Psalm 73:7

ESV Their eyes swell out through fatness; their hearts overflow with follies.
NIV From their callous hearts comes iniquity ; their evil imaginations have no limits.
NASB Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart overflow.
CSB Their eyes bulge out from fatness; the imaginations of their hearts run wild.
NLT These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for!
KJV Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.
NKJV Their eyes bulge with abundance; They have more than heart could wish.

What does Psalm 73:7 mean?

In this psalm, Asaph has been complaining to God about those who are evil, but still prosper (Psalm 73:1–3). Here, he relies on exaggerated expressions to capture the strength of his feelings. In contrast to righteous people who work hard to survive (Psalm 73:4–5), these evil people gorge on food until their eyes pop out. In the ancient world, obesity was a sign of wealth and status—the poor lacked the extra food and leisure to grow fat. Mourning over the status of some evil people, this psalm uses the clearest stereotype of comfortable affluence.

In harmony with their ability to eat until they burst, these evil people also have hearts bursting with evil thoughts. Jeremiah 17:9 states that "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick," and Jesus cited the heart as the source of evil deeds. He said in Matthew 12:34–35: "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks…the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil." In the days before God destroyed the earth with a flood, He observed "that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5).

Scripture does not indicate if Asaph was thinking of anyone in particular when he wrote these words. Regardless of time or technology, the hearts of those who find wealth despite defying God have much in common. Their sin is comfortable and arrogant (Psalm 73:6). However, it is also temporary (Proverbs 29:1), leading only to eternal disaster (Psalm 73:15–17).
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: