English Standard Version
All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.
King James Bible
Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
American Standard Version
Surely in vain have I cleansed my heart, And washed my hands in innocency;
And I said: Then have I in vain justified my heart, and washed my hands among the innocent.
English Revised Version
Surely in vain have I cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocency;
Webster's Bible Translation
Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.
Psalm 73:13 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The reading עונמו, ἡ ἀδικία αὐτῶν (lxx (cf. in Zechariah 5:6 the עינם, which is rendered by the lxx in exactly the same way), in favour of which Hitzig, Bצttcher, and Olshausen decide, "their iniquity presses forth out of a fat heart, out of a fat inward part," is favoured by Psalm 17:10, where חלב obtains just this signification by combination with סגר, which it would obtain here as being the place whence sin issues; cf. ἐξέρχεσθαι ἐκ τῆς καρδίας, Matthew 15:18.; and the parallelism decides its superiority. Nevertheless the traditional reading also gives a suitable sense; not (since the fat tends to make the eyes appear to be deeper in) "their eyes come forward prae adipe," but, "they stare forth ex adipe, out of the fat of their bloated visage," מחלב being equivalent to מחלב פּניהם, Job 15:27. This is a feature of the character faithfully drawn after nature. Further, just as in general τὸ περίσσευμα τῆς καρδίας wells over in the gestures and language (Matthew 12:34), so is it also with their "views or images of the heart" (from שׂכה, like שׂכוי, the cock with its gift of divination as speculator): the illusions of their unbounded self-confidence come forth outwardly, they overflow after the manner of a river,
(Note: On the other hand, Redslob (Deutsch. Morgenlהnd. Zeitschr. 1860, S. 675) interprets it thus: they run over the fencings of the heart, from שׂכה in the signification to put or stick through, to stick into (infigere), by comparing קירות לבּי, Jeremiah 4:19, and ἕρκος ὀδόντων. He regards משׂכית sdrag and mosaic as one word, just as the Italian ricamare (to stitch) and רקם is one word. Certainly the root זך, Arab. zk, ḏk, has the primary notion of piercing (cf. זכר), and also the notion of purity, which it obtains, proceeds from the idea of the brilliance which pierces into the eye; but the primary notion of שׂכה is that of cutting through (whence שׂכּין, like מחלף, a knife, from חלף, Judges 5:26).)
viz., as Psalm 73:8 says, in words that are proud beyond measure (Jeremiah 5:28). Luther: "they destroy everything" (synon. they make it as or into rottenness, from מקק). But חמיק is here equivalent to the Aramaic מיּק (μωκᾶσθαι): they mock and openly speak ברע (with ā in connection with Munach transformed from Dech), with evil disposition (cf. Exodus 32:12), oppression; i.e., they openly express their resolve which aims at oppression. Their fellow-man is the sport of their caprice; they speak or dictate ממּרום, down from an eminence, upon which they imagine themselves to be raised high above others. Even in the heavens above do they set (שׁתּוּ as in Psalm 49:15 instead of שׁתוּ, - there, in accordance with tradition, Milel; here at the commencement of the verse Milra) their mouth; even these do not remain untouched by their scandalous language (cf. Jde 1:16); the Most High and Holy One, too, is blasphemed by them, and their tongue runs officiously and imperiously through the earth below, everywhere disparaging that which exists and giving new laws. תּהלך, as in Exodus 9:23, a Kal sounding much like Hithpa., in the signification grassari. In Psalm 73:10 the Chethb ישׁיב (therefore he, this class of man, turns a people subject to him hither, i.e., to himself) is to be rejected, because הלם is not appropriate to it. עמּו is the subject, and the suffix refers not to God (Stier), whose name has not been previously mentioned, but to the kind of men hitherto described: what is meant is the people which, in order that it may turn itself hither (שׁוּב, not: to turn back, but to turn one's self towards, as e.g., in Jeremiah 15:19)
(Note: In general שׁוּב does not necessarily signify to turn back, but, like the Arabic ‛âda, Persic gashten, to enter into a new (active or passive) state.))
becomes his, i.e., this class's people (cf. for this sense of the suffix as describing the issue or event, Psalm 18:24; Psalm 49:6; Psalm 65:12). They gain adherents (Psalm 49:14) from those who leave the fear of God and turn to them; and מי מלא, water of fulness, i.e., of full measure (cf. Psalm 74:15, streams of duration equals that do not dry up), which is here an emblem of their corrupt principles (cf. Job 15:16), is quaffed or sucked in (מצה, root מץ, whence first of all מצץ, Arab. mṣṣ, to suck) by these befooled ones (למו, αὐτοῖς equals ὑπ ̓ αὐτῶν). This is what is meant to be further said, and not that this band of servile followers is in fulness absorbed by them (Sachs). Around the proud free-thinkers there gathers a rabble submissive to them, which eagerly drinks in everything that proceeds from them as though it were the true water of life. Even in David's time (Psalm 10:4; Psalm 14:1; Psalm 36:2) there were already such stout spirits (Isaiah 46:12) with a servûm imitatorum pecus. A still far more favourable soil for these לצים was the worldly age of Solomon.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?'
For he has said, 'It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.'
that you ask, 'What advantage have I? How am I better off than if I had sinned?'
I wash my hands in innocence and go around your altar, O LORD,
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.