Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me,(A) Lord,
    and you know(B) me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;(C)
    you perceive my thoughts(D) from afar.
You discern my going out(E) and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.(F)
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.(G)
You hem me in(H) behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,(I)
    too lofty(J) for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee(K) from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens,(L) you are there;
    if I make my bed(M) in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,(N)
    your right hand(O) will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark(P) to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;(Q)
    you knit me together(R) in my mother’s womb.(S)
14 I praise you(T) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,(U)
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made(V) in the secret place,
    when I was woven together(W) in the depths of the earth.(X)
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained(Y) for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a](Z) God!(AA)
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,(AB)
    they would outnumber the grains of sand(AC)
    when I awake,(AD) I am still with you.

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 139:17 Or How amazing are your thoughts concerning me

You Know All About Me

For the Pure and Shining One

King David’s poetic song

139 Lord, you know everything there is to know about me.
You perceive every movement of my heart and soul,
    and you understand my every thought before it even enters my mind.
3–4 You are so intimately aware of me, Lord.
    You read my heart like an open book
    and you know all the words I’m about to speak
    before I even start a sentence!
    You know every step I will take before my journey even begins.
You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way,
    and in kindness you follow behind me
    to spare me from the harm of my past.[a]
    You have laid your hand on me!
This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible!
    Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.[b]
Where could I go from your Spirit?
    Where could I run and hide from your face?
If I go up to heaven, you’re there!
    If I go down to the realm of the dead, you’re there too!
If I fly with wings into the shining dawn, you’re there!
    If I fly into the radiant sunset,[c] you’re there waiting!
10 Wherever I go, your hand will guide me;
    your strength will empower me.
11 It’s impossible to disappear from you
    or to ask the darkness to hide me,
    for your presence is everywhere, bringing light into my night.
12 There is no such thing as darkness with you.
    The night, to you, is as bright as the day;
    there’s no difference between the two.
13 You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside
    and my intricate outside,
    and wove them all together in my mother’s womb.[d]
14 I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex!
    Everything you do is marvelously breathtaking.
    It simply amazes me to think about it!
    How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
15 You even formed every bone in my body
    when you created me in the secret place;[e]
    carefully, skillfully you shaped me[f] from nothing to something.
16 You saw who you created me to be before I became me![g]
    Before I’d ever seen the light of day,
    the number of days you planned for me
    were already recorded in your book.[h]
17–18 Every single moment you are thinking of me!
    How precious and wonderful to consider
    that you cherish me constantly in your every thought!
    O God, your desires toward me are more
    than the grains of sand on every shore!
    When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.

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Footnotes

  1. 139:5 Or “You hem me in [lit. “besiege me”] before and behind.” The implication is that God protects the psalmist from what may come in the future and what has happened in the past.
  2. 139:6 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew reads “too high to understand.”
  3. 139:9 Implied in the Hebrew, which reads “the remote parts of the sea” or “beyond the horizon to the west.” The sea is west of Israel.
  4. 139:13 The Hebrew word for “knit” or “wove” can also be translated “covered” or “defended.” God places an eternal spirit inside the conceived child within the womb of a mother and covers that life, sends the child a guardian angel, and watches over him or her.
  5. 139:15 The Hebrew text is literally “the depths of the earth.”
  6. 139:15 Or “embroidered me.”
  7. 139:16 The Hebrew could be translated “as an embryo.”
  8. 139:16 See Ps. 69:28.