Psalm 51

A Prayer for Restoration

For the choir director. A psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba.(A)

Be gracious to me, God,
according to your faithful love;
according to your abundant compassion,
blot out my rebellion.(B)
Completely wash away my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.(C)
For I am conscious of my rebellion,
and my sin is always before me.(D)
Against you—you alone—I have sinned
and done this evil in your sight.(E)
So you are right when you pass sentence;
you are blameless when you judge.(F)
Indeed, I was guilty when I was born;
I was sinful when my mother conceived me.(G)

Surely you desire integrity in the inner self,
and you teach me wisdom deep within.(H)
Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.(I)
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.(J)
Turn your face away[a] from my sins
and blot out all my guilt.(K)

10 God, create a clean heart for me
and renew a steadfast[b] spirit within me.(L)
11 Do not banish me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.(M)
12 Restore the joy of your salvation to me,
and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.(N)
13 Then I will teach the rebellious your ways,
and sinners will return to you.(O)

14 Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God(P)
God of my salvation—
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.(Q)
15 Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.(R)
16 You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
you are not pleased with a burnt offering.(S)
17 The sacrifice pleasing to God is[c] a broken spirit.
You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.(T)

18 In your good pleasure, cause Zion to prosper;
build the walls of Jerusalem.(U)
19 Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices,
whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.(V)


  1. 51:9 Lit Hide your face
  2. 51:10 Or right
  3. 51:17 Lit The sacrifices of God are

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.(A)

Have mercy(B) on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;(C)
according to your great compassion(D)
    blot out(E) my transgressions.(F)
Wash away(G) all my iniquity
    and cleanse(H) me from my sin.

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

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

10 Create in me a pure heart,(X) O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.(Y)
11 Do not cast me(Z) from your presence(AA)
    or take your Holy Spirit(AB) from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation(AC)
    and grant me a willing spirit,(AD) to sustain me.(AE)

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

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


  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

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