Psalms 73:22

22 I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence.

Psalms 73:22 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 73:22

So foolish was I
To envy the prosperity of the wicked, which is of so short a continuance; to arraign the providence and perfections of God, and to conclude so hastily that there was nothing in religion:

and ignorant;
or, "I knew not" F23; what he attempted to know, ( Psalms 73:16 ) , nor the end of the wicked, till he went into the sanctuary of the Lord; nor the counsel and design of God, in his methods of providence towards wicked men:

I was as a beast before thee,
or "with thee" F24; in the knowledge of the ways and works of God, even those of providence; see ( Psalms 92:5 Psalms 92:6 Psalms 92:7 ) , unteachable, untractable, kicking against God and his providential dispensations; not behaving like a man, much, less like a saint; but even as the worst of brutes, as the behemoth in ( Job 40:15 ) , for the same word is here used; he concluded that God, who saw all the wickedness of his heart, the workings and reasonings of his mind, which were so vain and foolish, could esteem him no other than as a beast; so the Targum,

``as a beast I am accounted with thee:''

the words may be rendered, "I was the veriest beast before thee"; there being no note of similitude in the text; the word for "beast" being in the plural number, may be used for a superlative; Plautus F25 uses the word "bellua", beast, for a stupid man.


F23 (eda al) "nescivi", V. L. "non cognoscebam", Pagninus, Montanus; "nec sciebam", Piscator; "non noveram", Cocceius.
F24 (Kme) "apud te", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus
F25 Trinum. Act. 4. Sc. 2. v. 110.

Psalms 73:22 In-Context

20 We wake up and rub our eyes. . . . Nothing. There's nothing to them. And there never was.
21 When I was beleaguered and bitter, totally consumed by envy,
22 I was totally ignorant, a dumb ox in your very presence.
23 I'm still in your presence, but you've taken my hand.
24 You wisely and tenderly lead me, and then you bless me.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.