wicked, ver. 2-14. Tells how he gained the victory over it, and advantage by it, ver. 15-28. A psalm of Asaph.
Verse 1. A clean heart - To all true Israelites, who love God, and serve him in spirit and truth.
Verse 2. My feet - My faith in God's providence, was almost overthrown.
Verse 4. No bands - They are not dragged to death, by the sentence of the magistrate, which they deserve.
Verse 5. As other men - As good men frequently are.
Verse 8. And speak - Boasting of their oppressions.
Verse 9. Against - Against God, blaspheming his name, and deriding his providence. Walketh - Using all manner of liberty, reproaching all sorts of persons.
Verse 10. Turn - To this wicked company. Waters - And partake of the same prosperity with their leaders. God seems to give them a fullcup of consolation, as if he would wring out all his blessings upon them.
Verse 12. Behold - These seem to be the words of the psalmist, summing up the matter.
Verse 13. In vain - Hence I was sometimes tempted, to think that religion was a vain, unprofitable thing. True religion is here described by its two principal parts, the cleansing of the heart, and the hands.
Verse 15. Offend - By grieving, discouraging and tempting them to revolt from God.
Verse 16. To know - To find out the reason of this providence.
Verse 17. Until - 'Till I consulted the word of God. He alludes to the practice of those times, which was, in difficult cases to resort to God's sanctuary, and the oracle therein. Their end - There I learned that their prosperity was short.
Verse 19. Terrors - With God's dreadful judgements unexpectedly seizing upon them.
Verse 20. They awake - Out of the pleasant dream of this vain life. Despise - Thou shalt make them despicable both to themselves and to all others; raise them to shame, and everlasting contempt. Image - All their felicity and glory, which shall be evidently discerned to be, no real or substantial thing, but a mere image or shadow.
Verse 21. Pricked - I was deeply wounded with disquieting thoughts.
Verse 22. Nevertheless - Although I gave thee just cause to cast me off, yet thou didst continue thy care and kindness to me. Hast held - That my faith might not fail.
Verse 27. Go a whoring - Those who revolt from thee, to work wickedness; which is called whoredom in scripture.