Psalms 73:20

20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.

Psalms 73:20 in Other Translations

KJV
20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.
ESV
20 Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
NLT
20 When you arise, O Lord, you will laugh at their silly ideas as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.
MSG
20 We wake up and rub our eyes. . . . Nothing. There's nothing to them. And there never was.
CSB
20 Like one waking from a dream, Lord, when arising, You will despise their image.

Psalms 73:20 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 73:20

As a dream when one awaketh
So will be all the temporal felicity of wicked men, all an illusion, all a dream; when they lift up their eyes in hell, and awake in the resurrection, they will find themselves destitute of all their riches and honours, and it will be as if they had only dreamed of them, and never enjoyed them; see ( Job 20:6-8 ) ( Isaiah 29:8 ) so, "O Lord, when thou awakest"; to judgment, to take vengeance on wicked men, and vindicate his own people; and who seems sometimes to be as it were asleep, and to take no notice of things, when the judgment of the ungodly, and their damnation, seem to slumber, though it does not; see ( Psalms 7:6 ) ( 2 Peter 2:3 ) or when he awakes the dead at the time of the resurrection. Death is often compared to sleep in Scripture, and the resurrection to an awaking out of it, which is the Lord's work, ( Isaiah 26:19 ) ( Daniel 12:2 ) , and so the Targum,

``O Lord, when thou shalt raise them from their graves:''

thou shalt despise their image;
the image of the earthly man, of sin and of Satan, which is upon both their souls and bodies; which will both be destroyed in hell: or their riches and honour, the vain show in which they have walked, their outward pomp and splendour; which was only a show, an outward appearance, and no solidity and substance; and which will not be esteemed in the great day of account, but despised; see ( Job 36:18 Job 36:19 ) , the wicked will awake, and arise to everlasting shame and contempt, ( Daniel 12:2 ) .

Psalms 73:20 In-Context

18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
20 They are like a dream when one awakes; when you arise, Lord, you will despise them as fantasies.
21 When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
22 I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Job 20:8
  • 2. Psalms 78:65; Isaiah 29:8
  • 3. Proverbs 12:11; Proverbs 28:19