Psalms 51
A Prayer of Repentance and Plea for Mercy
For the music director. A psalm of David.
When Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.#The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first two verses of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by two
1Be gracious to me, O God, according to your loyal love.
According to your abundant mercies,
blot out my transgressions.
2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and from my sin cleanse me.
3For I myself know#Literally “I, I know” my transgressions,#Or “rebellions”
and my sin is ever before me.
4Against you, only you, I have sinned
and have done this evil#Hebrew “the evil” in your eyes,
so that you are correct when you speak,
you are blameless when you judge.
5Behold, in iniquity I was born,
and in sin my mother conceived me.
6Behold, you delight in truth in the inward parts,
and in the hidden parts you make me to know wisdom.
7Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean.
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Make me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9Hide your face from my sins,
and all my iniquities blot out.
10Create a clean heart for me, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.#Literally “in my inner parts”
11Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and with a willing spirit sustain me.
13Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
14Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
the God of my salvation;
then my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
16For you do not delight in sacrifice or I would give it.
With a burnt offering you are not pleased.
17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
18Do good in your favor toward Zion.
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices,
burnt offering and whole burnt offering.
Then bulls will be offered on your altar.
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