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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Psalms 51:1-6

The title has reference to a very sad story, that of David's fall. But, though he fell, he was not utterly cast down, for God graciously upheld him and raised him up. 1. The sin which, in this psalm, he laments, was the folly and wickedness he committed with his neighbour's wife, a sin not to be spoken of, nor thought of, without detestation. His debauching of Bathsheba was the inlet to all the other sins that followed; it was as the letting forth of water. This sin of David's is recorded for... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Psalms 51:3

For I acknowledge my transgressions ,.... Before God and man. Acknowledgment of sin is what the Lord requires, and promises forgiveness upon, and therefore is used here as a plea for it; and moreover the psalmist had done so before, and had succeeded in this way, which must encourage him to take the same course again; see Psalm 32:5 ; and my sin is ever before me ; staring him in the face; gnawing upon his conscience, and filling him with remorse and distress; so that his life was a... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Psalms 51:3

For I acknowledge my transgressions - I know, I feel, I confess that I have sinned. My sin is ever before me - A true, deep, and unsophisticated mark of a genuine penitent. Wherever he turns his face, he sees his sin, and through it the eye of an angry God. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - Psalms 51:3

Verse 3 3.For If know my sins (259) He now discovers his reason for imploring pardon with so much vehemency, and this was the painful disquietude which his sins caused him, and which could only be relieved by his obtaining reconciliation with God. This proves that his prayer did not proceed from dissimulation, as many will be found commending the grace of God in high terms, although, in reality, they care little about it, having never felt the bitterness of being exposed to his displeasure.... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 51:1-8

Repentance and forgiveness. Some deny the Davidic origin of this psalm; but most refer it to the time when Nathan charged David with the sins of adultery and murder. In these verses we have set forth the nature of forgiveness , and the nature of repentance. I. PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS . 1 . Forgiveness is the inward and outward cleansing from sin. It is blotting out a record or a debt that is against us—that is, the outward cleansing. And it is a washing , or ... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 51:1-19

The psalm consists of an opening strophe, extending to four verses, which is an earnest prayer for mercy and forgiveness ( Psalms 51:1-4 ); a second strophe, of eight verses, which is an entreaty for restoration and renewal ( Psalms 51:5-12 ); a third strophe, of five verses, setting forth the return which the psalmist will make, if he is forgiven and restored ( Psalms 51:13-17 ); and a conclusion, in two verses, praying for God's blessing on the people, and promising an ample return... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 51:1-19

This might be called The minister's psalm. We may imagine the servant of the Lord engaged in devout meditation. He looks before and after. He communes with himself as to his life and work. The deepest thoughts of his heart are revealed. I. EVER - GROWING SENSE OF THE EVIL OF SIN . Sin is thought of in the abstract, and its badness is seen. It is looked at in the world, in society, in the Church, and more and more its evils are discerned. But worst of all, it is felt... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 51:3

For I acknowledge my transgressions (comp. Psalms 32:5 , "I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin"). The first step in repentance is contrition; the second, confession; the third, amendment of life. And my sin is ever before me. I bear it in mind; I do not hide it from myself. I keep it continually before my mental vision. This, too, is characteristic of true penitence. Mock penitents confess their sins, and straightway forget... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Psalms 51:3

A portrait. Lord Macaulay tells us that the Earl of Breadalbane, who was the chief hand in the Massacre of Glencoe, never had rest afterwards. "He did his best to assume an air of unconcern. He made his appearance in the most fashionable coffee-house in Edinburgh, and talked loudly and self-complacently about the important service in which he had been engaged in the mountains. Some of his soldiers, however, who observed him closely, whispered that all this bravery was put on. He was not... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Psalms 51:3

For I acknowledge my transgressions - literally, I know, or make known. That is, he knew that he was a sinner, and he did not seek to cloak or conceal that fact. He came with the knowledge of it himself; he was willing to make acknowledgment of it before God. There was no attempt to conceal it; to excuse it. Compare the notes at Psalms 32:5. The word ““for”” does not imply that he referred to his willingness to confess his sins as an act of merit, but it indicates a state of mind which was... read more

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