Add parallel Print Page Options

Look,[a] you desire[b] integrity in the inner man;[c]
you want me to possess wisdom.[d]
Cleanse me[e] with hyssop[f] and I will be pure;[g]
wash me[h] and I will be whiter than snow.[i]
Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven.[j]
May the bones[k] you crushed rejoice.[l]

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 51:6 sn The juxtaposition of two occurrences of “look” in vv. 5-6 draws attention to the sharp contrast between the sinful reality of the psalmist’s condition and the lofty ideal God has for him.
  2. Psalm 51:6 tn The perfect is used in a generalizing sense here.
  3. Psalm 51:6 tn Heb “in the covered [places],” i.e., in the inner man.
  4. Psalm 51:6 tn Heb “in the secret [place] wisdom you cause me to know.” The Hiphil verbal form is causative, while the imperfect is used in a modal sense to indicate God’s desire (note the parallel verb “desire”).sn You want me to possess wisdom. Here “wisdom” does not mean “intelligence” or “learning,” but refers to moral insight and skill.
  5. Psalm 51:7 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.
  6. Psalm 51:7 sn “Hyssop” was a small plant (see 1 Kgs 4:33) used to apply water or blood in purification rites (see Exod 12:22; Lev 14:4-6, 49-52; Num 19:6-18). The psalmist uses the language and imagery of such rites to describe spiritual cleansing through forgiveness.
  7. Psalm 51:7 tn After the preceding imperfect, the imperfect with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates result.
  8. Psalm 51:7 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.
  9. Psalm 51:7 sn I will be whiter than snow. Whiteness here symbolizes the moral purity resulting from forgiveness (see Isa 1:18).
  10. Psalm 51:8 tn Heb “cause me to hear happiness and joy.” The language is metonymic: the effect of forgiveness (joy) has been substituted for its cause. The psalmist probably alludes here to an assuring word from God announcing that his sins are forgiven (a so-called oracle of forgiveness). The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request. The synonyms “happiness” and “joy” are joined together as a hendiadys to emphasize the degree of joy he anticipates.
  11. Psalm 51:8 sn May the bones you crushed rejoice. The psalmist compares his sinful condition to that of a person who has been physically battered and crushed. Within this metaphorical framework, his “bones” are the seat of his emotional strength.
  12. Psalm 51:8 tn In this context of petitionary prayer, the prefixed verbal form is understood as a jussive, expressing the psalmist’s wish or request.
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Bible Gateway Sponsors