Psalm 51:1
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

Psalm 51:1 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Have mercy opon me, O God - This is the utterance of a full heart; a heart crushed and broken by the consciousness of sin. The psalmist had been made to see his great guilt; and his first act is to cry out for mercy. There is no attempt to excuse his sin, or to apologise for it; there is no effort to vindicate his conduct; there is no complaint of the righteousness of that holy law which condemned him. It was "guilt" that was before his mind; guilt only; deep and dreadful guilt. The appeal properly expresses the state of a mind that is overwhelmed at the remembrance of crime, and that comes with earnestness to God to plead for pardon. The only hope of a sinner when crushed with the consciousness of sin is the mercy of God; and the plea for that mercy will be urged in the most earnest and impassioned language that the mind can employ. "Accordingly to thy Iovingkindness." On the meaning of the word used here, see the notes at Psalm 36:7.

(a) The "ground" of his hope was the compassion of God:

(b) the "measure" of that hope was His boundless beneficence; or, in other words, he felt that there was need of "all" the compassion of a God.

His sin was so great, his offence was so aggravated, that he could have no hope but in a Being of infinite compassion, and he felt that the need of mercy in his case could be measured and covered "only" by that infinite compassion.

According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies - The same idea occurs here also. The psalmist fixed his eye on the "vastness" of the divine mercy; on the numberless "acts" of that mercy toward the guilty; here he found his hope, and here alone. Every instance of extraordinary mercy which had occurred in the world furnished him now with an argument in his appeal to God; was an encouragement to him "in" that appeal; was a ground of hope that his appeal would not be rejected. So to us: every instance in which a great sinner has been forgiven is evidence that we may be forgiven also, and is an encouragement to us to come to God for pardon. See the notes at 1 Timothy 1:16.

Blot out my transgressions - In allusion to an account that is kept, or a charge made, when such an account is wiped away, erased, or blotted out. Compare Exodus 32:32-33; see the notes at Isaiah 43:25; notes at Isaiah 44:22; notes at Colossians 2:14. Never was a more earnest appeal made by a sinner than that which is made in this verse; never was there a more sincere cry for mercy. It shows us where we should "begin" in our prayers when we are pressed down with the consciousness of sin - with a cry for "mercy," and not an appeal to "justice;" it shows us what is to be the "ground" and the "measure" of our hope - the mere compassion of an infinitely benevolent God; it shows us the place which we must take, and the argument on which we must rely - a place among sinners, and an argument that God has been merciful to great sinners, and that therefore he may be merciful to us.

Psalm 51:1 Parallel Commentaries

January the Twenty-Seventh the Confession of Sin
"I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me." --PSALM li. 1-12. Sin that is unconfessed shuts out the energies of grace. Confession makes the soul receptive of the bountiful waters of life. We open the door to God as soon as we name our sin. Guilt that is penitently confessed is already in the "consuming fire" of God's love. When I "acknowledge my sin" I begin to enter into the knowledge of "pardon, joy, and peace." But if I hide my sin I also hide myself from "the unsearchable
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

Praying Saints of the Old Testaments (Continued)
Bishop Lambeth and Wainwright had a great M. E. Mission in Osaka, Japan. One day the order came from high up that no more meetings would be allowed in the city by Protestants. Lambeth and Wainwright did all they could but the high officials were obstinate and unrelenting. They then retired to the room of prayer. Supper time came and the Japanese girl came to summon them to their meal, but she fell under the power of prayer. Mrs. Lambeth came to find what the matter was and fell under the same power.
Edward M. Bounds—Prayer and Praying Men

God the Holy Spirit the Love which Dwells in the Heart.
"It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments." --Psalm cxxxiii. 2. The fact that love can radiate within man does not insure him the possession of true and real Love, unless, according to His eternal counsel, God is pleased to enter into personal fellowship with him. So long as man knows Him only from afar and not near, God is a stranger to him. He may admire His Love, have a faint sense of it, be pleasantly
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Original Sin
Q-16: DID ALL MANKIND FALL IN ADAM'S FIRST TRANSGRESSION? A: The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him, by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression. 'By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin,' &c. Rom 5:12. Adam being a representative person, while he stood, we stood; when he fell, we fell, We sinned in Adam; so it is in the text, In whom all have sinned.' Adam was the head
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Cross References
Acts 3:19
"Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Colossians 2:14
having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

2 Samuel 11:4
David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.

2 Samuel 12:1
Then the LORD sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said, "There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor.

1 Chronicles 21:13
David said to Gad, "I am in great distress; please let me fall into the hand of the LORD, for His mercies are very great. But do not let me fall into the hand of man."

Psalm 4:1
For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 19:12
Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.

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