Psalm 50 (51)

Knox Translation

1 (To the choir-master. A psalm. Of David, 2 when the prophet Nathan came to reproach him for his adultery with Bethsabee.)

3 Have mercy on me, O God, as thou art ever rich in mercy; in the abundance of thy compassion, blot out the record of my misdeeds.

4 Wash me clean, cleaner yet, from my guilt, purge me of my sin, 5 the guilt which I freely acknowledge, the sin which is never lost to my sight.

6 Thee only my sins have offended; it is thy will I have disobeyed; thy sentence was deserved, and still when thou givest award thou hast right on thy side.

7 For indeed, I was born in sin; guilt was with me already when my mother conceived me.

8 But thou art a lover of faithfulness, and now, deep in my heart, thy wisdom has instructed me.

9 Sprinkle me with a wand of hyssop, and I shall be clean; washed, I shall be whiter than snow; 10 tidings send me of good news and rejoicing, and the body that lies in the dust shall thrill with pride.

11 Turn thy eyes away from my sins, blot out the record of my guilt; 12 my God, bring a clean heart to birth within me; breathe new life, true life, into my being.

13 Do not banish me from thy presence, do not take thy holy spirit away from me; 14 give me back the comfort of thy saving power, and strengthen me in generous resolve.

15 So will I teach the wicked to follow thy paths; sinners shall come back to thy obedience.

16 My God, my divine Deliverer, save me from the guilt of bloodshed! This tongue shall boast of thy mercies; 17 O Lord, thou wilt open my lips, and my mouth shall tell of thy praise.

18 Thou hast no mind for sacrifice, burnt-offerings, if I brought them, thou wouldst refuse; 19 here, O God, is my sacrifice, a broken spirit; a heart that is humbled and contrite thou, O God, wilt never disdain.

20 Lord, in thy great love send prosperity to Sion, so that the walls of Jerusalem may rise again.

21 Then indeed thou wilt take pleasure in solemn sacrifice, in gift and burnt-offering; then indeed bullocks will be laid upon thy altar.