Add parallel Print Page Options

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.[a]

51 Be gracious to me, O God, according to your loyal love.
According to your abundant mercies,
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and from my sin cleanse me.
For I myself know[b] my transgressions,[c]
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, only you, I have sinned
and have done this evil[d] in your eyes,
so that you are correct when you speak,
you are blameless when you judge.
Behold, in iniquity I was born,
and in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward parts,
and in the hidden parts you make me to know wisdom.
Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean.
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and all my iniquities blot out.
10 Create a clean heart for me, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.[e]
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and with a willing spirit sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
the God of my salvation;
then my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
16 For you do not delight in sacrifice or I would give it.
With a burnt offering you are not pleased.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good in your favor toward Zion.
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices,
burnt offering and whole burnt offering.
Then bulls will be offered on your altar.


  1. Psalm 51:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first two verses of the psalm; the English verse number is reduced by two
  2. Psalm 51:3 Literally “I, I know”
  3. Psalm 51:3 Or “rebellions”
  4. Psalm 51:4 Hebrew “the evil”
  5. Psalm 51:10 Literally “in my inner parts”