Psalm 51:9
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Hide thy face . . .i.e., thy angry look. (See Psalm 21:9.) More usually the expression is used in the opposite sense of hiding the gracious look. As long as Jehovah kept the offences before Him the breach in the covenant must continue.

Psalm 51:9-10. Hide thy face from my sins — Do not look upon them with an eye of indignation and wrath, but forgive and forget them. Create in me a clean heart — Seeing I have not only defiled myself by these actual sins, but also have a most unclean heart, corrupt even from my birth, which nothing but thy almighty, new-creating power can purify; I beseech thee to exert that power to produce in me a new and holy frame of heart, free from those impure inclinations and vile affections, the effects of which I have too fatally felt; a heart in possession, and under the influence, of those sacred dispositions of piety and virtue, in which the moral rectitude and purity of the mind consist. Thus shall both my inward uncleanness be purged away, and I shall be prevented from falling again into such actual and scandalous sins. And renew a right spirit in me — Hebrew, רוח נכון, ruach nachon, a firm, constant, or steadfast disposition or temper of soul, that I may not be shaken and cast down by temptation, as I have been, but that my resolution may be fixed and immoveable. He says, חדשׁ, chaddesh, renew, because he had had this good temper, in a great measure, before his late apostacy, and here prays that it might be restored to him with increase. Within me — Hebrew, בקרבי, bekirbi, in my inward parts. Thus he wisely strikes at the root and cause of all sinful actions.

51:7-15 Purge me with hyssop, with the blood of Christ applied to my soul by a lively faith, as the water of purification was sprinkled with a bunch of hyssop. The blood of Christ is called the blood of sprinkling, Heb 12:24. If this blood of Christ, which cleanses from all sin, cleanse us from our sin, then we shall be clean indeed, Heb 10:2. He asks not to be comforted, till he is first cleansed; if sin, the bitter root of sorrow, be taken away, he can pray in faith, Let me have a well-grounded peace, of thy creating, so that the bones broken by convictions may rejoice, may be comforted. Hide thy face from my sins; blot out all mine iniquities out of thy book; blot them out, as a cloud is blotted out and dispelled by the beams of the sun. And the believer desires renewal to holiness as much as the joy of salvation. David now saw, more than ever, what an unclean heart he had, and sadly laments it; but he sees it is not in his own power to amend it, and therefore begs God would create in him a clean heart. When the sinner feels this change is necessary, and reads the promise of God to that purpose, he begins to ask it. He knew he had by his sin grieved the Holy Spirit, and provoked him to withdraw. This he dreads more than anything. He prays that Divine comforts may be restored to him. When we give ourselves cause to doubt our interest in salvation, how can we expect the joy of it? This had made him weak; he prays, I am ready to fall, either into sin or into despair, therefore uphold me with thy Spirit. Thy Spirit is a free Spirit, a free Agent himself, working freely. And the more cheerful we are in our duty, the more constant we shall be to it. What is this but the liberty wherewith Christ makes his people free, which is contrasted with the yoke of bondage? Ga 5:1. It is the Spirit of adoption spoken to the heart. Those to whom God is the God of salvation, he will deliver from guilt; for the salvation he is the God of, is salvation from sin. We may therefore plead with him, Lord, thou art the God of my salvation, therefore deliver me from the dominion of sin. And when the lips are opened, what should they speak but the praises of God for his forgiving mercy?Hide thy face from my sins - That is, Do not look on them; avert thy face from them; do not regard them. Compare the notes at Psalm 13:1.

And blot out all mine iniquities - Take them entirely away. Let the account be erased, cancelled, destroyed. See the notes at Psalm 51:1.

9. Hide, &c.—Turn from beholding. Do not look upon them with an eye of indignation and revenge, but forget and forgive them. See Psalm 51:1.

Hide thy face from my sins,.... In whose sight they were committed, being now ashamed of them himself, and ashamed that any should see them, and especially his God; and being filthy and nauseous, he knew they must be abominable to him, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity; and being breaches of his law, must be offensive to him, and provoke the eyes of his glory; and were such that he knew would not bear the examination of justice; and that if God was strict to mark them, he could not stand before him: moreover, in this petition the psalmist deprecates a severe chastisement of them, which is sometimes expressed by setting sins before him, Psalm 90:8; and entreats the pardon of them, or oblivion and non-remembrance of them, that they might be cast behind his back, and into the depths of the sea;

and blot out all mine iniquities; as in Psalm 51:1; here repeated, to show his deep sense of them, and his great importunity for the forgiveness of them; and adds the word all, including all his other sins, with those he had lately committed; for he knew that, if anyone, was left unpardoned, he could never answer for it.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. Hide thy face from my sins] Cease to gaze upon them in displeasure. Cp. Psalm 32:1; Psalm 90:8. This use of the expression is unusual. Generally God is said to hide His face when He withdraws His favour (Psalm 13:1; Psalm 44:24, &c.).

blot out] See note on Psalm 51:1.

9–12. Repeated prayer for pardon, cleansing, and renewal. The change from the future to the imperative (see above) indicates that a fresh division of the Ps. begins here.

Verse 9. - Hide thy face from my sins. Turn thyself away from them - do not so much as see them. The apostle speaks of times of ignorance, which God "winked at" (Acts 17:30). And blot out all mine iniquities (comp. ver. 1). Psalm 51:9The possession of all possessions, however, most needed by him, the foundation of all other possessions, is the assurance of the forgiveness of his sins. The second futures in Psalm 51:9 are consequents of the first, which are used as optatives. Psalm 51:9 recalls to mind the sprinkling of the leper, and of one unclean by reason of his contact with a dead body, by means of the bunch of hyssop (Leviticus 14, Numbers 19), the βοτάνη καθαρτική (Bhr, Symbol. ii. 503); and Psalm 51:9 recalls the washings which, according to priestly directions, the unclean person in all cases of uncleanness had to undergo. Purification and washing which the Law enjoins, are regarded in connection with the idea implied in them, and with a setting aside of their symbolic and carnal outward side, inasmuch as the performance of both acts, which in other cases takes place through priestly mediation, is here supplicated directly from God Himself. Manifestly בּאזוב (not כבאזוב) is intended to be understood in a spiritual sense. It is a spiritual medium of purification without the medium itself being stated. The New Testament believer confesses, with Petrarch in the second of his seven penitential Psalms: omnes sordes meas una gutta, vel tenuis, sacri sanguinis absterget. But there is here no mention made of atonement by blood; for the antitype of the atoning blood was still hidden from David. The operation of justifying grace on a man stained by the blood-red guilt of sin could not, however, be more forcibly denoted than by the expression that it makes him whiter than snow (cf. the dependent passage Isaiah 1:18). And history scarcely records a grander instance of the change of blood-red sin into dazzling whiteness than this, that out of the subsequent marriage of David and Bathsheba sprang Solomon, the most richly blessed of all kings. At the present time David's very bones are still shaken, and as it were crushed, with the sense of sin. דּכּית is an attributive clause like יפעל in Psalm 7:16. Into what rejoicing will this smitten condition be changed, when he only realizes within his soul the comforting and joyous assuring utterance of the God who is once more gracious to him! For this he yearns, viz., that God would hide His face from the sin which He is now visiting upon him, so that it may as it were be no longer present to Him; that He would blot out all his iniquities, so that they may no longer testify against him. Here the first part of the Psalm closes; the close recurs to the language of the opening (Psalm 51:3).
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