Psalm 51 – New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 51[a]

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.

  1. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
  2. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
  3. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
  4. 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.
  5. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
  6. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
  7. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
  8. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
  9. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
  10. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
  11. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
  12. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
  13. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
  14. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
  15. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise.
  16. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
  17. My sacrifice, O God, is[b] a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
  18. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
  19. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.


a. Psalm 51:1 In Hebrew texts 51:1-19 is numbered 51:3-21.
b. Psalm 51:17 Or The sacrifices of God are

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Psalm 51 – King James Version (KJV)

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bath-sheba.

  1. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: According unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
  2. Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin.
  3. For I acknowledge my transgressions: And my sin is ever before me.
  4. 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.
  5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me.
  6. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: And in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
  7. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
  8. Make me to hear joy and gladness; That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
  9. Hide thy face from my sins, And blot out all mine iniquities.
  10. Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me.
  11. Cast me not away from thy presence; And take not thy holy spirit from me.
  12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with thy free spirit.
  13. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; And sinners shall be converted unto thee.
  14. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: And my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
  15. O Lord, open thou my lips; And my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
  16. For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: Thou delightest not in burnt offering.
  17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
  18. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: Build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
  19. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: Then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.