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Psalm 32:1

ESV A Maskil of David. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
NIV Of David. A maskil. Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
NASB How blessed is he whose wrongdoing is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!
CSB How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!
NLT Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!
KJV {A Psalm of David, Maschil.} Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

What does Psalm 32:1 mean?

David calls himself (Psalm 32:3) "blessed." In Psalm 1:1 the word "blessed" describes the obedient person, whereas here it describes the disobedient person who receives forgiveness. Many commentators associate this psalm with David's sins of adultery, coverup, and murder as recorded in 2 Samuel chapters 11 and 12. This would also connect to Psalm 51, which was inspired by David's confrontation with the prophet Nathan.

David refers to his sin as a "transgression," literally meaning "crossing the line." The term is also used in reference to things like property; a related word is "trespass." God set clear lines, commanding, "You shall not murder" (Exodus 20:13) and also, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). David also identifies transgression as "sin," often summarized as "missing the mark." God set the mark as righteousness, but David fell far short when he committed adultery and murder.

In Old Testament times atonement refers to the covering of sin. In New Testament times, Jesus' sacrifice on the cross did not simply cover sin, it removed it entirely. Colossians 2:14 refers to Christ's setting the believer's sin aside, "nailing it to the cross."

The Hebrew term Maskiyl is not clearly understood. It most likely refers to a particular type of song. Many passages labeled with this word are self-reflective, such as Psalms 32, 52, and 89.
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