Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 73:12

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

These are the ungodly - The people still speak. It is the ungodly that prosper, the irreligious and profane.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world - This is also to be understood as the language of the good man perplexed and embarrassed by the fact that the wicked are prosperous and happy. The meaning is, “Lo, these are wicked people - people of undoubted depravity; they are people who live regardless of God; and yet they are peaceful, tranquil, happy, prospered.” This was one of the facts which so much embarrassed the psalmist. If there had been any doubt about the character of those people, the case would have been different. But there was none. They were people whose character for wickedness was well known, and yet they were permitted to live in peace and prosperity, as if they were the favorites of heaven. The literal meaning of the words rendered “who prosper in the world” is, “tranquil (or secure) for the age;” that is, forever, or constantly. They know no changes; they see no reverses; they are the same through life. They are always tranquil, calm, happy, successful.

They increase in riches - literally, “They become great in substance.” They make constant accumulations in wealth, until they become great.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The psalmist was strongly tempted to envy the prosperity of the wicked; a common temptation, which has tried the graces of many saints. But he lays down the great principle by which he resolved to abide. It is the goodness of God. This is a truth which cannot be shaken. Good thoughts of God will fortify against Satan's temptations. The faith even of strong believers may be sorely shaken, and ready to fail. There are storms that will try the firmest anchors. Foolish and wicked people have sometimes a great share of outward prosperity. They seem to have the least share of the troubles of this life; and they seem to have the greatest share of its comforts. They live without the fear of God, yet they prosper, and get on in the world. Wicked men often spend their lives without much sickness, and end them without great pain; while many godly persons scarcely know what health is, and die with great sufferings. Often the wicked are not frightened, either by the remembrance of their sins, or the prospect of their misery, but they die without terror. We cannot judge men's state beyond death, by what passes at their death. He looked abroad, and saw many of God's people greatly at a loss. Because the wicked are so very daring, therefore his people return hither; they know not what to say to it, and the rather, because they drink deep of the bitter cup of affliction. He spoke feelingly when he spoke of his own troubles; there is no disputing against sense, except by faith. From all this arose a strong temptation to cast off religion. But let us learn that the true course of sanctification consists in cleansing a man from all pollution both of soul and body. The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ laid hold upon by faith; and by the begun works of the Lord's Spirit, manifested in the hearty resolution, purpose, and study of holiness, and a blameless course of life and actions, the hands are cleansed. It is not in vain to serve God and keep his ordinances.
Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 3 (EGW), 1149

17. See EGW on 1 Samuel 2:26, Vol. 2, p. 1010. 3BC 1149.1

Read in context »