Psalm 51:6
Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part you shall make me to know wisdom.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBTODWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) Truth.—Or, faithfulness.

Inward parts.—The Hebrew word is found only once besides (Job 38:36), where it is in parallelism with “heart.”

The sincerity and true self-discernment which God requires can only come of spiritual insight, or, as the last clause states it, divine instruction.

Psalm 51:6. Behold, thou desirest — Hebrew, חפצת, chaphatzta, delightest in, willest, or requirest, truth in the inward parts — Uprightness of heart, which seems to be here opposed to that iniquity mentioned in the last verse, in which all men are conceived and born; and it may be here added as a proof, or aggravation, of the sinfulness of original corruption, because it is contrary to the holy nature and will of God, which requires not only unblameableness in men’s actions, but also the universal innocence and rectitude of their minds and hearts; and as an aggravation of his own actual sin, in which he had used gross deceit and treachery. And in the hidden part, &c. — That is, in the heart, called the hidden man of the heart, 1 Peter 3:4; and, in the former clause, the reins, or inward parts; thou shalt make me to know wisdom — That is, true piety and integrity, called wisdom, Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10, and in many other passages; as sin, on the contrary, is commonly called, as it really is, folly. And to know wisdom is here to be understood of knowing it practically and experimentally; so as to approve, and love, and practise it: as words of knowledge are most commonly to be understood in Scripture, and in other authors. According to this interpretation the psalmist, in these words, declares his hope that God would pardon and cure the folly which he had discovered, and make him wiser for the future. But, as this does not seem to suit perfectly with the context, which runs in rather another strain, the word תודיעני, todigneeni, may, and it seems ought to, be rendered in the past time, thou hast made me to know. And so this is another aggravation of his sin, that it was committed against that knowledge which God had not only revealed to him outwardly by his word, but also inwardly by his Spirit, writing it on his heart, according to his promise, Jeremiah 31:33. Or, the future verb may be here taken imperatively; and the words may be understood as a prayer, Do thou make me to know, &c., as the following future verbs (Psalm 51:7-8) are translated. Having then now said, for the aggravation of his sin, that God required truth in the inward parts, he takes occasion to break forth into prayer, which also he continues in the following verses.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.Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts - The word rendered "desirest," means to have pleasure in; to delight in; and the idea is that this only is agreeable to God, or this only accords with his own nature. The word rendered "inward parts," means properly the reins, and is usually employed to denote the seat of the mind, the feelings, the intellect. Compare the notes at Job 38:36. The allusion is to the "soul;" and the idea is, that God could be satisfied with nothing "but" purity in the soul. The "connection" is this: David was deeply conscious of his own pollution; his deep, early, native depravity. This, in his own mind, he contrasted strongly with the nature of God, and with what God must require, and be pleased with. He "felt" that God could not approve of or love such a heart as his, so vile, so polluted, so corrupt; and he felt that it was necessary that he should have a pure heart in order to meet with the favor of a God so holy. But how was that to be obtained? His mind at once adverted to the fact that it could come only from God; and hence, the psalm now turns from confession to prayer. The psalmist pleads earnestly Psalm 51:7-10 that God "would" thus cleanse and purify his soul.

And in the hidden part - In the secret part; the heart; the depths of the soul. The cleansing was to begin in that which was hidden from the eye of man; in the soul itself. Wisdom, heavenly, saving wisdom, was to have its seat there; the cleansing needed was not any mere outward purification, it was the purification of the soul itself.

Thou shalt make me to know wisdom - Thou only canst enable me to understand what is truly wise. This wisdom, this cleansing, this knowledge of the way in which a guilty man can be restored to favor, can be imparted only by thee; and "thou wilt do it." There is here, therefore, at the same time a recognition of the truth that this "must" come from God, and an act of faith, or a strong assurance that he "would" impart this.

6. thou shalt make, &c.—may be taken to express God's gracious purpose in view of His strict requisition; a purpose of which David might have availed himself as a check to his native love for sin, and, in not doing so, aggravated his guilt.

truth … and …wisdom—are terms often used for piety (compare Job 28:28; Ps 119:30).

Thou desirest; or, delightest in; or, requirest; Heb. willest. Truth either,

1. Sincerity in confessing my sins; which therefore I have now acknowledged, though hitherto I have practised much falsehood and dissimulation in endeavouring to conceal them from men. Or rather,

2. Integrity or uprightness of heart; which seem to be here opposed to that iniquity mentioned in the last verse, in which he was, and all men are, framed and born. And this may seem to be added, partly as a proof or aggravation of the sinfulness of original corruption, because it is contrary to the holy nature and will of God, which requireth not only unblamableness in men’s actions, but also universal innocency and rectitude of their minds and hearts; and partly as an aggravation of his actual sin, wherein he had used such gross deceit and treachery.

In the hidden part, i.e. in the heart, called the hidden man of the heart, 1 Peter 3:4, and the secret part, Romans 2:16, which in the former branch he called the reins or inward parts.

Thou shalt make me to know: so he declares his hope that God would pardon and cure his folly, which he had discovered, and make him wiser for the future. But this seems not to suit well with the context, which runs wholly in another strain. The word therefore is and may be rendered otherwise, thou hast made me to know. So this is another aggravation of his sin, that it was committed against that wisdom and knowledge, which God had not only revealed to him outwardly in his word, but also inwardly by his Spirit, writing it in his heart, according to his promise, Jeremiah 31:33. Or thus, do thou make me to know; the future verb being here taken imperatively, and as a prayer; as the following futures are here translated, Psalm 51:7,8. Having now said, for the aggravation of his sin, that God did desire or require truth in the inward parts, he takes that occasion to break forth into prayer, which also he continues in the following verses. Only as he prays there for justification or pardon of sin, so here he prays for renovation or sanctification. So his meaning is this, therefore (as the particle and is oft used, as hath been showed) in the hidden part do thou make me to know wisdom. Or thus, thou wouldest have me know; for futures are oft taken potentially, as Psalm 118:6 Matthew 12:25, compared with Mark 3:24, and elsewhere. And verbs which signify making or causing are sometimes understood only of the will or command; as Jeroboam is said to make Israel to sin, 1 Kings 14:16, because he commanded them to do so, Hosea 5:11. This I propose with submission; but if this sense be admitted, the last clause of the verse answers very well to the former, as it doth in the foregoing and following verses, and every where in these books: for this, thou wouldest have me know, answers to that, thou willest or desirest; and in the hidden part, answers to that in the inward parts; and wisdom is the same thing for substance with truth, only called by another name. Wisdom, i.e. true piety and integrity, which is called wisdom, Job 28:28 Psalm 111:10, and in many other texts, as sin on the contrary is commonly called, as it really is, folly. And to know wisdom is here meant of knowing it practically and experimentally, so as to approve, and love, and practise it; as words of knowledge are most frequently taken in Scripture, and in other authors. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts,.... With delight and pleasure, as the word (d) signifies: meaning either Christ, the truth and the life, formed and dwelling in the hearts of his people; or the Gospel, the word of truth, which has a place there; and particularly that branch of it which proclaims pardon to sensible sinners, and is the ground of hope within them: or else a true and hearty confession of sin, which David now made; or rather internal holiness and purity of heart, in opposition to the corruption of nature before acknowledged: this is what is agreeable to the nature of God, is required by his holy law, and is wrought in the hearts of his people in regeneration; and this is "truth", real, and not imaginary, genuine and unfeigned; where it is there is a true sense of sin, a right sight of Christ, unfeigned faith in him, sincere love to him, hope in him without hypocrisy, and a reverential fear of God upon the heart; the inward parts are the seat of all this, and in the exercise of it the Lord takes great delight and pleasure;

and in the hidden part thou shall make me to know wisdom; either Christ, the wisdom of God; or the Gospel, and particularly that part of it which concerns the pardon of sin; or a true knowledge of sin, and of the way of life and salvation by Christ, which is the truest and highest wisdom: and the phrase "hidden" or "secret" may either denote the nature of the wisdom made known, which is hidden wisdom, the wisdom of God in a mystery; or the manner in which it is made known; it is in a hidden way, privately, and secretly, and indiscernibly like the wind, by the Spirit and grace of God; or the seat and subject of it, "the hidden part", as we supply it; the hidden man of the heart. David begins to rise in the exercise of his faith in the grace of God, "thou shall make me to know", &c. unless the words should be rendered as a prayer, as they are by some, "make me to know" (e), &c. and as are the following.

(d) "delectaris", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "delectatus es", Cocceius; so Ainsworth. (e) "notam mihi fac", Gejerus.

Behold, thou {f} desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

(f) He confesses that God who loves pureness of heart, may justly destroy man, who by nature is a sinner much more him whom he had instructed in his heavenly wisdom.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
6. truth in the inward parts] In the most secret springs of thought and will, unseen by man but known to God, He desires truth, perfect sincerity, whole-hearted devotion, incapable of deluding self, as David had done, or deceiving man, as he had endeavoured to do by his attempts to cover his sin and its consequences, or dissembling with God, as in his infatuation he had imagined to be possible. Correlative to the truth which God desires is wisdom, which is His gift, the spiritual discernment which is synonymous with the fear of Jehovah, and is the practical principle of right conduct. Cp. Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 9:10; Job 28:28; James 3:17.Verse 6. - Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts (comp. Job 38:36). God requires not merely such purity as might be attained by the use of legal and ritual methods; but true inward purity of thought and heart, which is a very different matter. And in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom; rather, do thou make me. An optative, according to Professor Cheyne. The meaning is, "As nothing will content thee but this perfect, inward purity, do thou give me into my heart its fundamental principle-wisdom, or the fear of God." Epilogue of the divine discourse. Under the name שׁכחי אלוהּ are comprehended the decent or honourable whose sanctity relies upon outward works, and those who know better but give way to licentiousness; and they are warned of the final execution of the sentence which they have deserved. In dead works God delighteth not, but whoso offereth thanksgiving (viz., not shelamim-tôda, but the tôda of the heart), he praises Him

(Note: In Vedic jag', old Bactrian jaz (whence jag'jas, the primitive word of ἅγιος), the notions of offering and of praising lie one within the other.)

and שׂם דּרך. It is unnecessary with Luther, following the lxx, Vulgate, and Syriac versions, to read שׁם. The Talmudic remark אל תקרי ושׂם אלא ושׁם [do not read ושׂם, but ושׁם] assumes ושׂם to be the traditional reading. If we take שׂם דּרך as a thought complete in itself, - which is perfectly possible in a certain sense (vid., Isaiah 43:19), - then it is best explained according to the Vulgate (qui ordinat viam), with Bצttcher, Maurer, and Hupfeld: viam h. e. recta incedere (legel agere) parans; but the expression is inadequate to express this ethical sense (cf. Proverbs 4:26), and consequently is also without example. The lxx indicates the correct idea in the rendering καὶ ἐκεῖ ὁδὸς ᾗ δείξω αὐτῷ τὸ σωτήριον Θεοῦ. The ושׂם דוך (designedly not pointed דּרך), which standing entirely by itself has no definite meaning, receives its requisite supplement by means of the attributive clause that follows. Such an one prepares a way along which I will grant to him to see the salvation of Elohim, i.e., along which I will grant him a rapturous vision of the full reality of My salvation. The form יכבּדנני is without example elsewhere. It sounds like the likewise epenthetical יקראנני, Proverbs 1:28, cf. Proverbs 8:17, Hosea 5:15, and may be understood as an imitation of it as regards sound. יכבּדנני ( equals יכבּדני) is in the writer's mind as the form out of pause (Ges. ֗58, 4). With Psalm 50:23 the Psalm recurs to its central point and climax, Psalm 50:14. What Jahve here discourses in a post-Sinaitic appearing, is the very same discourse concerning the worthlessness of dead works and concerning the true will of God that Jesus addresses to the assembled people when He enters upon His ministry. The cycle of the revelation of the Gospel is linked to the cycle of the revelation of the Law by the Sermon on the Mount; this is the point at which both cycles touch.

Links
Psalm 51:6 Interlinear
Psalm 51:6 Parallel Texts


Psalm 51:6 NIV
Psalm 51:6 NLT
Psalm 51:6 ESV
Psalm 51:6 NASB
Psalm 51:6 KJV

Psalm 51:6 Bible Apps
Psalm 51:6 Parallel
Psalm 51:6 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 51:6 Chinese Bible
Psalm 51:6 French Bible
Psalm 51:6 German Bible

Bible Hub






Psalm 51:5
Top of Page
Top of Page