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Psalms 73:13

    Psalms 73:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Truly I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Surely in vain have I cleansed my heart, And washed my hands in innocency;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    As for me, I have made my heart clean to no purpose, washing my hands in righteousness;

    Webster's Revision

    Surely in vain have I cleansed my heart, And washed my hands in innocency;

    World English Bible

    Surely in vain I have cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocence,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Surely in vain have I cleansed my heart, and washed my hands in innocency;

    Definitions for Psalms 73:13

    Vain - Empty; foolish; useless.
    Verily - Truly; surely.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 73:13

    I have cleansed my heart in vain - It is no advantage to us to worship the true God, to walk according to the law of righteousness, and keep the ordinances of the Most High.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 73:13

    So in Shakespeare, Richard III:

    How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands

    Of this most grievous, guilty murder done!

    And make my hands never so clean - Or, rather, should I cleanse my hands with lye, or alkali. The word בור bôr, means properly purity, cleanliness, pureness; and then it is used to denote that which cleanses, alkali, lye, or vegetable salt. The ancients made use of this, mingled with oil, instead of soap, for the purpose of washing, and also in smelting metals, to make them melt more readily; see the note at Isaiah 1:25. The Chaldee renders it accurately, באהלא - in soap. I have no doubt that this is the sense, and that Job means to say, if he should make use of the purest water and of soap to cleanse himself, still he would be regarded as impure. God would throw him at once into the ditch, and he would be covered with moral filth and defilement again in his sight.

    Psalm 73:13Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain - That is, There is no advantage in all my efforts to become pure and holy. It does not assist me in obtaining the favor of God; and it would be just as well to live a sinful life - to indulge in the pleasures of sense - to make the world my portion. Nothing is to be gained by all my painful efforts at self-discipline; by all my endeavors to become righteous. It would have been as well for me - or better - if I had lived a life of sin like other people. The righteous obtain from God fewer blessings than the wicked; they have less happiness and less prosperity in this world; they are subjected to more trouble and sorrow; and to all else there must be added the struggles, the conflict, the warfare, the painful effort "to be" pure, and to lead a holy life, all of which is now seen to be of no advantage whatever. Such thoughts as these were not confined to the psalmist. They are thoughts which will start up in the mind, and which it is not easy to calm down.

    And washed my hands in innocency - That is, It has been of no use that I have washed my hands in innocency. The word "innocency" here means "purity." He had washed his hands in that which was pure; as, pure water. To wash the hands is emblematic of innocence or purity. See the notes at Psalm 26:6.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 73:13

    73:13 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.