Psalm 139

The All-Knowing, Ever-Present God

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

Lord, you have searched me and known me.(A)
You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
you understand my thoughts from far away.(B)
You observe my travels and my rest;
you are aware of all my ways.(C)
Before a word is on my tongue,
you know all about it, Lord.(D)
You have encircled me;
you have placed your hand on me.(E)
This wondrous knowledge is beyond me.
It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.(F)

Where can I go to escape your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?(G)
If I go up to heaven, you are there;(H)
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.(I)
If I fly on the wings of the dawn
and settle down on the western horizon,[a]
10 even there your hand will lead me;
your right hand will hold on to me.(J)
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me,
and the light around me will be night”(K)
12 even the darkness is not dark to you.
The night shines like the day;
darkness and light are alike to you.(L)

13 For it was you who created my inward parts;[b]
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.(M)
14 I will praise you
because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.[c][d]
Your works are wondrous,
and I know this very well.(N)
15 My bones were not hidden from you
when I was made in secret,
when I was formed in the depths of the earth.(O)
16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless;
all my days were written in your book and planned
before a single one of them began.(P)

17 God, how precious[e] your thoughts are to me;
how vast their sum is!
18 If I counted them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand;(Q)
when I wake up,[f] I am still with you.(R)

19 God, if only you would kill the wicked—
you bloodthirsty men, stay away from me(S)
20 who invoke you deceitfully.
Your enemies swear by you falsely.(T)
21 Lord, don’t I hate those who hate you,
and detest those who rebel against you?
22 I hate them with extreme hatred;
I consider them my enemies.(U)

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my concerns.(V)
24 See if there is any offensive[g] way in me;
lead me in the everlasting way.(W)

Footnotes

  1. 139:9 Lit the end of the sea
  2. 139:13 Lit my kidneys
  3. 139:14 DSS, some LXX mss, Syr, Jer read because you are remarkable and wonderful
  4. 139:14 Hb obscure
  5. 139:17 Or difficult
  6. 139:18 Some Hb mss read I come to an end
  7. 139:24 Or idolatrous

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.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!(AE)
    Away from me,(AF) you who are bloodthirsty!(AG)
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries(AH) misuse your name.(AI)
21 Do I not hate those(AJ) who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor(AK) those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.(AL)
23 Search me,(AM) God, and know my heart;(AN)
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way(AO) in me,
    and lead me(AP) in the way everlasting.

Footnotes

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

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