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Psalm 51

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Table of Psalms             <<   Psalm 51   >>

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General Information

The text of Miserere mei, Deus is the older Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 50 (according to the numbering of the Latin Bible) or 51 (according to the numbering of the Hebrew Bible). The psalm is part of the traditional 7 penitential psalms, ie 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143 (or 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142 in the Septuagint numbering). Psalm 51 is usually referred to as the Miserere, after its Latin incipit.

Liturgical use: Final psalm sung at service of tenebrae. The doxology (Gloria Patri, etc.) is not part of the psalm proper but may be included in some musical settings.

Editions are in Latin, unless otherwise indicated.

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See also Tibi soli for settings of v.6 and Asperges me Domine for settings of v.9

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Text and translations

Clementine Vulgate (Psalm 50)

Latin.png Latin text

1  In finem. Psalmus David,
2  cum venit ad eum Nathan propheta, quando intravit ad Bethsabee.
3  Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam; et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
4  Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
5  Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco, et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
6  Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci; ut justificeris
in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum judicaris.
7  Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
8  Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti; incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
9  Asperges me hyssopo, et mundabor; lavabis me,
et super nivem dealbabor.
10  Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.
11  Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis, et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
12  Cor mundum crea in me, Deus, et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
13  Ne projicias me a facie tua, et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
14  Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui, et spiritu principali confirma me.
15  Docebo iniquos vias tuas, et impii ad te convertentur.
16  Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae, et exsultabit lingua mea
justitiam tuam.
17  Domine, labia mea aperies, et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.
18  Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique; holocaustis non delectaberis.
19  Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus; cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
20  Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion, ut aedificentur muri Jerusalem.
21  Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiae,
oblationes et holocausta; tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.

Church of England 1662 Book of Common Prayer

English.png English text

  To the end, a psalm of David.
  when Nathan the prophet came to him, after he had sinned with Bathsheba.
1  Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness: according to the multitude
of thy mercies do away mine offences.
2  Wash me throughly from my wickedness: and cleanse me from my sin.
3  For I acknowledge my faults: and my sin is ever before me.
4  Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified
in thy saying, and clear when thou art judged.
5  Behold, I was shapen in wickedness: and in sin hath my mother conceived me.
6  But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts: and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.
7  Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: thou shalt wash me,
and I shall be whiter than snow.
8  Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness: that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9  Turn thy face from my sins: and put out all my misdeeds.
10  Make 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  O give me the comfort of thy help again: and stablish me with thy free Spirit.
13  Then shall I teach thy ways unto the wicked: and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14  Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my health: and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.
15  Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord: and my mouth shall shew thy praise.
16  For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it thee: but thou delightest not in burnt-offerings.
17  The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise.
18  O be favourable and gracious unto Sion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19  Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, with the burnt-offerings and oblations: then shall they offer young bullocks upon thine altar.

King James Version

English.png English text

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.

German Translation

German.png German translation

1  Gott, sei mir gnädig nach deiner Güte und tilge meine Sünden nach deiner großen Barmherzigkeit.
2  Wasche mich wohl von meiner Missetat und reinige mich von meiner Sünde.
3  Denn ich erkenne meine Missetat, und meine Sünde ist immer vor mir.
4  An dir allein habe ich gesündigt und übel vor dir getan, auf daß du recht behaltest in deinen Worten und rein bleibest, wenn du gerichtet wirst.
5  Siehe, ich bin in sündlichem Wesen geboren, und meine Mutter hat mich in Sünden empfangen.
6  Siehe, du hast Lust zur Wahrheit, die im Verborgenen liegt; du lässest mich wissen die heimliche Weisheit.
7  Entsündige mich mit Isop, daß ich rein werde; wasche mich, daß ich schneeweiß werde.
8  Laß mich hören Freude und Wonne, daß die Gebeine fröhlich werden, die du zerschlagen hast.
9  Verbirg dein Antlitz von meinen Sünden und tilge alle meine Missetaten.
10  Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herz und gib mir einen neuen, gewissen Geist.
11  Verwirf mich nicht von deinem Angesicht und nimm deinen heiligen Geist nicht von mir.
12  Tröste mich wieder mit deiner Hilfe, und mit einem freudigen Geist rüste mich aus.
13  Ich will die Übertreter deine Wege lehren, daß sich die Sünder zu dir bekehren.
14  Errette mich von den Blutschulden, Gott, der du mein Gott und Heiland bist, daß meine Zunge deine Gerechtigkeit rühme.
15  Herr, tue meine Lippen auf, daß mein Mund deinen Ruhm verkündige.
16  Denn du hast nicht Lust zum Opfer, ich wollte dir's sonst wohl geben, und Brandopfer gefallen dir nicht.
17  Die Opfer, die Gott gefallen, sind ein geängsteter Geist; ein geängstet und zerschlagen Herz wirst du, Gott, nicht verachten.
18  Tue wohl an Zion nach deiner Gnade; baue die Mauern zu Jerusalem.
19  Dann werden dir gefallen die Opfer der Gerechtigkeit, die Brandopfer und ganzen Opfer; dann wird man Farren auf deinem Altar opfern.

Statenbijbel (1637)

Dutch.png Dutch text

  Een psalm van David, voor den opperzangmeester. Toen de profeet Nathan tot hem was gekomen, nadat hij tot Bathseba was ingegaan.
1  Wees mij genadig, o God! naar Uw goedertierenheid; delg mijn overtreding uit, naar de grootheid Uwer barmhartigheden.
2  Was mij wel van mijn ongerechtigheid, en reinig mij van mijn zonde.
3  Want ik ken mijn overtredingen, en mijn zonde is steeds voor mij.
4  Tegen U, U alleen, heb ik gezondigd, en gedaan, dat kwaad is in Uw ogen; opdat Gij rechtvaardig zijt in Uw spreken, en rein zijt in Uw richten.
5  Zie, ik ben in ongerechtigheid geboren, en in zonde heeft mij mijn moeder ontvangen.
6  Zie, Gij hebt lust tot waarheid in het binnenste, en in het verborgene maakt Gij mij wijsheid bekend.
7  Ontzondig mij met hysop, en ik zal rein zijn; was mij, en ik zal witter zijn dan sneeuw.
8  Doe mij vreugde en blijdschap horen; dat de beenderen zich verheugen, die Gij verbrijzeld hebt.
9  Verberg Uw aangezicht van mijn zonden, en delg uit al mijn ongerechtigheden.
10  Schep mij een rein hart, o God! en vernieuw in het binnenste van mij een vasten geest.
11  Verwerp mij niet van Uw aangezicht, en neem Uw Heiligen Geest niet van mij.
12  Geef mij weder de vreugde Uws heils; en de vrijmoedige geest ondersteune mij.
13  Zo zal ik den overtreders Uw wegen leren; en de zondaars zullen zich tot U bekeren.
14  Verlos mij van bloedschulden, o God, Gij, God mijns heils! zo zal mijn tong Uw gerechtigheid vrolijk roemen.
15  Heere, open mijn lippen, zo zal mijn mond Uw lof verkondigen.
16  Want Gij hebt geen lust tot offerande, anders zou ik ze geven; in brandofferen hebt Gij geen behagen.
17  De offeranden Gods zijn een gebroken geest; een gebroken en verslagen hart zult Gij, o God! niet verachten.
18  Doe wel bij Sion naar Uw welbehagen; bouw de muren van Jeruzalem op.
19  Dan zult Gij lust hebben aan de offeranden der gerechtigheid, aan brandoffer en een offer, dat gans verteerd wordt; dan zullen zij varren offeren op Uw altaar.

Metrical 'New Version' (Tate/Brady)

English.png English text

The First Part
1  Have mercy, Lord, on me,
As thou wert ever kind;
Let me, opprest with loads of guilt,
Thy wonted mercy find.

2, 3  Wash off my foul offence,
And cleanse me from my sin;
For I confess my crime, and see
How great my guilt has been.

4  Against thee, Lord, alone,
And only in thy sight,
Have I transgress'd, and, though condenm'd,
Must own thy judgment right.

5  In guilt each part was form'd
Of all this sinful frame;
In guilt I was conceiv'd, and born
The heir of sin and shame.

6  Yet thou, whose searching eye
Doth inward truth require,
In secret didst with wisdom's laws
My tender soul inspire.

7  With hyssop purge me, Lord,
And so I clean shall be;
I shall with snow in whiteness vie,
When purified by thee.

8  Make me to hear with joy
Thy kind forgiving voice;
That so the bones which thou hast broke
May with fresh strength rejoice.

9, 10  Blot out my crying sins,
Nor me in anger view;
Create in me a heart that's clean,
An upright mind renew.

 



The Second Part
11  Withdraw not thou thy help,
Nor cast me from thy sight;
Nor let thy holy Spirit take
Its everlasting flight.

12  The joy thy favour gives
Let me again obtain;
And thy free Spirit's firm support
My fainting soul sustain.

13  So I thy righteous ways
To sinners will impart,
Whilst my advice shall wicked men
To thy just laws convert.

14  My guilt of blood remove,
My Saviour and my God;
And my glad tongue shall loudly tell
Thy righteous acts abroad.

15  Do thou unlock my lips,
With sorrow clos'd and shame;
So shall my mouth thy wondrous praise
To all the world proclaim.

16  Could sacrifice atone,
Whole flocks and herds should die;
But on such off'rings thou disdain'st
To cast a gracious eye.

17  A broken spirit is
By God most highly priz'd;
By him a broken contrite heart
Shall never be despis'd.

18  Let Sion favour find,
Of thy good-will assur'd;
And thy own city flourish long,
By lofty walls secur'd.

19  The just shall then attend,
And pleasing tribute pay;
And sacrifice of choicest kind
Upon thy altar lay.

Metrical Paraphrases by Isaac Watts

English.png English text

Part 1 – L. M.
Show pity, Lord, O Lord, forgive,
Let a repenting rebel live:
Are not thy mercies large and free?
May not a sinner trust in thee?

My crimes are great, but not surpass
The pow'r and glory of thy grace:
Great God, thy nature hath no bound,
So let thy pardoning love be found.

O wash my soul from every sin,
And make my guilty conscience clean;
Here on my heart the burden lies,
And past offenses pain my eyes.

My lips with shame my sins confess
Against thy law, against thy grace:
Lord, should thy judgment grow severe,
I am condemn'd, but thou art clear.

Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,
I must pronounce thee just in death;
And if my soul were sent to hell,
Thy righteous law approves it well.

Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord,
Whose hope, still hovering round thy word,
Would light on some sweet promise there,
Some sure support against despair.

 



Part 2 – L. M.
Lord, I am vile, conceived in sin;
And born unholy and unclean;
Sprung from the man whose guilty fall
Corrupts the race, and taints us all.

Soon as we draw our infant breath,
The seeds of sin grow up for death;
Thy law demands a perfect heart,
But we're defiled in every part.

Great God, create my heart anew,
And form my spirit pure and true;
O make me wise betimes to spy
My danger and my remedy.

Behold, I fall before thy face;
My only refuge is thy grace:
No outward forms can make me clean
The leprosy lies deep within.

No bleeding bird, nor bleeding beast,
Nor hyssop branch, nor sprinkling priest,
Nor running brook, nor flood, nor sea,
Can wash the dismal stain away.

Jesus, my God, thy blood alone
Hath power sufficient to atone;
Thy blood can make me white as snow;
No Jewish types could cleanse me so.

While guilt disturbs and breaks my peace,
Nor flesh nor soul hath rest or ease;
Lord, let me hear thy pardoning voice,
And make my broken bones rejoice.

Káldi fordítás (50. zsoltár)

Hungarian.png Hungarian translation

Végig Dávid zsoltára,
midőn hozzá jött Nátán próféta, miután bement Betszabeehez.
Könyörűlj rajtam Isten! a te nagy irgalmasságod szerint; és könyörűleted sokasága szerint, töröld el gonoszságomat.
Moss meg engem mindinkább gonoszságomból, és bűnömből tisztíts meg engem.
Mert elismerem gonoszságomat, és bűnöm előttem vagyon mindenkoron.
Egyedül neked vétettem, és gonoszt előtted cselekedtem; hogy igaznak találtassál beszédeidben, és győzedelmes légy, midőn itéltetel.
Mert ime vétekben fogantattam; és bűnökben fogant engem anyám.
Mert ime az igazságot szereted; a te bölcseséged titkos és elrejtett dolgait kinyilatkoztattad nekem.
Hints meg engem izsóppal, és megtisztúlok; moss meg engem, és a hónál fehérebb leszek.
Add, hogy örömet és vigaságot halljak, és örvendezzenek megalázott csontaim.
Fordítsd el orczádat bűneimről; és töröld el minden gonoszságomat.
Tiszta szivet teremts bennem, oh Isten! és az igaz lelket újítsd meg belső részeimben.
Ne vess el engem színed elől; és szent lelkedet ne vedd el tőlem.
Add vissza nekem üdvözítésed örömét; és jeles lélekkel erősíts meg engem.
Megtanítom útaidra a gonoszakat; és az istentelenek hozzád térnek.
Szabadíts meg engem a vérbűntől, Isten, üdvösségem Istene! és nyelvem magasztalni fogja a te igazságodat.
Uram! nyisd meg ajakimat, és szám a te dicséretedet fogja hirdetni.
Mert ha kedvelnéd, bizonyára áldozatot adtam volna; de az égő áldozatokban nem gyönyörködöl.
Áldozat Istennek a kesergő lélek; a töredelmes és alázatos szivet, oh Isten! nem veted meg.
Cselekedjél kegyesen, Uram, jóakaratodból Sionnal, hogy épűljenek Jerusalem kőfalai.
Akkor veszed kedvesen az igazság áldozatát, az ajándékokat és égőáldozatokat; akkor tesznek oltárodra borjakat.