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Psalm 51 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Prayer for Cleansing and Pardon

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

51 [a]Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy steadfast love;
    according to thy abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
    and done that which is evil in thy sight,
so that thou art justified in thy sentence
    and blameless in thy judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being;
    therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Fill[b] me with joy and gladness;
    let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.
Hide thy face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and put a new and right[c] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence,
    and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways,
    and sinners will return to thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness,[d] O God,
    thou God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips,
    and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
16 For thou hast no delight in sacrifice;
    were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God[e] is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure;
    rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on thy altar.

Footnotes:

  1. 51 This psalm, known as the “Miserere,” is the one most used in the Office to express repentance for sin.
  2. Psalm 51:8 Syr: Heb Make to hear
  3. Psalm 51:10 Or steadfast
  4. Psalm 51:14 Or death
  5. Psalm 51:17 Or My sacrifice, O God
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1965, 1966 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Psalm 51 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 51[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 51:1 In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.
  2. Psalm 51:17 Or The sacrifices of God are
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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