I will wash my hands in innocency
The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "among innocent persons"; men of a holy harmless life and conversation; with these he determined to converse in common, and not with such as before described; or the sense is, that he would wash his hands, in token of his innocence, integrity, and uprightness, he had before spoke of, and of his having nothing to do with such evil men as now mentioned; see ( Deuteronomy 21:6 Deuteronomy 21:7 ) ( Matthew 27:24 ) ; "hands" are the instrument of action, and to "wash" them may design the performance of good works, ( Job 9:30 ) ; and to do this "in innocency", or "purity", may signify the performance of them from a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith unfeigned; and particularly may have some respect to the lifting up of holy hands in prayer to God, previous to public worship; there seems to be an allusion to the priests washing their hands before they offered sacrifice, ( Exodus 30:19-21 ) ;
so will I compass thine altar, O Lord;
frequent the house of God, where the altar was, and constantly attend the worship and ordinances of God; the work of the altar being put for the whole of divine service; the altar of burnt offering is here meant, which was a type of Christ; see ( Hebrews 13:10 ) ; reference is had to the priests at the altar, who used to go round it, when they laid the sacrifice on the altar, and bound it to the horns of it, at the four corners, and there sprinkled and poured out the blood; compare ( Psalms 43:4 ) ; in order to which they washed their hands, as before; and in later times it was usual with the Heathens F25 to wash their hands before divine service.
F25 "----pura cum veste venito, et manibus puris sumite fontis aquam, nunc lavabo ut rem divinam faciam", Tibull. l. 2. eleg. 1. Plantus in Aullular. Act. 3. Sc. 6. Vide Homer. Odyss, 12. v. 336, 337.