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Psalm 139:17-19 New English Translation (NET Bible)

17 How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God![a]
How vast is their sum total.[b]
18 If I tried to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
Even if I finished counting them,
I would still have to contend with you.[c]
19 If only[d] you would kill the wicked, O God!
Get away from me, you violent men![e]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139:17 tn Heb “and to me how precious are your thoughts, O God.” The Hebrew verb יָקַר (yaqar) probably has the sense of “difficult [to comprehend]” here (see HALOT 432 s.v. יקר qal.1 and note the use of Aramaic יַקִּר in Dan 2:11). Elsewhere in the immediate context the psalmist expresses his amazement at the extent of God’s knowledge about him (see vv. 1-6, 17b-18).
  2. Psalm 139:17 tn Heb “how vast are their heads.” Here the Hebrew word “head” is used of the “sum total” of God’s knowledge of the psalmist.
  3. Psalm 139:18 tc Heb “I awake and I [am] still with you.” A reference to the psalmist awaking from sleep makes little, if any, sense contextually. For this reason some propose an emendation to הֲקִצּוֹתִי (haqitsoti), a Hiphil perfect form from an otherwise unattested verb קָצַץ (qatsats) understood as a denominative of קֵץ (qets, “end”). See L. C. Allen, Psalms 101-150 (WBC), 252-53.
  4. Psalm 139:19 tn The Hebrew particle אִם (ʾim, “if”) and following prefixed verbal form here express a wish (see Pss 81:8; 95:7, as well as GKC 321 §109.b).
  5. Psalm 139:19 tn Heb “men of bloodshed.”
New English Translation (NET)

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