A Prayer for Cleansing
51 1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: According to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions; And my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, And done that which is evil in thy sight; That thou mayest be justified when thou speakest, And be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity; And in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts; And in the hidden part thou wilt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness, That the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, And blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; And renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; And take not thy holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; And uphold me with a willing spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; And sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation; [And] my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. 15 O Lord, open thou my lips; And my mouth shall show forth thy praise. 16 For thou delightest not in sacrifice; Else would I give it: Thou hast no pleasure in burnt-offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: Build thou the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then will thou delight in the sacrifices of righteousness, In burnt-offering and in whole burnt-offering: Then will they offer bullocks upon thine altar.
The Futility of Boastful Wickedness
52 1 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? The lovingkindness of God [endureth] continually. 2 Thy tongue deviseth very wickedness, Like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3 Thou lovest evil more than good, And lying rather than to speak righteousness. [Selah] 4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 5 God will likewise destroy thee for ever; He will take thee up, and pluck thee out of thy tent, And root thee out of the land of the living. [Selah]
6 The righteous also shall see [it], and fear, And shall laugh at him, [saying], 7 Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And strengthened himself in his wickedness. 8 But as for me, I am like a green olive-tree in the house of God: I trust in the lovingkindness of God for ever and ever. 9 I will give thee thanks for ever, because thou hast done it; And I will hope in thy name, for it is good, in the presence of thy saints.
The Folly and Wickedness of Men
53 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity; There is none that doeth good. 2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there were any that did understand, That did seek after God. 3 Every one of them is gone back; They are together become filthy; There is none that doeth good, no, not one. 4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge, Who eat up my people [as] they eat bread, And call not upon God? 5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was; For God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: Thou hast put them to shame, because of God hath rejected them. 6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Then shall Jacob rejoice, [and] Israel shall be glad.
The Righteous Judgment of God
2 1 Wherefore thou art without excuse, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judges another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest dost practise the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against them that practise such things. 3 And reckonest thou this, O man, who judgest them that practise such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 who will render to every man according to his works: 7 to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and incorruption, eternal life: 8 but unto them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, [shall be] wrath and indignation, 9 tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; 10 but glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek: 11 for there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law; 13 for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified: 14 (for when Gentiles that have not the law do by nature the things of the law, these, not having the law, are the law unto themselves; 15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing [them]); 16 in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, according to my gospel, by Jesus Christ.
The Jews and the Law
17 But if thou bearest the name of a Jew, and restest upon the law, and gloriest in God, 18 and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them that are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth; 21 thou therefore that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou rob temples? 23 thou who gloriest in the law, through thy transgression of the law dishonorest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, even as it is written. 25 For circumcision indeed profiteth, if thou be a doer of the law: but if thou be a transgressor of the law, thy circumcision is become uncircumcision. 26 If therefore the uncircumcision keep the ordinances of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision? 27 and shall not the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who with the letter and circumcision art a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.