51:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet a came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, b according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
(a) To reprove him, because he had committed horrible sins, and lain in the same without repentance more then a whole year. 51:2 Wash me c throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
(b) As his sins were many and great, so he requires that God would give him the feeling of his excellent and abundant mercies.
(c) My sins strike so fast in me, that I have need of some singular kind of washing. 51:3 For I d acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin [is] ever before me.
(d) My conscience accuses me so, that I can have no rest till I am reconciled. 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done [this] evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou e speakest, [and] be clear when thou judgest.
(e) When you give sentence against sinners, they must confess you to be just, and themselves sinners. 51:6 Behold, thou f desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden [part] thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
(f) He confesses that God who loves pureness of heart, may justly destroy man, who by nature is a sinner much more him whom he had instructed in his heavenly wisdom. 51:8 Make me to hear g joy and gladness; [that] the h bones [which] thou hast broken may rejoice.
(g) He means Gods comfortable mercies toward repentant sinners. 51:10 i Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
(h) By the bones he understands all strength of soul and body, which by cares and mourning are consumed.
(i) He confesses that when Gods Spirit is cold in us, to have it again revived, is as a new creation. 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me [with thy] k free spirit.
(k) Which may assure me that I am drawn out of the slavery of sin. 51:13 [Then] will I teach transgressors thy l ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
(l) He promises to endeavour that others by his example may turn to God. 51:14 Deliver me from m bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: [and] my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
51:15 O Lord, n open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
(m) From the murder of Uriah and the others who were slain with him, ( 2 Samuel 11:17 ).
(n) By giving me opportunity to praise you, when you will forgive my sins. 51:17 The sacrifices of God [are] a o broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
(o) Which is a wounding of the heart, proceeding from faith, which seeks God for mercy. 51:18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto p Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
(p) He prays for the whole Church, because through his sin it was in danger of Gods judgment. 51:19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of q righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
(q) That is, just and lawful, applied to the right end, which is the exercise of faith and repentance.