Psalms 25:11

11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

Psalms 25:11 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 25:11

For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity
Which to do is one of the promises and blessings of the covenant. The psalmist may have reference to his sin with Bathsheba, as Kimchi observes; since it was foretold to him, that, on account of that sin, evil should arise to him out of his own house, ( 2 Samuel 12:11 ) ; meaning that his son should rise up in rebellion against him; which was now the case, and which, no doubt, brought afresh this sin to his mind; and the guilt of it lay heavy upon his conscience; and therefore he prays for an application of pardoning grace and mercy; or he may have respect to original sin, the sin of his nature, which so easily beset him; the loathsome disease his loins were filled with; the law in his members warring against the law of his mind; and which a view of every actual sin led him to the consideration and acknowledgment of, as did that now mentioned, ( Psalms 51:4 Psalms 51:5 ) ; or, "iniquity" may be put for "iniquities", and the sense be, that he desired a manifestation of the pardon of all his sins; for when God forgives sin, he forgives all iniquities: and David here prays for pardon in a way of mercy, and upon the foot of satisfaction; for he prays that God would "mercifully pardon" F1, as the word signifies; or, according to his tender mercies, blot out his transgressions, and cleanse him from his sins; or that he would be "propitious" F2 to him; or forgive him in a propitiatory way, or through the propitiation of Christ, whom God had set forth in his purposes and promises to be the propitiation for the remission of sins; and therefore he entreats this favour "for [his] name's sake"; not for his own merits and good works, but for the Lord's sake, for his mercy's sake, or for his Son's sake; see ( Isaiah 43:25 ) ; compared with ( Ephesians 5:32 ) . The argument or reason he urges is,

for it [is] great;
being committed against the great God, against great light and knowledge, and attended with very aggravating circumstances; or "much" F3, he being guilty of many sins; his sins were great, both as to quality and quantity: this seems to be rather a reason against than a reason for the pardon of sin; it denotes the sense the psalmist had of his iniquity, and his importunity for the pardon of it; just as a person, sensible of the violence and malignity of his disease, entreats the physician with the greater eagerness and importunity to do his utmost for him; see ( Psalms 41:4 ) ; or the words may be rendered, "though it [is] great" F4; so Aben Ezra understands them;

``though it is so very heinous and provoking, yet since forgiveness is with thee, and thou hast promised it in covenant, and hast proclaimed thy name, a God gracious and merciful, pardon it;''

unless the words are to be connected, as they are by some Jewish F5 interpreters, with the phrase "thy name's sake, for it [is] great"; that is, thy name is great, and that it may appear to be so, as it is proclaimed, forgive mine iniquity.


F1 (txlo) "mercifully pardon"; so Ainsworth.
F2 (ilash) Sept. "propitiaberis", V. L. "propitius esto", Musculus.
F3 (br) "multum", V. L. "multa", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version.
F4 (yk) "quamvis", Gejerus, Schmidt,
F5 Vide Abendanae Not. in Miclol Yophi in loc.

Psalms 25:11 In-Context

9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.
12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
The King James Version is in the public domain.