Psalms 51
(from Chabad.org English translation of the entire Tanach with Rashi’s commentary. This Tanakh translation has been completely revised with a modern translation of the Hebrew of the Jewish Bible to English begun in 1955 and copyrighted in 1985 by the Jewish Publication Society. I have used the JPS Tanakh for the verses without changing the commentary of Rashi. There are minor differences in the words he comments on in some of the verses).

1For the leader. A psalm of David,

2when Nathan the prophet came to him after he had come to Bathsheba.

3Have mercy upon me, O God,
as befits Your faithfulness;
in keeping with Your abundant compassion,
blot out my transgressions.

4Wash me thoroughly of my iniquity,
and purify me of my sin;

5for I recognize my transgressions,
and am ever conscious of my sin.

Rashi:

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.

Keith: No commentary.

 

6Against You alone have I sinned,
and done what is evil in Your sight;
so You are just in Your sentence,
and right in Your judgment.

Rashi:

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.”

Keith:

Against You alone have I sinned: David professes that he has a sinned. Like the man described in Isaiah 53/12 “And was numbered among the sinners” David is counted as a sinner.

 

7Indeed I was born with iniquity;
with sin my mother conceived me.

Rashi:

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.”

Keith:

I was born with iniquity: In the days of David men had many wives and many concubines as is well known with his son Solomon. The iniquity came from his father Jesse fathering a child with a woman outside of the tribes. That is why there is no mention of his mother in the Jewish Bible. The Talmud says the mother of David was a Jewish women named Nitzevet.

This is an example of the stories and lore of the Talmud taking from the meaning and lessons of G-d’s stories and Psalms. If G-d wanted stories that showed all of the central men and women as perfect and holy or excuses given for their conduct He would have had them written that way.

David is confessing a deep emotional pain in a Psalm for all to read and it is a lesson of the pain of interfaith marriages for children. A sin he had nothing to do with that he had to bear all of his life. Today under the Halacha David would be a gentile of the tribe of Judah as I am.

 

8 Indeed You desire truth about that which is hidden;
teach me wisdom about secret things.

Rashi:

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.

Keith:

teach me wisdom about secret things: For G-d to teach David secret things He and David have conversations as one friend speaks to another friend.

 

9Purge me with hyssop till I am pure;
wash me till I am whiter than snow.

Rashi:

Purify me with a hyssop: As one purifies the “mezora” and the one who became unclean through contact with a corpse.

Keith:

wash me till I am whiter than snow: I am the man described in Isaiah 53 and I offered my soul to G-d for guilt which He accepted. I became a host of the L-rd of Hosts. G-d took my sinful soul and cleansed me while it rested in me with elements of His unseen realm and His power. The soul of a host that G-d can dwell with and not be offended. This Psalm and many other Psalms of David and the stories of him show that David was a host of the L-rd of Hosts off and on.

 

10Let me hear tidings of joy and gladness;
let the bones You have crushed exult.

Rashi:

Make me hear joy and gladness: The forgiveness of the sin.

the bones that You crushed: when You were wroth with me.

Keith:

let the bones You have crushed exult: Like the man described in Isaiah 53/5 “Crushed because of our iniquities” David’s bones had been crushed by G-d. I also have had my bones crushed through the power of G-d. A broken hand and cracked ribs.

 

11Hide Your face from my sins;
blot out all my iniquities.

12Fashion a pure heart for me, O God;
create in me a steadfast spirit.

Rashi:

Create for me a pure heart, O God: so that I do not stumble again.

Keith: No commentary.

 

13Do not cast me out of Your presence,
or take Your holy spirit away from me.

Rashi:

and do not take Your holy spirit from me: that the holy spirit should not be withdrawn from me.

Keith:

Do not cast me out of Your presence, or take Your holy spirit away from me: I am a host of the L-rd of Hosts. The holy spirit is the angel of the Presence of G-d and he had alighted upon David as he alighted upon me in fulfillment of Isaiah 11/1-2 in the year 2007. The holy spirit alights upon and enters a man and My Name (G-d) is in him. G-d’s Presence is always with a host. He dwells with them.

Isaiah 63/9-10 “In all their troubles He was troubled, And the angel of His Presence delivered them. In His love and pity He Himself redeemed them, Raised them, and exalted them All the days of old. 10But they rebelled, and grieved His holy spirit; Then He became their enemy, And Himself made war against them.”

David is not a permanent host and does not want to be without the person of the spirit of the Holy G-d and the Presence of G-d. Once the holy spirit and G-d’s Presence become a part of your existence you never want them to leave. His holy spirit is a person that can be grieved and G-d  created him in part for the host. I am sure David like me considered him a friend above all friends. He is an angel guide who enjoys making me laugh.

 

14Let me again rejoice in Your help;
let a vigorous spirit sustain me.

Rashi:

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation: The holy spirit, which has left me.
noble: Heb. נדיבה, an expression of nobility and leadership.

Keith: No commentary.

 

15I will teach transgressors Your ways,
that sinners may return to You.

Rashi:

I will teach transgressors Your ways: and they will learn from me. They will repent if they see that You forgive me.

Keith:

I will teach transgressors Your ways: Like the man described in Isaiah 53/11 “My righteous servant makes the many righteous” and Elijah in Malachi 3/24 “He shall reconcile parents with children and children with their parents” with the teachings of G-d David is knowledgeable in the Torah and a teacher of righteousness.

that sinners may return to You: Like the man described in Isaiah 53/12 “And made intercession for sinners” and Elijah in Malachi 3/24 David will bring sinners back to G-d.

 

16Save me from bloodguilt,
O God, God, my deliverer,
that I may sing forth Your beneficence.

Rashi:

Save me from blood: that I should not die by the sword as a punishment for Uriah, whom I killed.

Keith: No commentary.

 

17O Lord, open my lips,
and let my mouth declare Your praise.

Rashi:

O Lord, You shall open my lips: Forgive me so that I will be able to open my lips to recite Your praise.

Keith:

Lord, open my lips, and let my mouth declare: Like myself and all hosts G-d controls the words we speak and can speak through us just as He can angels and spirits. G-d says in Ezekiel 3/26 “And I will make your tongue cleave to your palate, and you shall be dumb; you shall not be a reprover to them, for they are a rebellious breed. 27But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth,”.

G-d is not saying when He speaks with Ezekiel as in a conversation. He means literally speaking to the Jewish exiles using Ezekiel to speak His own words. In other words, G-d is not telling Ezekiel what to say He is controlling and directing the words that come from Ezekiel. It is a complicated process and G-d and I have been working on it for ten years.

.

18You do not want me to bring sacrifices;
You do not desire burnt offerings;

Rashi:

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.

Keith: No commentary.

 

19True sacrifice to God is a contrite spirit;
God, You will not despise
a contrite and crushed heart.

20May it please You to make Zion prosper;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

Rashi:

do good: to build Your Temple in its midst in the days of my son, Solomon.

Keith: No commentary.

 

21Then You will want sacrifices offered in righteousness,
burnt and whole offerings;
then bulls will be offered on Your altar.

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