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Psalm 139 International Standard Version (ISV)

To the Music Director: A Davidic Song

God’s Knowledge and Presence

139 Lord, you have examined me;
    you have known me.
You know when I rest[a]
    and when I am active.[b]
You understand what I am thinking
    when I am distant from you.[c]
You scrutinize my life and my rest;[d]
    you are familiar with all of my ways.
Even before I have formed a word with my tongue,
    you, Lord, know it completely!
You encircle me from back to front,
    placing your hand upon me.
Knowledge like this is too amazing for me.
    It is beyond my reach,
        and I cannot fathom it.

The Magnitude of God

Where can I flee from your spirit?
    Or where will I run from your presence?
If I rise to heaven, there you are!
    If I lay down with the dead,[e] there you are!
If I take wings with the dawn
    and settle down on the western horizon[f]
10 your hand will guide me there, too,
    while your right hand keeps a firm grip on me.
11 If I say, “Darkness will surely conceal me,
    and the light around me will become night,”[g]
12 even darkness isn’t dark to you,
    darkness and light are the same to you.[h]

13 It was you who formed my internal organs,[i]
    fashioning me within my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you,
    because you are fearful and wondrous![j]
Your work is wonderful,
    and I am fully aware of it.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    while I was being crafted in a hidden place,
        knit together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes looked upon my embryo,
    and everything was recorded in your book.
The days scheduled[k] for my formation were inscribed,
    even though not one of them had come yet.[l]

17 How deep[m] are your thoughts, God!
    How great is their number!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would number more than the sand.
        When I awake, I will be with you.

19 God, if only you would execute the wicked,
    so that[n] the men guilty of bloodshed would get away from me,
20 who speak against you with evil motives,
    your enemies who are acting in vain.
21 I hate those who hate you, Lord, do I not?
    I loathe those who rebel against you, do I not ?
22 With consummate hatred I hate them;
    I consider them my enemies.

23 Examine me, God, and know my mind,
    test me, and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive tendency[o] in me,
    and lead me in the eternal way.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139:2 Lit. know my sitting
  2. Psalm 139:2 Lit. and my rising
  3. Psalm 139:2 Or thinking from a distance
  4. Psalm 139:3 Or death; Lit. my path and my lying down
  5. Psalm 139:8 Lit. to Sheol; i.e. the realm of the dead
  6. Psalm 139:9 Lit. the end of the sea
  7. Psalm 139:11 So MT LXX; DSS 11QPsa reads And let me say, “Surely darkness conceals and night has girded me about.”
  8. Psalm 139:12 The Heb. lacks to you
  9. Psalm 139:13 Lit. my kidneys
  10. Psalm 139:14 So DSS 11QPsa Syr Hieronymus; MT LXX read because I am fearfully and wonderfully made
  11. Psalm 139:16 The Heb. lacks scheduled
  12. Psalm 139:16 The Heb. lacks had come yet
  13. Psalm 139:17 Or precious
  14. Psalm 139:19 So LXX DSS 11QPsa; MT reads and so that
  15. Psalm 139:24 Lit. way
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

Psalm 139 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 139

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

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

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed 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,
    your right hand 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 to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

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

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

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 139:17 Or How amazing are your thoughts concerning me
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Psalm 139 King James Version (KJV)

139 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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