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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible
Psalms 51

 

 

Verse 1

Psalms 51.

David prayeth for remission of sins, whereof he maketh a deep confession: he prayeth for sanctification. God delighteth not in sacrifice, but in sincerity: David prayeth for the church.

To the chief musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

Title. לדוד מזמור למנצח lamnatseach mizmor ledavid. No one can read this psalm of David, but must see all the characters of true repentance in the person who wrote it, and the marks of the deepest sorrow and humiliation for the sins of which he had been guilty. How earnestly does he plead for mercy, and acknowledge his own unworthiness! How ingenuous the confessions that he makes of his offences! How heavy the load of that guilt which oppressed him! The smart of it pierced through his very bones, and the torture that he felt was as though they had been broken and crushed to pieces. He owns that his sins were of too deep a dye for sacrifices to expiate the guilt, and that he had nothing but a broken heart and contrite spirit to offer to that God whom he had so grievously offended. How earnest his prayers, that God would create in him a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within him! How does he dread the being deserted of God! How earnestly deprecate the being deprived of his favour, the joy of his salvation, and the aids and comforts of his holy spirit! Let but this psalm be read without prejudice, and with a view only to collect the real sentiments expressed in it, and the disposition of heart which appears throughout the whole; and no man of candour will ever suspect that it was the dictate of hypocrisy, or could be penned from any other motive than a strong conviction of the heinousness of his offence, and the earnest desire of God's forgiveness, and restraint from the commission of the like transgressions for the future. Those who reflect upon David's character on account of his conduct in the matter of Uriah, though they cannot too heartily detest the sin, and must severely censure the offender; yet surely may find some room in their hearts for compassion towards him, when they consider how he was surprised into the first crime, and how the fear and dread of a discovery, and his concern for the life of the woman whom he had seduced, led him on to farther degrees of deceit and wickedness, till he completed his guilt by the destruction of a great and worthy man; especially when they see him prostrate before God, confessing his sin, and supplicating forgiveness; and even exempted by God himself from the punishment of death which he had incurred, upon his ingenuously confessing, I have sinned against the Lord;

2 Samuel 12:13 an evident proof that his repentance was sincere, as it secured him immediate forgiveness from God, whom he had offended. See Chandler.

Psalms 51:1. Have mercy upon me, &c.— The gradation in the sense of the three words here made use of to express the divine compassion, and the propriety of the order in which they are placed, deserves particular observation. The first, rendered have mercy, or pity, denotes that kind of affection which is expressed by moaning over any object that we love and pity; that στοργη, natural affection, and tenderness, which even brute creatures discover to their young ones, by the several noises which they respectively make over them; and particularly the shrill voice of the camel, by which it testifies its love to its foal. The second, rendered loving-kindness, denotes a strong proneness, a ready, large, and liberal disposition to goodness and compassion; powerfully prompting to all instances of kindness and bounty; flowing as freely and plentifully as milk into the breasts, or as waters from a perpetual fountain. This denotes a higher degree of goodness than the former. The third, rendered tender mercies, denotes what the Greeks express by σπλαγχνιζεσθαι, that most tender pity which we signify by the moving of the heart and bowels, which argues the highest degree of compassion whereof human nature is susceptible. And how reviving is the belief and consideration of these abundant and tender compassions of God to one in David's circumstances, whose mind laboured under the burthen of the most heinous, complicated guilt, and the fear of the divine displeasure and vengeance! The original word, מחה mecheh, which we render blot out, properly signifies to wipe out, or wipe any thing absolutely clean, as a person wipes a dish. The original meaning is preferred, 2 Kings 21:13. The purport of the petition is, that God would entirely and absolutely forgive him, so as that no part of the guilt he had contracted might remain, and the punishment of it might be wholly removed. Chandler.


Verse 2

Psalms 51:2. Wash me thoroughly, &c.— The original כבסני ברבה hereb kabseini is, multiply, or, in multiplying, wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin; for the word multiply refers to both verbs, wash me and cleanse me, and is well rendered in our version by thoroughly wash me; as a garment often washed is thoroughly cleansed from its impurity. This form of expression is frequent in the Old Testament. See Isaiah 1:16. The meaning of the Psalmist is, that God, by repentance and faith, would recover him from all his past transgressions, and enable him to live free from the practice of them for the future.


Verse 3

Psalms 51:3. For I acknowledge my transgressions אדע adang; I know, I am conscious of my transgression. When David saw himself in the parable, and had pronounced his own condemnation, he then saw his sins in their proper aggravations, and his iniquity was ever before him. His own conscience condemned him, and he was in perpetual fear of the effects of the divine displeasure. Dr. Chandler; who, differing in sentiment from Dr. Delaney, thinks that David was greatly insensible of his guilt, and enjoyed the fruits of his crimes without remorse many months after he had committed the sins that he now confesses. No man could call him to account, or had courage enough to put him in mind of his heinous offences; and even God had not yet interposed to awaken his conscience, and bring him to a becoming sense of the guilt that he had contracted; so that he hoped for impunity, and continued easy in the prospect of it, till awakened by Nathan.


Verse 4

Psalms 51:4. Against thee, &c.— Injuries done to private persons are offences against government, and, as to the right of punishment, offences only against government. And therefore, though David had injured Bathsheba, whom he had corrupted, and Uriah, whom he had murdered; yet, as no one could call him to an account, or punish him for those crimes, but God only, whose immediate substitute he was, as king of Israel, God himself being properly the supreme governor, he could say, with great propriety and truth, against thee only have I sinned: not as if he had not sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah, and to extenuate his sin; but by way of aggravating his guilt, in that, though he was not arraignable at any earthly tribunal, he was at God's; and that to his punishment he had rendered himself obnoxious, and was worthy of having it inflicted on him in the most exemplary manner. For thus it immediately follows; that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. When Nathan had represented the crying and shameful injustice of the rich man, David declares with an oath, that he was worthy of death, and therefore condemns himself as deserving that punishment: and though God mercifully declared, he shall not die, yet he pronounced a very severe vengeance against him, 2 Samuel 12:11-12. And this sentence he acknowledges to be just. "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil, and subjected myself to thy punishment; ( למען lemangan,—ita ut; See Noldius upon the word;) so that thou wilt be just, בדברךֶ bedabreka, in what thou hast spoken; i.e. the sentence thou hast pronounced against me; and pure, i.e. free from all reproach, in judging me; that is, shouldst thou pass sentence of condemnation and death against me." Houbigant reads the words, Wash me from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sins; that thou mayest hereby be justified in what thou hast spoken, and clear when thou enterest into judgment: And he explains the words, in what thou hast spoken, of God's promises to David, in reference to his glory, and the prosperity of his kingdom. But I apprehend this is too bold a criticism to be easily allowed; nor do I see it at all necessary to vindicate the apostle's citation of these words, Romans 3:4 for there he quotes them only as containing this general truth: that God would be justified in the whole of his procedure with men, and even in the condemnation of the Jews themselves for their unbelief. And nothing could be more applicable to his purpose, than these words of the Psalmist, in the sense in which I have explained them: So that thou wilt be just in thy sentence; thou wilt be pure in the judgment thou hast pronounced. Chandler.


Verse 5

Psalms 51:5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, &c.— Behold, I was born, &c. I do not find that the original word חוללתי cholalti, which we render shapen, does ever so signify. It unquestionably denotes to bring forth, as a woman does her child; and in all the places where it is rendered shapen, it would better bear another signification. The rendering in the place before us should be; Behold I was brought forth in iniquity; and then the ensuing words will contain the reason of it; because in sin did my mother conceive me. I was brought forth in iniquity. This refers to the Psalmist himself; to what he was from his birth, and his state as he came into the world. It was in sin; i.e. with great propensities and dispositions to sin; in a state of sensuality, with more irregular, and much stronger tendencies to animal and criminal indulgencies, and the gratification of those lusts which are dishonourable in themselves, and which, when gratified, are sinful in their nature, and highly offensive to God, than they would have been, if the parents themselves had been entirely free from them; and this, as opposed to rectitude of nature, and the regulation of our portions and appetites, in a depraved sinful state. And I should think that there is need of no other proof that we are all born in such a state, that our own experience, and the present condition of the world we live in. Nor do I see how it could be otherwise with the Psalmist, if what he says of his mother be true, that she conceived him in sin, or was herself a sinner, when she first cherished him in her womb. I shall not easily be persuaded to think, that parents, who are sinners themselves, and too much under the influence of bad affections and passions, will be very likely to produce children without transmitting to them some of those disorders and corruptions of nature with which they themselves are infected. And if this be a difficulty, I would beg leave to observe, that it is a difficulty which affects natural, as well as revealed religion: since we must take human nature as it is; and if it be really in a state of disorder and corruption, and cannot be otherwise, considering the common law of its productions, the difficulty must have been as ancient as the first man who was born; and therefore can be no objection against the truth of revelation, but it must be equally so against natural religion, which must equally allow the thing, if it be in reality a fact, with revelation itself. The sense therefore, as I apprehend, of the whole passage is, that the Psalmist owns himself to be the corrupted degenerate offspring of corrupted degenerate parents, agreeable to what was said long before he was born: Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one. Job 14:4. Nor is it unusual with good men, when confessing their own sins before God, to make mention of the sins of their parents, for their greater mortification and humiliation. See 2 Chronicles 29:6. 2 Kings 22:13. Nehemiah 9:16 and elsewhere. So also Horace:

AEtas parentum, pejor avis, tulit Nos nequiores, mox daturos Progeniem vitiosiorem. Lib. 3: od. 6.

More vicious than their fathers' age, Our fires begot the present race, Of actions impious, bold, and base; And yet, with crimes to us unknown, Our sons shall mark the coming age their own. FRANCIS.

I shall only farther observe, that David does not mention the circumstance of his being born of sinful parents, and born, as hath been explained, in sin himself, as an excuse for, but rather as an aggravation of his sins; since he ought to have been more upon his guard, and watched more carefully over his sensual passions and affections, as he knew his natural tendency to evil, and had been instructed by the law of God to correct and suppress it; as he more than intimates in the following verse. See Dr. Chandler; whose observations are here more immediately levelled at some remarks upon this text by Dr. Taylor, in his Doctrine of Original Sin, p. 31, &c.


Verse 6

Psalms 51:6. Behold, thou desirest truth, &c.— The common interpretation here is, that David makes mention of God's loving sincerity, in the inward parts, i.e. the mind and spirit, by way of aggravating his own guilt, for the shameful dissimulation that he had been guilty of with respect to Uriah. To which he adds, in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom; that wisdom, which through grace would have enabled him to have maintained his sincerity, had he followed the dictates of it. Dr. Chandler, not acquiescing in this interpretation, would render the words, Thou desirest or approvest truth, or constancy and firmness in the reins; i.e. chastity and continence; moderation in the indulgence of all the sensual appetites, and the strict regular government of all the animal propensities and affections; the reins being accounted by the Hebrews as the seat of the passions. The next clause is literally, according to the Hebrew, And by their being obstructed, thou teachest, or do thou teach me Wisdom 1 :e. "by their being restrained and kept within bounds may I learn to act a wiser and a better part for the future." In the 14th verse he prays that God would deliver him from the guilt of blood, which he had incurred by the murder of Uriah. In the verse before us, he acknowledges that his adulterous commerce with Bathsheba was contrary to that purity and self-government which were pleasing and acceptable to God, and prays that, notwithstanding any inordinate tendencies that he might derive in his constitution from being conceived by a sinful mother; yet that God would give him wisdom and grace to obstruct and lay them under such restraint, as would enable him to approve himself better to God for the time to come.


Verse 7

Psalms 51:7. Purge me with hyssop תחטאני techatteeni: properly, expiate my sin, with hyssop. The Psalmist alludes to the purification from the leprosy; Leviticus 14:52 or from the touch of a dead body; Numbers 19:19 both which were to be done by the sprinkling of water and other things with hyssop. The Psalmist well knew that his sins were too great to be expiated by any legal purifications, and therefore prays that God would himself expiate and restore him through the great Sacrifice; i.e. make him as free from those criminal propensities to sin, and from all the bad effects of his aggravated crimes, as if he had been purified from a leprosy by the water of cleansing, sprinkled on him by a branch of hyssop, and that he might be, if possible, clearer from all the defilement and guilt of sin than the new fallen snow, through the Blood of the great Atonement. I think both these senses are included in the expiation which the Psalmist prays for; as the person whose leprosy was expiated was wholly cured of his disease, and freed from all the incapacities attending it.


Verse 8

Psalms 51:8. Make me to hear joy and gladness The displeasure which God expressed against the sins he had been guilty of, and the deep sense he had of the aggravated nature of them, filled him with such pains and agonies of mind, that he compares them to that exquisite torture which he must have felt had all his bones been crushed: for the original word דכית dikkitha, signifies more than broken; viz. being entirely mashed: and he compares the joy which God's declaring himself fully reconciled to him would produce in his mind, to that inconceivable pleasure which would arise from the instantaneous restoring and healing of those bones after they had been thus broken and crushed to pieces.


Verse 9

Psalms 51:9. Hide thy face from my sins The verb סתר satar, properly signifies to veil, or hide with a veil. The meaning is, "Do not look upon my sins with a severe eye, nor place them in the light of thy countenance with all their aggravations; but draw, as it were, a veil between thyself and them, that the sight of them may no longer provoke thee to anger, or draw down the deserved vengeance upon me."


Verse 10

Psalms 51:10. Create in me a clean heart A clean heart, is a heart free from those impure and disordered passions of which David had too fatally felt the effects, and in possession and under the influence of those sacred dispositions of piety, holiness, and virtue, in which the moral rectitude and purity of the mind consists. A right spirit, is more properly a firm, constant, determined spirit. It implies such a resolution and firmness of soul, as through grace should effectually secure him against the power of all future temptations. See 2 Corinthians 5:17. Ephesians 2:10. Mudge renders it, A spirit firmly steady.


Verse 11

Psalms 51:11. Cast me not away from thy presence From before thy face. Heb. The coming to God's presence, was the approaching the tabernacle of the ark, and its courts, where the sacrifices were offered, and the visible tokens of God's majesty appeared in the cloud and glory: and therefore, to be cast out of his presence, was to be debarred the privilege of appearing in his house, and joining in the solemnities of his worship. This was what David dreaded, as the consequence of his offences, and what he grievously lamented, when driven from Jerusalem by the rebellion of Absalom, as appears from what he said to Zadok, 2 Samuel 15:25. And he therefore prays that this might not be one part of his punishment. The next petition for God's holy Spirit, and the continuance of it, must mean the Spirit of God, which was necessary to effect this great change in the temper and habit of his mind, and to confirm and establish it. He had forfeited this great blessing by his presumptuous crimes, and therefore earnestly deprecates his being deprived of it, that he might not be involved again in the same guilty practices, the recollection of which now gave him the deepest distress. Chandler.


Verse 12

Psalms 51:12. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation i.e. The pleasure I have formerly enjoyed, of having a special interest in thy favour, and of being assured that thou wilt continually protect and deliver me from all mine enemies and troubles. The next clause might be rendered nearer to the Hebrew, Let a free spirit uphold me; for the pronoun thy is not in the original. נדיבה nedibah, rendered free, is used as a substantive only in two or three places, and has a very significant meaning, denoting a princely, ingenuous, liberal disposition. His spirit had been depressed, and greatly terrified, by the sense of God's displeasure, and he was filled with shame and confusion for the greatness of his sins, and prays that God would restore him to his former freedom, ease, and alacrity of mind, both in discharging his duty as king of Israel, and as a worshipper of his God; and that this free spirit might uphold, or perpetually influence, and carry him through the remainder of his life. Chandler. Houbigant renders it, And let a spirit of magnanimity support me.


Verse 13

Psalms 51:13. And sinners shall be converted unto thee i.e. "Be persuaded, by my declaring to them the mercy I have experienced in the forgiveness of my sins, to return to thee by repentance, that they also may obtain the pardon of their offences." Happy for mankind, says Dr. Delaney, upon the consideration urged by David in this verse,—that there is such an instance, an authentic instance, of falling virtue and recovering guilt; an instance, so fitted to mortify the vanity of virtue, and the excellence of exalted piety; to raise the power and preciousness of humble penitence, to abate the pride of self-sufficiency, and support the hope of frailty! Who can confide in his own strength when he sees a David fall! Who can despair of divine mercy when he sees him forgiven! Sad triumph of sin over all that is great and excellent in man! Glorious triumph of repentance [and grace] over all that is shameful and dreadful in sin! Book iv. c. 24.


Verse 14

Psalms 51:14. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness This is the proper sense of the expression. The Hebrew דמים damim, is bloods, in the plural; which generally signifies murder. See 2 Samuel 16:7-8.; Psalms 59:2-3.; Ezekiel 7:23. The meaning of the petition here is, "Deliver me from the bloods I have unrighteously spilled; from the guilt of Uriah's murder." Thy righteousness here signifies thy truth; veracity, and steadfastness to the promises which God had given. He further prays, Open thou my lips, &c. Psalms 51:15. "Remember thy gracious promises, and accomplish them, notwithstanding my unworthiness, that I may have renewed reasons to celebrate thy praises:" for this is the meaning of God's opening his lips; furnishing him with new motives and occasions of gratitude and thankfulness; Chandler. Mudge thinks that bloods does not mean blood spilled, but that debt of blood whereby a man is rendered guilty of death for any capital crime; such as, adultery, &c.


Verse 16

Psalms 51:16. For thou desirest not sacrifice, &c.— Chandler renders this verse, For thou takest no pleasure in sacrifice, that I should give it; thou approvest not whole burnt-offerings. There were no sacrifices of atonement appointed by the law for murder and adultery; and therefore the Psalmist says, that God did not in his case desire them; and that if he was to offer them as a propitiation for his sins, they would not be accepted; the punishment annexed to these crimes being death.


Verse 17

Psalms 51:17. The sacrifices of God, &c.— The sacrifices of God are either, such as were fit to be offered to God in consequence of such grievous offences as David had committed, or such as God would regard, or as could be in any degree available to secure his forgiveness through the alone merit of the great Atonement. These sacrifices were a broken spirit, or a broken and contrite heart. The expressions mean in general a mind greatly depressed, humbled, and almost overwhelmed with affliction and grief, of whatever kind, or whencesover they arise. Psalms 34:17-19.; whether from poverty, as Psalms 74:21; Psa_109:16 or banishment, Psalms 147:2-3.; or captivity or imprisonment, Isaiah 61:1.; or from moral and religious causes, as in the place before us. For David unquestionably means by it, that deep sense of his offence, that affecting concern and grief of heart for the guilt he had contracted, which made him humble himself before God, and take to himself the shame which was his due; filled him with terror lest he should be deserted of God; and rendered him incapable of possessing himself in peace, till God should mercifully restore him to his favour. And it may be observed, that the second word נדכה nidkeh, which we render contrite, denotes the being bruised, or broken to pieces, as a thing is broken and bruised in a mortar: comp. Numbers 11:8 and therefore, in the moral sense, signifies such a weight of sorrow, as must wholly crush the mind, without some powerful and seasonable relief. Such a broken and contrite spirit, upon account of sins so deeply aggravated and heinous as David's were, was the only sacrifice which he possibly could offer to God, and which he knew God would not despise; i.e. would graciously regard and accept, through the merit of the grand Sacrifice. Religious men argued from the infinite goodness of God, and the promises he made to his repentant returning people, that he would forgive, upon a sincere repentance, even those more aggravated sins to which the law of Moses denounced death, and for the expiation of which it had appointed no sacrifices of atonement whatsoever. I cannot omit even Mr. Boyle's remarks upon this head: "David's amour with the wife of Uriah," says he, "and the orders he gave to destroy her husband, are two most enormous crimes; but he was so grieved for them, and shewed forth so admirable a repentance, that this is not the passage in his life wherein he contributes the least to the instruction and education of the faithful. We therein learn the frailty of the saints; and it is a precept of vigilance; we therein learn in what manner we ought to lament our sins; and it is an excellent model." Let me just add, that the wisdom and equity of the law of Moses evidently appears, in that it appointed no sacrifices to atone for such crimes; the pardoning of which would have been inconsistent with the peace and safety of civil society; such as those which David laments in this Psalm, murder and adultery. Here, the punishment prescribed by the law being death, David had no other way of escaping it than by the undeserved mercy of God: God was pleased to extend this mercy to him, to shew how acceptable the sinner's unfeigned repentance will be, through the mediation of Christ, whatever be the nature and aggravation of his offences. And if we learn from hence what the Scripture calls the deceitfulness of sin, to be cautious of the first beginning of it, and not to indulge those sensual appetites, which, when given way to, draw men insensibly into crimes that they would once have trembled at the thoughts of committing; we shall make the best and wisest improvement of this melancholy part of David's history, and be real gainers by his sins and sorrows. Chandler.


Verse 18-19

Psalms 51:18-19. Do good in thy good pleasure, &c.— It has been observed, that this and the next verse seem plainly to shew this Psalm to have been written during the captivity, and therefore the title to be wrong; and that when the Psalm was penned, God could not accept any offering, because the temple and altar were destroyed; but there seems little weight in these observations. The inscriptions to the Psalms are very ancient, and all the versions agree in referring this Psalm to David and the affair of Uriah; nor could any thing be more suitable to his circumstances than this composition throughout. As to the objection brought from the words, build thou the walls of Jerusalem, there is no strength in it: when David made it the place of his residence, he greatly enlarged and fortified it, that it might be safe against the attacks of the neighbouring nations: these works must require a considerable time to carry them on; and as, probably, they were not yet finished, he prays that, though he was unworthy of being prospered by God in this great undertaking, of rendering Mount Sion and Jerusalem secure by the fortifications with which he intended to encompass it, yet that God would prosper, according to his good pleasure, Sion, and enable him to build up the walls of Jerusalem, till he had fully completed them. Or if these walls were actually completed, David might pray with great propriety that God would build them, that is, defend and protect them; uphold and preserve them in safety: for in this sense the word בנה banah, to build, is frequently used. See Proverbs 14:1.; Psalms 2:4. What is further added, that God could not accept any offering, because the temple and altar were destroyed, is without any foundation; because there is not one word mentioned about the temple, nor the destruction of the altar; and the reason why God would accept no sacrifice, was, not because there was no altar, but because God had appointed no sacrifice for adultery and murder; which could be expiated no otherwise than by the death of the offender. But as God had by his peculiar mercy remitted the sentence of death, the Psalmist adds, that if God would graciously favour Sion, enable him to finish the walls of Jerusalem, and establish the safety of the city by his protection; Then shalt thou be pleased with sacrifices of righteousness; i.e. such sacrifices as God had appointed by the law; offered on such occasions, and for such ends, as God himself had prescribed, in opposition to those which he had just before declared God would not accept. Had David offered sacrifices of propitiation for his adultery and murder, they would have been illegal, unwarrantable, impious sacrifices, and not sacrifices of righteousness. The whole burnt offerings frequently consisted of bullocks, Leviticus 1:5. These, the Psalmist adds, should ascend to his altar, as some render the word; or, as our version, They shall offer bullocks upon thine altar. The words are capable of both versions, and the sense in each is nearly the same. He seems to refer principally to the peace or thank-offerings, which, when made by pious men, according to God's prescription, could not fail of being acceptable to him. Chandler. Though the notes on this very important and useful Psalm have extended to a greater length than we commonly allow, I cannot withhold the following observations, in conclusion, from Dr. Delaney; who remarks, that as this Psalm was directed to the chief musician, it was, without doubt, publicly sung in the tabernacle in the presence of all the people; the king himself attending and prostrate before the throne of mercy. "It is surely matter," says he, "of uncommon curiosity to contemplate David in this condition. Behold the greatest monarch of the earth thus humbled for his sins before God! confessing his shame with contrition and confusion of face! calling out for mercy, and imploring pardon, in the presence of his meanest subjects! There is something in such an image of penitence, more fitted to strike the soul with a dread and abhorrence of guilt, than it is possible to express: something more edifying, more adapted to the human infirmities, and more powerful to reform them, than the most perfect example of unsinning obedience; especially, if the supplications and petitions he pours out to God be thoroughly suited to the solemnity of the occasion, and condition of the penitent; as they undoubtedly are in this Psalm. Here the penitent humbly and earnestly begs for mercy;—he acknowledges his sin, and his innate depravity, the source of it; he begs to be renewed in the grace of God, and in that health, which the horror of his wickedness had impaired. Above all, he earnestly beseeches God, not to cast him off, nor deliver him up to a reprobate sense. Cast me not away from thy presence:—Take not thy holy spirit from me:—O give me the comfort of thy help again:—Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation! In one word, the soul of shame, of sorrow, of remorse, of sincere repentance, and bitter anguish under the agonies of guilt, breathes strong and fervent through every line of this hallowed composition. And it is, I doubt not, David's greatest consolation at this moment, when he blesses God for the providential effects of his fall, that those crimes which wrought his shame, and sorrow, and infamy, have, in the humility, the piety, the contrition of confessing them, in this and several other Psalms, composed upon the same occasion, rescued and reformed millions."

 


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Bibliography Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 51:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-51.html. 1801-1803.

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Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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