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The Knowledge of God

For the music director. Of David. A psalm.[a]

139 O Yahweh, you have searched me, and you know me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up.
You understand my thought from afar.
You search out[b] my wandering and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word yet on my tongue,
but behold, O Yahweh, you know it completely.
You barricade me behind and in front,
and set your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.
It is set high; I cannot prevail against it.
Where I can go from your Spirit,
or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, there you are,
and if I make my bed in Sheol, look! There you are.
If I lift up the wings of the dawn,
and I alight on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand would lead me,
and your right hand would hold me fast.
11 And if I should say, “Surely darkness will cover me,
and the light around me will be as night,”
12 even the darkness is not too dark for you,[c]
and the night shines as the day—
the darkness and the light are alike for you.
13 Indeed you created my inward parts;[d]
you wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made.[e]
Wonderful are your works,
and my soul knows it well.
15 My frame[f] was not hidden from you,
when I was created secretly,[g]
and intricately woven
in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my embryo,[h]
and in your book they all were written—
days fashioned for me when there was not one of them.
17 And to me, how precious[i] are your thoughts, O God;
how vast is their sum.
18 If I should count them,
they would outnumber the sand.
I awaken, and I am still with you.
19 If only you would kill the wicked, O God—
so get away from me, you bloodthirsty men[j]
20 who speak against you deceitfully.
Your enemies take your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Yahweh?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with a complete hatred;
they have become my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 And see if there is in me the worship of false gods,[k]
and lead me in the way everlasting.


  1. Psalm 139:1 The Hebrew Bible counts the superscription as the first verse of the psalm
  2. Psalm 139:3 Hebrew “winnow”; or perhaps from another root, “measure”
  3. Psalm 139:12 Or “does not obscure from you”
  4. Psalm 139:13 Literally “kidneys”
  5. Psalm 139:14 Or “I am made wonderful fearfully”
  6. Psalm 139:15 Literally “bone”
  7. Psalm 139:15 Or “in the secret place
  8. Psalm 139:16 Hebrew “unformed substance”
  9. Psalm 139:17 Or “difficult”
  10. Psalm 139:19 Literally “men of bloods”
  11. Psalm 139:24 Literally “a way of an idol”