To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David; when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had sinned with Bathsheba.
51 Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and guilt And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; My sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned And done that which is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak [Your sentence] And faultless in Your judgment.
5 I was brought forth in [a state of] wickedness; In sin my mother conceived me [and from my beginning I, too, was sinful]. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part [of my heart] You will make me know wisdom. 7 Purify me with [a]hyssop, and I will be clean; Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness and be satisfied; Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. 9 Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right and steadfast 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 me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted and return to You.
14 Rescue me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will sing joyfully of Your righteousness and Your justice. 15 O Lord, open my lips, That my mouth may declare Your praise. 16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, or else I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering. 17 My [only] sacrifice [acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; A broken and contrite heart [broken with sorrow for sin, thoroughly penitent], such, O God, You will not despise.
18 By Your favor do good to Zion; May You rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then will You delight in the sacrifices of righteousness, In burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.
Futility of Boastful Wickedness.
To the Chief Musician. A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem. A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”
52 Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The lovingkindness of God endures all day long. 2 Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3 You love evil more than good, And falsehood more than speaking what is right. Selah. 4 You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.
5 But God will break you down forever; He will take you away and tear you away from your tent, And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah. 6 The righteous will see it and fear, And will [scoffingly] laugh, saying, 7 “Look, [this is] the man who would not make God his strength [his stronghold and fortress], But trusted in the abundance of his riches, Taking refuge in his wealth.”
8 But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust [confidently] in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. 9 I will thank You forever, because You have done it, [You have rescued me and kept me safe]. I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.
Folly and Wickedness of Men.
To the Chief Musician; in a mournful strain. A skillful song, or didactic or reflective poem of David.
53 The [empty-headed] fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt and evil, and have committed repulsive injustice; There is no one who does good. 2 God has looked down from heaven upon the children of men To see if there is anyone who understands, Who seeks after God [who requires Him, who longs for Him as essential to life]. 3 Every one of them has turned aside and fallen away; Together they have become filthy and corrupt; There is no one who does good, no, not even one.
4 Have workers of wickedness no knowledge or no understanding? They eat up My people as though they ate bread And have not called upon God. 5 There they were, in great terror and dread, where there had been no terror or dread; For God scattered the bones of him who besieged you; You have put them to shame, because God has rejected them. 6 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores [the fortunes of] His people, Let Jacob rejoice, let Israel be glad.
Prayer for Defense against Enemies.
To the Chief Musician; with stringed instruments. A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, “David is hiding among us.”
54 Save me, O God, by Your name; And vindicate me by Your [wondrous] power. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; Listen to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers have risen against me And violent men have sought my life; They have not set God before them. Selah.
4 Behold, God is my helper and ally; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul [my upholder]. 5 He will pay back the evil to my enemies; In Your faithfulness destroy them.
6 With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks and praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 For He has rescued me from every trouble, And my eye has looked with satisfaction (triumph) on my enemies.
Prayer for the Destruction of the Treacherous.
To the Chief Musician; with stringed instruments. A skillful song, or a didactic or reflective poem, of David.
55 Listen to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my plea. 2 Listen to me and answer me; I am restless and distraught in my complaint and distracted 3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble on me, And in anger they persecute me.
4 My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling have come upon me; Horror has overwhelmed me. 6 And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. 7 “I would wander far away, I would lodge in the [peace of the] wilderness. Selah. 8 “I would hurry to my refuge [my tranquil shelter far away] From the stormy wind and from the tempest.”
9 [b]Confuse [my enemies], O Lord, divide their tongues [destroying their schemes], For I have seen violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go around her walls; Wickedness and mischief are in her midst. 11 Destruction is within her; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets and market places.
12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me— Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who has hated me who insolently exalts himself against me— Then I could hide from him. 13 But it is you, a man my equal and my counsel, My companion and my familiar friend; 14 We who had sweet [c]fellowship together, Who walked to the house of God in company. 15 Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), For evil [of every kind] is in their dwelling and in their hearts, in their midst.
16 As for me, I shall call upon God, And the Lord will save me. 17 Evening and morning and at noon I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. 18 He has redeemed my life in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me. 19 God will hear and humble them, Even He who [d]sits enthroned from old— Selah. Because in them there has been no change [of heart], And they do not fear God [at all]. 20 He [my companion] has put out his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has [e]broken his covenant [of friendship and loyalty]. 21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But his heart was hostile; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.
22 Cast your burden on the Lord [release it] and He will sustain and uphold you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall, fail). 23 But You, O God, will bring down the wicked to the pit of destruction; Men of blood and treachery will not live out half their days. But I will [boldly and unwaveringly] trust in You.
Supplication for Rescue and Grateful Trust in God.
To the Chief Musician; set to [the tune of] “Silent Dove Among Those Far Away.” A Mikhtam of David. [A record of memorable thoughts] when the Philistines seized him in Gath.
56 Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled on me; All day long the adversary oppresses and torments me. 2 My enemies have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. 3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust and faith in You. 4 In God, whose word I praise; In God I have put my trust; I shall not fear. What can mere man do to me? 5 All day long they twist my words and say hurtful things; All their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They attack, they hide and lurk, They watch my steps, As they have [expectantly] waited to take my life. 7 Cast them out because of their wickedness. In anger bring down the peoples, O God!
8 You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not recorded in Your book? 9 Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, In the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Your vows are binding upon me, O God; I will give thank offerings to You. 13 For You have rescued my soul from death, Yes, and my feet from stumbling, So that I may walk before God In the light of life.
Prayer for Rescue from Persecutors.
To the Chief Musician; set to [the tune of] “Do Not Destroy.” A Mikhtam of David. [A record of memorable thoughts of David] when he fled from Saul in the cave.
57 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious and merciful to me, For my soul finds shelter and safety in You, And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge and be confidently secure Until destruction passes by. 2 I will cry to God Most High, Who accomplishes all things on my behalf [for He completes my purpose in His plan]. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; He calls to account him who tramples me down. Selah. God will send out His lovingkindness and His truth.
4 My life is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe out fire— The sons of men whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword. 5 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory and majesty be over all the earth. 6 They [f]set a net for my steps; My very life was bowed down. They dug a pit before me; Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah.
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast and confident! I will sing, yes, I will sing praises [to You]! 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. 9 I will praise and give thanks to You, O Lord, among the people; I will sing praises to You among the nations. 10 For Your faithfulness and lovingkindness are great, reaching to the heavens, And Your truth to the clouds. 11 Be exalted above the heavens, O God; Let Your glory and majesty be over all the earth.
Psalm 51:7This evidently was a bristly plant which was useful as a kind of brush.
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