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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 51

Bullinger's Companion Bible NotesBullinger's Companion Notes

Verse 1

Title. A Psalm. Hebrew. mizmor. See App-65 .

when Nathan, &c. See 2 Samuel 11:2 ; 2 Samuel 12:1 . David's utterance when he lay all night upon the earth as a penitent (2 Samuel 12:16 ). Compare his utterance when he "sat before the LORD "as a worshipper (2 Samuel 7:18-29 ), and when he "stood upon his feet" as a servant (1 Chronicles 28:2-10 ).

Have mercy upon me = Be gracious or favourable unto me.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .

lovingkindness: or, grace.

blot out = erase, as a debt from a book (Exodus 32:32 , Exodus 32:33 .Numbers 5:23 . Num 69:28 ), or wipe out so as to remove (2 Kings 21:13 .Isaiah 44:22; Isaiah 44:22 ).

transgressions. Hebrew. pasha'. App-44 .

Verse 2

Wash: as a garment, Hebrew. kabas. Heb form = multiply to wash = wash thoroughly.

iniquity. Hebrew. 'avah. App-44 .

cleanse: i.e. pronounce ceremonially clean.

sin. Hebrew. chata'. App-44 ,

Verse 3

acknowledge. Confession is ever the condition of forgiveness. See notes on Psalms 32:5 .

Verse 4

only = alone. This is primary, and contains the secondary.

evil. Hebrew. ra'a'.

That, &c. Quoted in Romans 3:4 .

when Thou speakest: i.e. in Thy word. Some codices, with three early printed editions, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read "in Thy words" (plural) Compare Romans 3:4 .

clear = pure; such moral purity as belongs not to man, only to God (Job 15:14 ; Job 25:4 .Proverbs 20:9; Proverbs 20:9 ). Hebrew. zakak.

Verse 5

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .

Verse 6

in the inward parts. More than the external acts. Hebrew. tuchoth. Only here and Job 38:36 .

make me, &c. See note on Job 28:28 . We need this making, for this wisdom is from above. Compare 2 Timothy 3:15 .

Verse 7

Purge me = Thou wilt sin-cleanse me, or un-sin me: i.e. expiate by the blood of a sin offering.

hyssop. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), for the atoning blood sprinkled by it. Compare Numbers 14:18 ; Numbers 19:6 , Numbers 19:18 .

Verse 8

Make me = Thou wilt make me.

Verse 10

Create. Hebrew. bara' , as in Genesis 1:1 . The new heart is not the old one changed, but newly created: i.e. "begotten" by God, as in John 3:6-8 .

right = steadfast. Compare Psalms 78:37 ; Psalms 112:7 .

spirit. Hebrew. ruach. App-9 . Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Part), for whole character.

Verse 11

take not. Not a proper prayer for those now "in Christ": for, see John 14:16 .

Holy Spirit. See the only other O.T. occurrences of the expression (Isaiah 63:10 , Isaiah 63:11 ). Hebrew. ruach. App-9 .

Verse 12

with Thy free spirit: i.e. with a spirit of willing and unforced obedience. Hebrew. ruach. App-9 . Compare Exodus 35:5 , Exodus 35:22 .

Verse 14

Deliver = Rescue.

bloodguiltiness = bloods, plural of majesty; put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species), for the great murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 11:14-21 ). Compare Genesis 4:10 .

Verse 15

LORD * = Jehovah. App-4 . One of the 134 alterations of the Sopherim. App-32 .

Verse 16

desirest not. Because death was the penalty. Was the child's life the substitute?

Verse 17

sacrifices. Plural of majesty = the great sacrifice. Compare Isaiah 57:16 ; Isaiah 66:2 .

not despise. Figure of speech Tapeinosis , meaning that God will do infinitely more than words can express.

Verse 18

Zion. See App-68 . If verses: Psalms 51:18 , Psalms 51:19 are a later addition, then they were probably the work of Hezekiah in his editing the Psalms as well as the Proverbs, when the Psalm was handed over for public use. See App-67 . But David was "a prophet" (Acts 2:30 , Acts 2:31 ).

Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 51". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/psalms-51.html. 1909-1922.
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