Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
On the occasion, compare
The Psalm illustrates true repentance, in which are comprised
conviction, confession, sorrow, prayer for mercy, and purposes of
amendment, and it is accompanied by a lively faith.
1-4. A plea for mercy is a confession of guilt.
blot out--as from a register.
(Ps 19:13; 32:1).
2. Wash me--Purity as well as pardon is desired by true penitents.
3. For . . . before me--Conviction precedes forgiveness; and, as a
gift of God, is a plea for it
4. Against thee--chiefly, and as sins against others are violations
of God's law, in one sense only.
that . . . judgest--that is, all palliation of his crime is excluded;
it is the design in making this confession to recognize God's justice,
however severe the sentence.
5, 6. His guilt was aggravated by his essential, native sinfulness,
which is as contrary to God's requisitions of inward purity as are
outward sins to those for right conduct.
6. thou shalt make, &c.--may be taken to express God's gracious
purpose in view of His strict requisition; a purpose of which David
might have availed himself as a check to his native love for sin, and,
in not doing so, aggravated his guilt.
truth . . . and . . .wisdom--are terms often used for piety (compare
7-12. A series of prayers for forgiveness and purifying.
Purge . . . hyssop--The use of this plant in the ritual
Nu 19:6, 18)
suggests the idea of atonement as prominent here; "purge" refers to
8. Make . . . joy--by forgiving me, which will change distress to
9. Hide, &c.--Turn from beholding.
10. Create--a work of almighty power.
in me--literally, "to me," or, "for me"; bestow as a gift, a heart
free from taint of sin
(Ps 24:4; 73:1).
renew--implies that he had possessed it; the essential principle of
a new nature had not been lost, but its influence interrupted
shows that he had not lost God's presence and Spirit
though he had lost the "joy of his salvation"
for whose return he prays.
right spirit--literally, "constant," "firm," not yielding to
12. free spirit--"thy" ought not to be supplied, for the word "free"
is, literally, "willing," and "spirit" is that of David. "Let a willing
spirit uphold me," that is, with a soul willingly conformed to God's
law, he would be preserved in a right course of conduct.
13. Then--Such will be the effect of this gracious work.
ways--of providence and human duty
(Ps 18:21, 30; 32:8;
14. Deliver--or, "Free me"
from the guilt of murder
(2Sa 12:9, 10;
Ps 7:17; 31:1.
15. open . . . lips--by removing my sense of guilt.
16. Praise is better than sacrifice
and implying faith, penitence, and love, glorifies God. In true
penitents the joys of pardon mingle with sorrow for sin.
18. Do good, &c.--Visit not my sin on Thy Church.
build . . . walls--is to show favor; compare
for opposite form and idea.
19. God reconciled, material sacrifices will be acceptable