Psalm 51:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.

King James Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done what is evil in thy sight; that thou mayest be justified when thou speakest, be clear when thou judgest.

World English Bible
Against you, and you only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight; that you may be proved right when you speak, and justified when you judge.

Young's Literal Translation
Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, And done the evil thing in Thine eyes, So that Thou art righteous in Thy words, Thou art pure in Thy judging.

Psalm 51:4 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned - This verse is supposed to show the impropriety of affixing the above title to this Psalm. It could not have been composed on account of the matter with Bath-sheba and the murder of Uriah; for, surely, these sins could not be said to have been committed against God Only, if we take the words of this verse in their common acceptation. That was a public sin, grievous, and against society at large, as well as against the peace, honor, comfort, and life of an innocent, brave, and patriotic man. This is readily granted: but see below.

That thou mightest be justified when thou speakest - Perhaps, to save the propriety of the title, we might understand the verse thus: David, being king, was not liable to be called to account by any of his subjects; nor was there any authority in the land by which he could be judged and punished. In this respect, God Alone was greater than the king; and to him Alone, as king, he was responsible. Nam quando rex deliquit, Soli Deo reus est; guia hominem non habet qui ejus facta dijudicet, says Cassiodorus. "For when a king transgresses, he is accountable to God Only; for there is no person who has authority to take cognizance of his conduct." On this very maxim, which is a maxim in all countries, David might say, Against thee only have I sinned. "I cannot be called to the bar of my subjects; but I arraign myself before thy bar. They can neither judge nor condemn me; but thou canst: and such are my crimes that thou wilt be justified in the eyes of all men, and cleared of all severity, shouldst thou inflict upon me the heaviest punishment." This view,of the subject will reconcile the Psalm to the title. As to the eighteenth and nineteenth verses, we shall consider them in their own place; and probably find that the objection taken from them has not much weight.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Genesis 9:6 Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

Genesis 20:6 And God said to him in a dream, Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart...

Genesis 39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither has he kept back any thing from me but you, because you are his wife...

Leviticus 5:19 It is a trespass offering: he has certainly trespassed against the LORD.

Leviticus 6:2-7 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and lie to his neighbor in that which was delivered him to keep...

2 Samuel 12:9,10,13,14 Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? you have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword...

James 2:9,11 But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors...


Genesis 38:7 And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.

2 Kings 17:17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments...

2 Kings 21:6 And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards...

Luke 15:21 And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am no more worthy to be called your son.

that thou

Psalm 50:4,6 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people...

Luke 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yes, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That you might be justified in your sayings...


Acts 17:31 Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained...

Romans 2:5 But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasure up to yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation...

Revelation 15:3,4 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are your works...

Revelation 16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, You are righteous, O Lord, which are, and were, and shall be, because you have judged thus.

Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True...

David's Cry for Pardon
... Blot out my transgressions. 2. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.'--PSALM li. 1, 2. A whole year had elapsed between David's crime and David's penitence. It had been a year of guilty satisfaction not worth the having; of sullen hardening of heart against God and all His appeals. The thirty-second Psalm tells us how happy David had been during that twelvemonth, of which he says, 'My bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night Thy hand
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Unimpeachable Justice
There is now agitating the public mind something which I thought I might improve this day, and turn to very excellent purpose. There are only two things concerning which the public have any suspicion. The verdict of the jury was the verdict of the whole of England; we were unanimous as to the high probability, the well-nigh absolute certainty of his guilt; but there were two doubts in our minds--one of them but small, we grant you, but if both could have been resolved we should have felt more easy
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 2: 1856

David and Nathan
'And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin.'--2 SAMUEL xii. 13. We ought to be very thankful that Scripture never conceals the faults of its noblest men. High among the highest of them stands the poet- king. Whoever, for nearly three thousand years, has wished to express the emotions of trust in God, longing after purity, aspiration, and rapture of devotion, has found that his words have been before him. And this man
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Out of the Deep of Sin.
Innumerable troubles are come about me. My sins have taken such hold upon me, that I am not able to look up; yea, they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart hath failed me.--Ps. xl. 15. I acknowledge my faults, and my sin is ever before me. Against Thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight.--Ps. li. 3. I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord; and so Thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin.--Ps. xxxii. 6. Blessed is the man whose iniquity is forgiven, and
Charles Kingsley—Out of the Deep

Cross References
Luke 15:21
"The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'

Romans 3:4
Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

Genesis 20:6
Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.

Genesis 39:9
No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?"

1 Samuel 15:24
Then Saul said to Samuel, "I have sinned. I violated the LORD's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.

2 Samuel 11:27
After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.

2 Samuel 12:13
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.

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