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Psalm 51 Good News Translation (GNT)

A Prayer for Forgiveness[a]

51 Be merciful to me, O God,
    because of your constant love.
Because of your great mercy
    wipe away my sins!
Wash away all my evil
    and make me clean from my sin!

I recognize my faults;
    I am always conscious of my sins.
I have sinned against you—only against you—
    and done what you consider evil.
So you are right in judging me;
    you are justified in condemning me.
I have been evil from the day I was born;
    from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful.

Sincerity and truth are what you require;
    fill my mind with your wisdom.
Remove my sin, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
    and though you have crushed me and broken me,
    I will be happy once again.
Close your eyes to my sins
    and wipe out all my evil.

10 Create a pure heart in me, O God,
    and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence;
    do not take your holy spirit away from me.
12 Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach sinners your commands,
    and they will turn back to you.

14 Spare my life, O God, and save me,[b]
    and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness.
15 Help me to speak, Lord,
    and I will praise you.

16 You do not want sacrifices,
    or I would offer them;
you are not pleased with burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God;
    you will not reject a humble and repentant heart.

18 O God, be kind to Zion and help her;
    rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifices
    and with our burnt offerings;
    and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 51:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David, after the prophet Nathan had spoken to him about his adultery with Bathsheba.
  2. Psalm 51:14 Spare my life … me; or O God my savior, keep me from the crime of murder.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Psalm 51 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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;[a]
    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[b] 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[c] 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[d] 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 51:6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Psalm 51:10 Or steadfast
  3. Psalm 51:12 Or generous
  4. Psalm 51:17 Or My sacrifice, O God,
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.

Psalm 51 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

51 (0) For the leader. A psalm of David, when Natan the prophet came to him after his affair with Bat-Sheva:

(1) God, in your grace, have mercy on me;
in your great compassion, blot out my crimes.
(2) Wash me completely from my guilt,
and cleanse me from my sin.
(3) For I know my crimes,
my sin confronts me all the time.

(4) Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil from your perspective;
so that you are right in accusing me
and justified in passing sentence.

(5) True, I was born guilty,
was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me.
(6) Still, you want truth in the inner person;
so make me know wisdom in my inmost heart.

(7) Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
10 (8) Let me hear the sound of joy and gladness,
so that the bones you crushed can rejoice.
11 (9) Turn away your face from my sins,
and blot out all my crimes.

12 (10) Create in me a clean heart, God;
renew in me a resolute spirit.
13 (11) Don’t thrust me away from your presence,
don’t take your Ruach Kodesh away from me.
14 (12) Restore my joy in your salvation,
and let a willing spirit uphold me.
15 (13) Then I will teach the wicked your ways,
and sinners will return to you.

16 (14) Rescue me from the guilt of shedding blood,
God, God of my salvation!
Then my tongue will sing
about your righteousness —
17 (15) Adonai, open my lips;
then my mouth will praise you.

18 (16) For you don’t want sacrifices, or I would give them;
you don’t take pleasure in burnt offerings.
19 (17) My sacrifice to God is a broken spirit;
God, you won’t spurn a broken, chastened heart.
20 (18) In your good pleasure, make Tziyon prosper;
rebuild the walls of Yerushalayim.
21 (19) Then you will delight in righteous sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then they will offer bulls on your altar.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Psalm 51 The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm, After He Was Confronted by Nathan About the Affair with Bathsheba

51 1-3 Generous in love—God, give grace!
    Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
    soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I’ve been;
    my sins are staring me down.

4-6 You’re the One I’ve violated, and you’ve seen
    it all, seen the full extent of my evil.
You have all the facts before you;
    whatever you decide about me is fair.
I’ve been out of step with you for a long time,
    in the wrong since before I was born.
What you’re after is truth from the inside out.
    Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.

7-15 Soak me in your laundry and I’ll come out clean,
    scrub me and I’ll have a snow-white life.
Tune me in to foot-tapping songs,
    set these once-broken bones to dancing.
Don’t look too close for blemishes,
    give me a clean bill of health.
God, make a fresh start in me,
    shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.
Don’t throw me out with the trash,
    or fail to breathe holiness in me.
Bring me back from gray exile,
    put a fresh wind in my sails!
Give me a job teaching rebels your ways
    so the lost can find their way home.
Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God,
    and I’ll sing anthems to your life-giving ways.
Unbutton my lips, dear God;
    I’ll let loose with your praise.

16-17 Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

18-19 Make Zion the place you delight in,
    repair Jerusalem’s broken-down walls.
Then you’ll get real worship from us,
    acts of worship small and large,
Including all the bulls
    they can heave onto your altar!

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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