Psalm 19:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 19:13, NIV: "Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression."

Psalm 19:13, ESV: "Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression."

Psalm 19:13, KJV: "Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression."

Psalm 19:13, NASB: "Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression."

Psalm 19:13, NLT: "Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin."

Psalm 19:13, CSB: "Moreover, keep your servant from willful sins; do not let them rule me. Then I will be blameless and cleansed from blatant rebellion."

What does Psalm 19:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The prior verse referred to "hidden sins," meaning those a person may commit without realizing it until later. Here, however, David prays the Lord will restrain him from committing willful sins, called "presumptuous sins" in this case. Willful sins are committed with the eyes wide open.

When David committed adultery with Bathsheba he was fully aware of what he was doing. He saw her and sent for her. He also willfully arranged for Uriah, Bathsheba's husband, to be killed in battle. He was, therefore, guilty of adultery and murder. Both acts violated obvious moral law and the explicit commandments God had given to Israel (Exodus 20:13–14). No sacrifice could atone for willful sins, but when David confessed his sins, God forgave him (Psalm 32:5; 51:16–17; 2 Samuel 12:13).

Committed often enough, willful sins can become addictive and enslave their victim. David affirms here that if willful sins did not rule him, he would be beyond reproach and great transgression. The original Hebrew language does not include the definite article "the" with "great transgression." Most likely, David does not have one specific sin in mind. If he did, perhaps, by "great transgression" David meant the sin of idolatry.