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Psalm 50-52 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Psalm 50

The Acceptable Sacrifice

A Psalm of Asaph.

The mighty one, God the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.

Our God comes and does not keep silence,
    before him is a devouring fire,
    and a mighty tempest all around him.
He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge.Selah

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak,
    O Israel, I will testify against you.
    I am God, your God.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
    your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house,
    or goats from your folds.
10 For every wild animal of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the air,[a]
    and all that moves in the field is mine.

12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world and all that is in it is mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
    or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,[b]
    and pay your vows to the Most High.
15 Call on me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

16 But to the wicked God says:
    “What right have you to recite my statutes,
    or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you.
18 You make friends with a thief when you see one,
    and you keep company with adulterers.

19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your kin;
    you slander your own mother’s child.
21 These things you have done and I have been silent;
    you thought that I was one just like yourself.
But now I rebuke you, and lay the charge before you.

22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    or I will tear you apart, and there will be no one to deliver.
23 Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me;
    to those who go the right way[c]
    I will show the salvation of God.”

Psalm 51

Prayer for Cleansing and Pardon

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

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your 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 you, you alone, have I sinned,
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
    and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty,
    a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;[d]
    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.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your 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[e] spirit within me.
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 sustain in me a willing[f] spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

15 O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you have no delight in sacrifice;
    if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God[g] is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

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

Psalm 52

Judgment on the Deceitful

To the leader. A Maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came to Saul and said to him, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”

Why do you boast, O mighty one,
    of mischief done against the godly?[h]
    All day long you are plotting destruction.
Your tongue is like a sharp razor,
    you worker of treachery.
You love evil more than good,
    and lying more than speaking the truth.Selah
You love all words that devour,
    O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever;
    he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
    he will uproot you from the land of the living.Selah
The righteous will see, and fear,
    and will laugh at the evildoer,[i] saying,
“See the one who would not take
    refuge in God,
but trusted in abundant riches,
    and sought refuge in wealth!”[j]

But I am like a green olive tree
    in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
    forever and ever.
I will thank you forever,
    because of what you have done.
In the presence of the faithful
    I will proclaim[k] your name, for it is good.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 50:11 Gk Syr Tg: Heb mountains
  2. Psalm 50:14 Or make thanksgiving your sacrifice to God
  3. Psalm 50:23 Heb who set a way
  4. Psalm 51:6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  5. Psalm 51:10 Or steadfast
  6. Psalm 51:12 Or generous
  7. Psalm 51:17 Or My sacrifice, O God,
  8. Psalm 52:1 Cn Compare Syr: Heb the kindness of God
  9. Psalm 52:6 Heb him
  10. Psalm 52:7 Syr Tg: Heb in his destruction
  11. Psalm 52:9 Cn: Heb wait for
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

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