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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 51

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 51

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 51

1. For the conductor, a song of David.   א. לַמְנַצֵּחַ מִזְמוֹר לְדָוִד:
2. When Nathan the prophet came to him when he went to Bath-sheba.   ב. בְּבוֹא אֵלָיו נָתָן הַנָּבִיא כַּאֲשֶׁר בָּא אֶל בַּת שָׁבַע:
3. Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your kindness; according to Your great mercies, erase my transgressions.   ג. חָנֵּנִי אֱלֹהִים כְּחַסְדֶּךָ כְּרֹב רַחֲמֶיךָ מְחֵה פְשָׁעָי:
4. Wash me thoroughly of my iniquity, and purify me of my sin.   ד. הֶרֶב כַּבְּסֵנִי מֵעֲו‍ֹנִי וּמֵחַטָּאתִי טַהֲרֵנִי:
5. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.   ה. כִּי פְשָׁעַי אֲנִי אֵדָע וְחַטָּאתִי נֶגְדִּי תָמִיד:
and my sin is always before me: Since I regret [my sin] and worry about it, it is as though it is constantly before me, always.  
6. Against You alone have I sinned, and I have done what is evil in Your sight, in order that You be justified in Your conduct, and right in Your judgment.   ו. לְךָ לְבַדְּךָ | חָטָאתִי וְהָרַע בְּעֵינֶיךָ עָשִׂיתִי לְמַעַן תִּצְדַּק בְּדָבְרֶךָ תִּזְכֶּה בְשָׁפְטֶךָ:
Against You alone have I sinned: Therefore, it is in Your power to forgive [me]. Even in my sin against Uriah, I sinned against You, for You warned against the matter.  
in order that You be justified in Your conduct: like במנהגך, in Your conduct. I had the strength to overpower my evil inclination, but, so that they should not say, “The servant overpowered his master,” for I said to You (Ps. 26:2), “Test me, O Lord, and try me,” and You tested me and I was not found perfect, in order that You should be justified and not I (Sanh. 107a). Another explanation:  
in order that You be justified in Your conduct: If You forgive me, You will be justified in Your judgment against all the wicked who do not repent, so that they will not be able to say, “If we had repented, it would not have availed us.”  
7. Behold, with iniquity I was formed, and with sin my mother conceived me.   ז. הֵן בְּעָווֹן חוֹלָלְתִּי וּבְחֵטְא יֶחֱמַתְנִי אִמִּי:
Behold, with iniquity I was formed: Now how could I not sin when the main part of my creation was through coitus, the source of many iniquities? Another explanation: The main part of my creation is from a male and a female, both of whom are full of iniquity. There are many midrashim to this verse, but they do not fit the context of the psalm.  
conceived me: Heb. יחמתני, an expression of heat, as (Gen. 30:38): “And they came into heat (ויחמנה) when they came to drink.”  
8. Behold, You desired that truth be in the hidden places, and in the concealed part You teach me wisdom.   ח. הֵן אֱמֶת חָפַצְתָּ בַטֻּחוֹת וּבְסָתֻם חָכְמָה תוֹדִיעֵנִי:
Behold, You desired that truth be in the hidden places: and behold, I confess to the truth, that I sinned.  
in the hidden places: Heb. בטחות. These are the reins, which are smooth. Menachem (p. 97), however, associated it with (Gen. 21: 16): “as it were a bowshot (כמטחוי קשת) ” ; and so (Job 38: 36): “Who placed wisdom in the inward parts (בטחות).” And their interpretation is an expression of drawing, for just as a bow is drawn, so is their yearning for knowledge.  
and in the concealed part You teach me wisdom: And in the heart, which is concealed, You have taught me wisdom to confess.  
9. Purify me with a hyssop, and I will become pure; wash me, and I will become whiter than snow.   ט. תְּחַטְּאֵנִי בְאֵזוֹב וְאֶטְהָר תְּכַבְּסֵנִי וּמִשֶּׁלֶג אַלְבִּין:
Purify me with a hyssop: As one purifies the “mezora” and the one who became unclean through contact with a corpse.  
10. Make me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that You crushed exult.   י. תַּשְׁמִיעֵנִי שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה תָּגֵלְנָה עֲצָמוֹת דִּכִּיתָ:
Make me hear joy and gladness: The forgiveness of the sin.  
the bones that You crushed: when You were wroth with me.  
11. Hide Your countenance from my sins, and erase all my iniquities.   יא. הַסְתֵּר פָּנֶיךָ מֵחֲטָאָי וְכָל עֲוֹנֹתַי מְחֵה:
12. Create for me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.   יב. לֵב טָהוֹר בְּרָא לִי אֱלֹהִים וְרוּחַ נָכוֹן חַדֵּשׁ בְּקִרְבִּי:
Create for me a pure heart, O God: so that I do not stumble again.  
13. Do not cast me away from before You, and do not take Your holy spirit from me.   יג. אַל תַּשְׁלִיכֵנִי מִלְּפָנֶיךָ וְרוּחַ קָדְשְׁךָ אַל תִּקַּח מִמֶּנִּי:
and do not take Your holy spirit from me: that the holy spirit should not be withdrawn from me.  
14. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and let a noble spirit support me.   יד. הָשִׁיבָה לִּי שְׂשׂוֹן יִשְׁעֶךָ וְרוּחַ נְדִיבָה תִסְמְכֵנִי:
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation: The holy spirit, which has left me.  
noble: Heb. נדיבה, an expression of nobility and leadership.  
15. I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will return to You.   טו. אֲלַמְּדָה פֹשְׁעִים דְּרָכֶיךָ וְחַטָּאִים אֵלֶיךָ יָשׁוּבוּ:
I will teach transgressors Your ways: and they will learn from me. They will repent if they see that You forgive me.  
16. Save me from blood, O God, the God of my salvation; let my tongue sing praises of Your charity.   טז. הַצִּילֵנִי מִדָּמִים | אֱלֹהִים אֱלֹהֵי תְשׁוּעָתִי תְּרַנֵּן לְשׁוֹנִי צִדְקָתֶךָ:
Save me from blood: that I should not die by the sword as a punishment for Uriah, whom I killed.  
17. O Lord, You shall open my lips, and my mouth will recite Your praise.   יז. אֲדֹנָי שְׂפָתַי תִּפְתָּח וּפִי יַגִּיד תְּהִלָּתֶךָ:
O Lord, You shall open my lips: Forgive me so that I will be able to open my lips to recite Your praise.  
18. For You do not wish a sacrifice, or I should give it; You do not desire a burnt offering.   יח. כִּי | לֹא תַחְפֹּץ זֶבַח וְאֶתֵּנָה עוֹלָה לֹא תִרְצֶה:
For You do not wish a sacrifice: Because a sacrifice of a sin offering is not brought for a willful transgression.  
or I should give it: For if You desired it, I would give it to You.  
19. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; O God, You will not despise a broken and crushed heart.   יט. זִבְחֵי אֱלֹהִים רוּחַ נִשְׁבָּרָה לֵב נִשְׁבָּר וְנִדְכֶּה אֱלֹהִים לֹא תִבְזֶה:
20. With Your will, do good to Zion; build the walls of Jerusalem.   כ. הֵיטִיבָה בִרְצוֹנְךָ אֶת צִיּוֹן תִּבְנֶה חוֹמוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם:
do good: to build Your Temple in its midst in the days of my son, Solomon.  
21. Then You will desire sacrifices of righteousness, a burnt offering and a whole offering; then they will offer up bulls on Your altar.   כא. אָז תַּחְפֹּץ זִבְחֵי צֶדֶק עוֹלָה וְכָלִיל אָז יַעֲלוּ עַל מִזְבַּחֲךָ פָרִים:
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