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The Inescapable God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

139 O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me!
Thou knowest when I sit down and when I rise up;
    thou discernest my thoughts from afar.
Thou searchest out my path and my lying down,
    and art acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou dost beset me behind and before,
    and layest thy hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high, I cannot attain it.

Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?
    Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend to heaven, thou art there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, thou art there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there thy hand shall lead me,
    and thy right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Let only darkness cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to thee,
    the night is bright as the day;
    for darkness is as light with thee.

13 For thou didst form my inward parts,
    thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful.[a]
    Wonderful are thy works!
Thou knowest me right well;
15     my frame was not hidden from thee,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
16 Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;
    in thy book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious to me are thy thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    When I awake, I am still with thee.[b]

19 O that thou wouldst slay the wicked, O God,
    and that men of blood would depart from me,
20 men who maliciously defy thee,
    who lift themselves up against thee for evil![c]
21 Do I not hate them that hate thee, O Lord?
    And do I not loathe them that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
    I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
    Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any wicked[d] way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting![e]


  1. Psalm 139:14 Cn Compare Gk Syr Jerome: Heb fearful things I am wonderful
  2. Psalm 139:18 Or were I to come to the end I would still be with thee
  3. Psalm 139:20 Cn: Heb uncertain
  4. Psalm 139:24 Heb hurtful
  5. Psalm 139:24 Or the ancient way. Compare Jer 6.16

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