To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
51 Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight— That You may be found just when You speak,[a] And blameless when You judge.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. 6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones You have broken may 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 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 uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise.
18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.
The End of the Wicked and the Peace of the Godly
To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation[b] of David when Doeg the Edomite went and told Saul, and said to him, “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.”
52 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually. 2 Your tongue devises destruction, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3 You love evil more than good, Lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah 4 You love all devouring words, You deceitful tongue.
5 God shall likewise destroy you forever; He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place, And uproot you from the land of the living. Selah 6 The righteous also shall see and fear, And shall laugh at him, saying, 7 “Here is the man who did not make God his strength, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And strengthened himself in his wickedness.”
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. 9 I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.
Folly of the Godless, and the Restoration of Israel
To the Chief Musician. Set to “Mahalath.” A Contemplation[c] of David.
53 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 Every one of them has turned aside; They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.
4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people as they eat bread, And do not call upon God? 5 There they are in great fear Where no fear was, For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you; You have put them to shame, Because God has despised them.
6 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.
Answered Prayer for Deliverance from Adversaries
To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments.[d] A Contemplation[e] of David when the Ziphites went and said to Saul, “Is David not hiding with us?”
54 Save me, O God, by Your name, And vindicate me by Your strength. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers have risen up against me, And oppressors have sought after my life; They have not set God before them. Selah
4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is with those who uphold my life. 5 He will repay my enemies for their evil. Cut them off in Your truth.
6 I will freely sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good. 7 For He has delivered me out of all trouble; And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.
Trust in God Concerning the Treachery of Friends
To the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments.[f] A Contemplation[g] of David.
55 Give ear to my prayer, O God, And do not hide Yourself from my supplication. 2 Attend to me, and hear me; I am restless in my complaint, and moan noisily, 3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the oppression of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me, And in wrath they hate me.
4 My heart is severely pained within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fearfulness and trembling have come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. 6 So I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. 7 Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah 8 I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”
9 Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go around it on its walls; Iniquity and trouble are also in the midst of it. 11 Destruction is in its midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from its streets.
12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me; Then I could bear it. Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; Then I could hide from him. 13 But it was you, a man my equal, My companion and my acquaintance. 14 We took sweet counsel together, And walked to the house of God in the throng.
15 Let death seize them; Let them go down alive into hell, For wickedness is in their dwellings and among them.
16 As for me, I will call upon God, And the Lord shall save me. 17 Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, And He shall hear my voice. 18 He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, For there were many against me. 19 God will hear, and afflict them, Even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God.
20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant. 21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.
22 Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
23 But You, O God, shall bring them down to the pit of destruction; Bloodthirsty and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; But I will trust in You.
Prayer for Relief from Tormentors
To the Chief Musician. Set to “The Silent Dove in Distant Lands.”[h] A Michtam of David when the Philistines captured him in Gath.
56 Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up; Fighting all day he oppresses me. 2 My enemies would hound me all day, For there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3 Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. 4 In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
5 All day they twist my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They gather together, They hide, they mark my steps, When they lie in wait for my life. 7 Shall they escape by iniquity? In anger cast down the peoples, O God!
8 You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? 9 When I cry out to You, Then my enemies will turn back; This I know, because God is for me. 10 In God (I will praise His word), In the Lord (I will praise His word), 11 In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
12 Vows made to You are binding upon me, O God; I will render praises to You, 13 For You have delivered my soul from death. Have You not kept my feet from falling, That I may walk before God In the light of the living?
Prayer for Safety from Enemies
To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.”[i] A Michtam of David when he fled from Saul into the cave.
57 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.
2 I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me. 3 He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.
4 My soul is among lions; I lie among the sons of men Who are set on fire, Whose teeth are spears and arrows, And their tongue a sharp sword. 5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They have 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; I will sing and give praise. 8 Awake, my glory! Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing to You among the nations. 10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, And Your truth unto the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth.
Psalm 51:4Septuagint, Targum, and Vulgate read in Your words.
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