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Psalms 51:10-12

Context

51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God! 1 

Renew a resolute spirit within me! 2 

51:11 Do not reject me! 3 

Do not take your Holy Spirit 4  away from me! 5 

51:12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!

Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey! 6 

1 sn The heart is viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s motives and moral character.

2 tn Heb “and a reliable spirit renew in my inner being.”

3 tn Heb “do not cast me away from before you.”

4 sn Your Holy Spirit. The personal Spirit of God is mentioned frequently in the OT, but only here and in Isa 63:10-11 is he called “your/his Holy Spirit.”

5 sn Do not take…away. The psalmist expresses his fear that, due to his sin, God will take away the Holy Spirit from him. NT believers enjoy the permanent gift of the Holy Spirit and need not make such a request nor fear such a consequence. However, in the OT God’s Spirit empowered certain individuals for special tasks and only temporarily resided in them. For example, when God rejected Saul as king and chose David to replace him, the divine Spirit left Saul and came upon David (1 Sam 16:13-14).

6 tn Heb “and [with] a willing spirit sustain me.” The psalmist asks that God make him the kind of person who willingly obeys the divine commandments. The imperfect verbal form is used here to express the psalmist’s wish or request.



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