Psalm 51 

To the choirmaster. 
A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came to him, 
after he had gone in to Bathsheba. 

Nathan and David, by Matthias Scheits, 1672


The Miserere – Psalm 51 (English)


Have mercy on me, O God,
according to thy steadfast love;
according to thy abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee, thee only, have I sinned,
and done that which is evil in thy sight,
so that thou art justified in thy sentence
and blameless in thy judgment.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Fill me with joy and gladness;
let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.

Hide thy face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right* spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence,
and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of thy salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Then I will teach transgressors thy ways,
and sinners will return to thee.
Deliver me from blood guiltiness,
O God, thou God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.

O Lord, open thou my lips,
and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
For thou hast no delight in sacrifice;
were I to give a burnt offering, thou wouldst not be pleased.

The sacrifice acceptable to God
is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God,
thou wilt not despise.

Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on thy altar.

The Miserere – Psalm 51 (Latin)

Miserere mei, Deus,

secundum magnam misericordiam tuam;

et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum,

dele iniquitatem meam.


Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea,

et a peccato meo munda me.

Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco,

et peccatum meum contra me est semper.


Tibi soli peccavi,

et malum coram te feci;

ut justificeris in sermonibus tuis,

et vincas cum judicaris.


Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum,

et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.

Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti;

incerta et occulta sapientiæ tuæ manifestasti mihi.


Asperges me hyssopo, et mundabor;

lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.

Auditui meo dabis gaudium et lætitiam,

et exsultabunt ossa humiliata.


Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis,

et omnes iniquitates meas dele.

Cor mundum crea in me, Deus,

et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.


Ne projicias me a facie tua,

et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.

Redde mihi lætitiam salutaris tui,

et spiritu principali confirma me.


Docebo iniquos vias tuas,

et impii ad te convertentur.

Libera me de sanguinibus,

Deus, Deus salutis meæ,

et exsultabit lingua mea justitiam tuam.


Domine, labia mea aperies,

et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.

Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium,

dedissem utique; holocaustis non delectaberis.


Sacrificium Deo

spiritus contribulatus;

cor contritum et humiliatum,

Deus, non despicies.


Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion,

ut ædificentur muri Jerusalem.

Tunc acceptabis sacrificium justitiæ,

oblationes et holocausta;

tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos.