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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.(A)
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin.(B)

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.(C)
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.(D)
Indeed, I was born guilty,
    a sinner when my mother conceived me.(E)

You desire truth in the inward being;[a]
    therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.(F)
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.(G)
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.(H)
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.(I)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and put a new and right[b] spirit within me.(J)
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
    and do not take your holy spirit from me.(K)
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and sustain in me a willing[c] spirit.(L)

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

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

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

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?[e]
All day long(T)     you are plotting destruction.
Your tongue is like a sharp razor,
    you worker of treachery.(U)
You love evil more than good
    and lying more than speaking the truth. Selah(V)
You love all words that devour,
    O deceitful tongue.(W)

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(X)
The righteous will see and fear
    and will laugh at the evildoer,[f] saying,(Y)
“See the one who would not take
    refuge in God
but trusted in abundant riches
    and sought refuge in wealth!”[g](Z)

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

Psalm 53

Denunciation of Godlessness

To the leader: according to Mahalath. A Maskil of David.

Fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt; they commit abominable acts;
    there is no one who does good.(AC)

God looks down from heaven on humankind
    to see if there are any who are wise,
    who seek after God.(AD)

They have all fallen away; they are all alike perverse;
    there is no one who does good,
    no, not one.(AE)

Have they no knowledge, those evildoers,
    who eat up my people as they eat bread
    and do not call upon God?(AF)

There they shall be in great terror,
    in terror such as has not been.
For God will scatter the bones of the ungodly;[i]
    they will be put to shame,[j] for God has rejected them.(AG)

O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
    When God restores the fortunes of his people,
    Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.(AH)


  1. 51.6 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. 51.10 Or steadfast
  3. 51.12 Or generous
  4. 51.17 Or My sacrifice, O God,
  5. 52.1 Cn Compare Syr: Heb the kindness of God
  6. 52.6 Heb him
  7. 52.7 Syr Tg: Heb in his destruction
  8. 52.9 Cn: Heb wait for
  9. 53.5 Cn Compare Gk Syr: Heb him who encamps against you
  10. 53.5 Gk: Heb you have put (them) to shame

The Righteous Judgment of God

Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others, for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.(A) We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth. Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?(B) But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.(C) He will repay according to each one’s deeds:(D) to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life, while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but injustice, there will be wrath and fury.(E) There will be affliction and distress for everyone who does evil, both the Jew first and the Greek,(F) 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, both the Jew first and the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.(G)

12 All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged in accordance with the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight but the doers of the law who will be justified.(H) 14 When gentiles, who do not possess the law, by nature do[a] what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, as their own conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God through Christ Jesus judges the secret thoughts of all.(I)

The Jews and the Law

17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relation to God(J) 18 and know his will and determine what really matters because you are instructed in the law, 19 and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth,(K) 21 you, then, who teach others, will you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?(L) 22 You who forbid adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by your transgression of the law? 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed[b] among the gentiles because of you.”(M)

25 Circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law your circumcision has become uncircumcision.(N) 26 So, if the uncircumcised keep the requirements of the law, will not their uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27 Then the physically uncircumcised person who keeps the law will judge you who, though having the written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law. 28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something external and physical.(O) 29 Rather, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not the written code. Such a person receives praise not from humans but from God.(P)


  1. 2.14 Or law by nature, do
  2. 2.24 Or despised