Psalm 51:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.

New Living Translation
For the choir director: A psalm of David, regarding the time Nathan the prophet came to him after David had committed adultery with BathSheba. Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.

English Standard Version
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went 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.

New American Standard Bible
For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.

King James Bible
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the choir director. A Davidic psalm, when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone to Bathsheba. Be gracious to me, God, according to Your faithful love; according to Your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion.

International Standard Version
Have mercy, God, according to your gracious love, according to your unlimited compassion, erase my transgressions.

NET Bible
For the music director; a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David's affair with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love! Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Show mercy upon me, oh God, according to your kindness, and according to the multitude of your mercies, blot out my sins!

GOD'S WORD® Translation
[For the choir director; a psalm by David when the prophet Nathan came to him after David's adultery with Bathsheba.] Have pity on me, O God, in keeping with your mercy. In keeping with your unlimited compassion, wipe out my rebellious acts.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy mercy; according unto the multitude of thy compassion eradicate my rebellion.

King James 2000 Bible
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

American King James Version
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

American Standard Version
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: According to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Unto the end, a psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had sinned with Bethsabee. Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity.

Darby Bible Translation
{To the chief Musician. A Psalm of David; when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba.} Be gracious unto me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness; according to the abundance of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

English Revised Version
For the Chief Musician. A psalm of David: when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

Webster's Bible Translation
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

World English Bible
Have mercy on me, God, according to your loving kindness. According to the multitude of your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.

Young's Literal Translation
To the Overseer. -- A Psalm of David, in the coming in unto him of Nathan the prophet, when he hath gone in unto Bath-Sheba. Favour me, O God, according to Thy kindness, According to the abundance of Thy mercies, Blot out my transgressions.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

51:1-6 David, being convinced of his sin, poured out his soul to God in prayer for mercy and grace. Whither should backsliding children return, but to the Lord their God, who alone can heal them? he drew up, by Divine teaching, an account of the workings of his heart toward God. Those that truly repent of their sins, will not be ashamed to own their repentance. Also, he instructs others what to do, and what to say. David had not only done much, but suffered much in the cause of God; yet he flees to God's infinite mercy, and depends upon that alone for pardon and peace. He begs the pardon of sin. The blood of Christ, sprinkled upon the conscience, blots out the transgression, and, having reconciled us to God, reconciles us to ourselves. The believer longs to have the whole debt of his sins blotted out, and every stain cleansed; he would be thoroughly washed from all his sins; but the hypocrite always has some secret reserve, and would have some favorite lust spared. David had such a deep sense of his sin, that he was continually thinking of it, with sorrow and shame. His sin was committed against God, whose truth we deny by wilful sin; with him we deal deceitfully. And the truly penitent will ever trace back the streams of actual sin to the fountain of original depravity. He confesses his original corruption. This is that foolishness which is bound in the heart of a child, that proneness to evil, and that backwardness to good, which is the burden of the regenerate, and the ruin of the unregenerate. He is encouraged, in his repentance, to hope that God would graciously accept him. Thou desirest truth in the inward part; to this God looks, in a returning sinner. Where there is truth, God will give wisdom. Those who sincerely endeavour to do their duty shall be taught their duty; but they will expect good only from Divine grace overcoming their corrupt nature.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness. It is observable that the whole psalm is addressed to God (Elohim), and not to Jehovah (the "Lord" in ver. 15 is Adonai), as though the psalmist felt himself unworthy to utter the covenant-name, and simply prostrated himself as a guilty man before his offended Maker. It is not correet to say that "loving-kindness implies a covenant" (Cheyne), since God is "good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works" (Psalm 145:9). According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. David's first prayer is for pity; his second, to have his offences "blotted out," or "wiped out" - entirely removed from God's book (comp. Exodus 32:32; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 44:22). He says "my transgressions," in the plural, because "his great sin did not stand alone - adultery was followed by treachery and murder" (Canon Cook).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Have mercy upon me, O God,.... David, under a sense of sin, does not run away from God, but applies unto him, and casts himself at his feet, and upon his mercy; which shows the view he had of his miserable condition, and that he saw there was mercy in God, which gave him hope; and upon his bended knees, and in the exercise of faith, he asks for it;

according to thy lovingkindness; not according to his merits, nor according to the general mercy of God, which carnal men rely upon; but according to his everlasting and unchangeable love in Christ; from which as the source, and through whom as the medium, special mercy comes to the children of men. The acts of special mercy are according to the sovereign will of God: he is not moved to mercy neither by the merits nor misery of men, but by his free grace and favour; it is love that sets mercy to work: this is a most glaring gleam of Gospel light, which none of the inspired writers besides, except the Apostle Paul, saw, Ephesians 2:4;

according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions; for his sin was complicated, attended with many others; and, besides, upon a view of this, he was led to observe all his other sins; and particularly the corruption of his nature, his original sin, which he mentions, Psalm 51:5. These he desires might be "blotted out"; out of the book of account, out of God's debt book; that they might not stand against him, being debts he was not able to pay or make satisfaction for; and out of the table of his own heart and conscience, where they were ever before him, and seemed to be engraven; that they might be caused to pass from him, and he might have no more conscience of them; or that they might be blotted out, as a cloud by the clear shining of the sun of righteousness, with the healing of pardoning grace in his wings; or that they might be wiped away, as any faith is wiped from any person or thing: and all this "according to the multitude of his tender mercies". The mercy of God is plenteous and abundant; he is rich in it, and various are the instances of it; and it is exceeding tender, like that of a father to his children, or like that of a mother to the son of her womb; and from this abundant and tender mercy springs the forgiveness of sin, Luke 1:77. The psalmist makes mention of the multitude of the mercies of God, because of the multitude of his sins, which required a multitude of mercy to forgive, and to encourage his hope of it.

The Treasury of David

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt 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 to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Psalm 51:1

"Have mercy upon me, O God." He appeals at once to the mercy of God, even before he mentions his sin. The sight of mercy is good for eyes that are sore with penitential weeping. Pardon of sin must ever be an act of pure mercy, and therefore to that attribute the awakened sinner flies. "According to thy lovingkindness." Act, O Lord, like thyself; give mercy like thy mercy. Show mercy such as is congruous with thy grace.

continued...

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

PSALM 51

Ps 51:1-19. On the occasion, compare 2Sa 11:12. The Psalm illustrates true repentance, in which are comprised conviction, confession, sorrow, prayer for mercy, and purposes of amendment, and it is accompanied by a lively faith.

1-4. A plea for mercy is a confession of guilt.

blot out—as from a register.

transgressions—literally, "rebellions" (Ps 19:13; 32:1).

Psalm 51:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
1For the choir director. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. 2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin.…
Cross References
Acts 3:19
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,

Colossians 2:14
having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

2 Samuel 11:4
Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home.

2 Samuel 12:1
The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.

1 Chronicles 21:13
David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into human hands."

Psalm 4:1
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David. Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 19:12
But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.

Psalm 25:7
Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, LORD, are good.

Psalm 51:9
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.

Psalm 69:13
But I pray to you, LORD, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation.

Psalm 69:16
Answer me, LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me.

Psalm 77:9
Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?"

Psalm 106:45
for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.

Psalm 109:26
Help me, LORD my God; save me according to your unfailing love.

Psalm 119:124
Deal with your servant according to your love and teach me your decrees.

Psalm 123:3
Have mercy on us, LORD, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt.

Isaiah 43:25
"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

Isaiah 44:22
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you."

Isaiah 63:7
I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us-- yes, the many good things he has done for Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.

Jeremiah 9:24
but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

A.M.

2 Samuel 12:1-13 And the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to …

after

2 Samuel 11:2 And it came to pass in an evening, that David arose from off his …

O God

Psalm 25:6,7 Remember, O LORD, your tender mercies and your loving kindnesses; …

Psalm 109:21 But do you for me, O GOD the Lord, for your name's sake: because …

Psalm 119:124 Deal with your servant according to your mercy, and teach me your statutes.

Exodus 34:6,7 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The …

Numbers 14:18,19 The LORD is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity …

Daniel 9:9,18 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have …

Micah 7:18 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the …

Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion on us; he will subdue …

Romans 5:20,21 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where …

Ephesians 1:6-8 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted …

Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us…

multitude

Psalm 5:7 But as for me, I will come into your house in the multitude of your …

Psalm 69:13,16 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD, in an acceptable time: …

Psalm 106:7,45 Our fathers understood not your wonders in Egypt; they remembered …

Isaiah 63:7,15 I will mention the loving kindnesses of the LORD, and the praises …

Lamentations 3:32 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according …

tender

Psalm 40:11 Withhold not you your tender mercies from me, O LORD: let your loving …

Psalm 77:9 Has God forgotten to be gracious? has he in anger shut up his tender …

Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.

blot

Psalm 50:9 I will take no bullock out of your house, nor he goats out of your folds.

Nehemiah 4:5 And cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out …

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blots out your transgressions for my own sake, …

Isaiah 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as …

Jeremiah 18:23 Yet, LORD, you know all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive …

Acts 3:19 Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, …

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