Psalms 51
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1  For the leader. A psalm of David,

א  לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד׃

2  when Natan the navi came to him after he had come to Batsheva.

b’-VO ay-LAV na-TAN ha-na-VEE ka-a-sher BA el bat SHA-va

ב  בְּבוֹא־אֵלָיו נָתָן הַנָּבִיא כַּאֲשֶׁר־בָּא אֶל־בַּת־שָׁבַע׃

51:2   Batsheva

King David teaches us about man’s vulnerability and his desires, as well as his ability to soar to the heavens and redeem his sins through repentance. While sin is hidden, repentance, in the eyes of David, must not be clandestine; it should be public. When David is confronted by the prophet Natan with rebuke (II Samuel 12), he responds with a single word: Chatati (חטאתי), ‘I have sinned.’  Psalm 51, however, is his public response. It begins with a glaring title with which David indicts himself right from the start: Natan the prophet came to me after I had gone in to Batsheva (verse 2). In verse 5, he declares that his sin is always with him while he begs the Lord to cleanse him of his iniquity. David is not satisfied with his own personal repentance but he declares that he will teach others the path towards repentance and atonement as well (verse 15). Though he erred, because of his commitment to return and to bring others closer to Hashem, we continue to herald King David as the greatest king of Israel.1 comment

3  Have mercy upon me, O Hashem, as befits Your faithfulness; in keeping with Your abundant compassion, blot out my transgressions.

ג  חָנֵּנִי אֱלֹהִים כְּחַסְדֶּךָ כְּרֹב רַחֲמֶיךָ מְחֵה פְשָׁעָי׃

4  Wash me thoroughly of my iniquity, and purify me of my sin;

ד  הרבה [הֶרֶב] כַּבְּסֵנִי מֵעֲוֺנִי וּמֵחַטָּאתִי טַהֲרֵנִי׃

5  for I recognize my transgressions, and am ever conscious of my sin.

ה  כִּי־פְשָׁעַי אֲנִי אֵדָע וְחַטָּאתִי נֶגְדִּי תָמִיד׃

6  Against You alone have I sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight; so You are just in Your sentence, and right in Your judgment.

ו  לְךָ לְבַדְּךָ חָטָאתִי וְהָרַע בְּעֵינֶיךָ עָשִׂיתִי לְמַעַן תִּצְדַּק בְּדָבְרֶךָ תִּזְכֶּה בְשָׁפְטֶךָ׃

7  Indeed I was born with iniquity; with sin my mother conceived me.

ז  הֵן־בְּעָווֹן חוֹלָלְתִּי וּבְחֵטְא יֶחֱמַתְנִי אִמִּי׃

8  Indeed You desire truth about that which is hidden; teach me wisdom about secret things.

ח  הֵן־אֱמֶת חָפַצְתָּ בַטֻּחוֹת וּבְסָתֻם חָכְמָה תוֹדִיעֵנִי׃

9  Purge me with hyssop till I am pure; wash me till I am whiter than snow.

ט  תְּחַטְּאֵנִי בְאֵזוֹב וְאֶטְהָר תְּכַבְּסֵנִי וּמִשֶּׁלֶג אַלְבִּין׃

10  Let me hear tidings of joy and gladness; let the bones You have crushed exult.

י  תַּשְׁמִיעֵנִי שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה תָּגֵלְנָה עֲצָמוֹת דִּכִּיתָ׃

11  Hide Your face from my sins; blot out all my iniquities.

יא  הַסְתֵּר פָּנֶיךָ מֵחֲטָאָי וְכָל־עֲוֺנֹתַי מְחֵה׃

12  Fashion a pure heart for me, O Hashem; create in me a steadfast spirit.

יב  לֵב טָהוֹר בְּרָא־לִי אֱלֹהִים וְרוּחַ נָכוֹן חַדֵּשׁ בְּקִרְבִּי׃

13  Do not cast me out of Your presence, or take Your holy spirit away from me.

יג  אַל־תַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי מִלְּפָנֶיךָ וְרוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ אַל־תִּקַּח מִמֶּנִּי׃

14  Let me again rejoice in Your help; let a vigorous spirit sustain me.

יד  הָשִׁיבָה לִּי שְׂשׂוֹן יִשְׁעֶךָ וְרוּחַ נְדִיבָה תִסְמְכֵנִי׃

15  I will teach transgressors Your ways, that sinners may return to You.

טו  אֲלַמְּדָה פֹשְׁעִים דְּרָכֶיךָ וְחַטָּאִים אֵלֶיךָ יָשׁוּבוּ׃

16  Save me from bloodguilt, O Hashem, Hashem, my deliverer, that I may sing forth Your beneficence.

טז  הַצִּילֵנִי מִדָּמִים אֱ‍לֹהִים אֱלֹהֵי תְּשׁוּעָתִי תְּרַנֵּן לְשׁוֹנִי צִדְקָתֶךָ׃

17  O Hashem, open my lips, and let my mouth declare Your praise.

יז  אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ׃

18  You do not want me to bring sacrifices; You do not desire burnt offerings;

יח  כִּי לֹא־תַחְפֹּץ זֶבַח וְאֶתֵּנָה עוֹלָה לֹא תִרְצֶה׃

19  True sacrifice to Hashem is a contrite spirit; Hashem, You will not despise a contrite and crushed heart.

יט  זִבְחֵי אֱלֹהִים רוּחַ נִשְׁבָּרָה לֵב־נִשְׁבָּר וְנִדְכֶּה אֱלֹהִים לֹא תִבְזֶה׃

20  May it please You to make Tzion prosper; rebuild the walls of Yerushalayim.

כ  הֵיטִיבָה בִרְצוֹנְךָ אֶת־צִיּוֹן תִּבְנֶה חוֹמוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃

21  Then You will want sacrifices offered in righteousness, burnt and whole offerings; then bulls will be offered on Your mizbayach.

 

כא  אָז תַּחְפֹּץ זִבְחֵי־צֶדֶק עוֹלָה וְכָלִיל אָז יַעֲלוּ עַל־מִזְבַּחֲךָ פָרִים׃

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Psalms 50
Psalms 52

Comment ( 1 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bibleā„¢.

  • Of course, all of the Psalms as well as all of the Tanach are written by God in the original language. Saying that verses 12, 13, and 14 are especially meaningful to me. It seams to me that the verses preceding these build up to this. First I must realize my sinfulness and ask Hashem to give me a clean heart and renew a steadfast Spirit within me. I must be steadfast to Hashem and obeying His Commandments. There was a time when I was, because of His Grace. Now that I have lost that I realize what I have lost and beg Hashem to restore to me that grace of steadfastness of spirit. The rest comes after that.

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Psalms 51

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