Psalm 51

1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness:
According to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot
out my transgressions.

1-7. Prayer that He may be purified of the infirmities derived from the mother. P. P.

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

4, 5. Iniquity stands for evil against the goods of faith, sin means evil against the goods of charity and love, and transgression evil against the truths of faith, since this latter is evil proceeding from a perverse understanding, and is thus known from the truths of faith. It is therefore said, I acknowledge my transgressions. A. 9156.

4, 9. Here being washed plainly stands for being purified from evils and their falsities. A. 3147-

To be washed signifies to be cleansed from evils and falsities, and so to be reformed and regenerated. R. 378.

That the washing of man’s spirit was meant by that of his body, and that the internals of the church were represented by externals, such as were in the Israelitish church, is clearly manifest from these words of the Lord. T. 671.

To wash manifestly means to purify from falsities and evils. To wash from iniquity stands for purification from falsities, and from sin from evils. Since the waters of expiation were prepared from hyssop, it is therefore also said, purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean. E. 475.

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.

6 What is interiorly pure is signified. A. 10296.

8 See Psalm vii. 10. A. 5385.
See Psalm vii. 10. A. 10032.
See Psalm vii. 10. R. 140.

See Psalm vii. 10, add: here the reins are expressed by another word in the original tongue, which involves both the separation of falsities from truths, and of evils from goods. Hence it is clear that the reins signify purification and separation. E. 167.

8, 9. White signifies truth, and truths are what detect falsities and evils pertaining to man, and so purify him. E. 196.

8-12. If He be purified of them He will be pure. P. P.

9 Washing and being made whiter than snow stands for being purified from sins by the reception and putting on of the Lord’s justice. A. 4007.

That hyssop is a means of purification is very manifest. Being purged with hyssop and made clean stands for external purification, being washed and made whiter than snow for internal purification. Snow and whiteness are predicated of truth. A. 7918.

Snow is predicated of truth from its whiteness. A. 8459-

See Psalm xlix. 8. A. 9506.

10 The exulting of the bones which were bruised signifies recreation by truths after temptations. A. 3812.

Since joy is predicated of good and gladness of truth, both are mentioned, otherwise one expression would have been sufficient. Such is the holy manner of speech which is found in the Word, to the end that in each single expression there may be the heavenly marriage, that is the marriage of good and truth. A. 8339.

Both joy and gladness are mentioned, because joy is predicated of good and gladness of truth, or joy is of love and gladness is of wisdom, for joy is of the heart, and gladness of the soul, or joy is of the will, and gladness of the understanding. S. 87.

See Psalm xl. 17. R. 507.

The statement under S. 87 repeated in T. 252.

See Psalm xl. 17. E. 660.

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 blood-guiltiness, 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.

12 To create in the Word signifies to reform and to regenerate. R. 254.

To be created also signifies to be regenerated. T. 573.
Since the creation of the universe had for its end an angelic heaven from the human race, and at the same time a church on earth, and since the salvation of man is thus a continuation of creation, therefore, throughout the Word use is made of the term to create, and its meaning is to form for heaven. T. 773.

12 To create a clean heart signifies to reform as to the good of love, to renew a right spirit within signifies to reform as to the truth of faith, for the heart signifies the good of love, and the spirit a life according to Divine truth, which is the truth of faith. E. 294.

To create signifies to produce anew to form and properly to regenerate, on which account it is that regeneration is a new creation, by which the universal heaven formed of angels, and the universal church formed of men exists, consists, and subsists. Coro. 23.

12, 13. Since the understanding corresponds to the lungs and hence thought to the respiration of the lungs, therefore by soul and spirit in the Word is signified the understanding. The heart signifies the love of the will. W. 383.

12-14. See Psalm xxxi. 6. L. 49.

Verses quoted. D. P., Page 77.

12-14, 19. A clean heart stands for a will averse to evils, which are things unclean. A firm spirit stands for the understanding and faith of truth. A broken spirit and a broken heart stand for a state of temptation and the consequent humiliation of each life. A. 9818.

Heart signifies the good of love and spirit the truth of faith, from which man has spiritual life, for there are two things which constitute the life of man, namely, good and truth united. E. 183.

12, 14. The operation of these virtues — reformation and regeneration — is the Holy Spirit that the Lord sends to those who believe in Him and who dispose themselves to receive Him, and it is meant by the spirit in these passages. T. 143-

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit:
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not

13 In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit is nowhere mentioned, but only the Spirit of Holiness in Psalm li. and twice in Isaiah lxiii. T. 158.

13, 14. And He is holy. P. P.

15-17. So will He teach Divine truths. P. P.

18, 19. Not external but internal worship. P. P.

See Psalm xl. 7, 8. A. 2180.

See Psalm xl. 7, 9. A. 9409.

19, By spirit is meant spiritual life for those who are in humiliation. L. 49.

Man’s spirit is his mind and whatever proceeds from him. T. 156.

18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion:
Build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then wilt thou delight in the sacrifices of righteousness,
In burnt-offering and whole burnt-offering:
Then will they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

20, 21. See Psalm xxvi. 6, 7. R. 392.

By Zion is understood the church that is principled in the good of love, and by Jerusalem the church which is principled in the truths of doctrine. Hence by, ” do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion, build thou the walls of Jerusalem,” is signified to restore the church by leading it into the good of love, and by instruction in truths of doctrine. Worship from the good of love, in this case, is signified by verse 21. Righteousness is predicated of celestial good, and burnt-offerings signify love. Worship in such case from the good of charity is signified by, then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. Bullocks signify natural spiritual good, which good is the good of charity. E. 391.

He will institute a church in which will be worship from good. P. P.

Author: EMANUEL SWEDENBORG (1688-1772)