A Prayer for Forgiveness
For the director of music. A psalm of David when the prophet Nathan came to David after ·David’s sin with Bathsheba [he committed adultery with/L had gone to Bathsheba; 2 Sam. 11:1—12:25].
51 God, be ·merciful [gracious] to me
·because you are loving [according to your love/loyalty].
·Because you are always ready to be merciful [According to your abundant compassion],
·wipe [blot] out all my ·wrongs [transgressions].
2 Wash ·away [L me thoroughly from] all my guilt
and make me clean ·again [L from my sin].
3 I know about my ·wrongs [transgressions],
and ·I can’t forget my sin [L my sin is continually before me].
4 You ·are the only one [alone] I have sinned against;
I have done ·what you say is wrong [L evil in your eyes].
You are ·right [vindicated] when you speak
and ·fair [pure; blameless] when you judge.
5 I was ·brought into this world [born] in ·sin [guilt].
In sin my mother ·gave birth to [conceived] me [Rom. 3:9–20; 7:18].
6 You ·want me to be completely truthful [L desire truth/faithfulness in my inward parts],
·so teach me wisdom [L and secretly you make me know wisdom].
7 ·Take away my sin [L Remove my sin with hyssop; Ex. 12:22; C a plant used in purification rituals; Lev. 14:4, 6, 49–51; Num. 19:18], and I will be clean.
Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow [Is. 1:18].
8 Make me hear sounds of joy and gladness;
let the bones you crushed ·be happy [rejoice] again.
9 ·Turn [L Hide] your face from my sins
and ·wipe [blot] out all my guilt.
10 Create in me a ·pure [clean] heart, God,
and ·make my spirit right again [L renew a right/steadfast spirit in me].
11 Do not send me away from you
or take your ·Holy Spirit [or holy spirit] away from me.
12 ·Give me back [Restore to me] the joy of your ·salvation [rescue].
·Keep me strong by giving [Sustain in] me a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach your ways to ·those who do wrong [transgressors],
and sinners will turn back to you.
14 God, save me from ·the guilt of murder [bloodshed],
God of my ·salvation [rescue],
and ·I will sing about your goodness [L let my tongue sing for joy of your righteousness].
15 Lord, let ·me speak [L my lips open]
so ·I may praise you [L my mouth may speak your praise].
16 You are not pleased by sacrifices, or I would give them.
You don’t want burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17].
17 The sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit.
God, you will not ·reject [despise] a heart that is broken and ·sorry for sin [contrite; Is. 57:15; 66:2; Mic. 6:6–8].
18 Do whatever good you wish for ·Jerusalem [L Zion; C the location of the Temple].
Rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with right sacrifices and whole burnt offerings [Lev. 1:1–17],
and bulls will be offered on your altar.