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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Psalms 139

 

 

Introduction
1David praises God for his all-seeing providence;
17and for his infinite mercies.
19He defies the wicked.
23He prays for sincerity.

Verse 1
O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
A. M. 2956. B.C. 1048. (Title.) A Psalm. This Psalm is supposed to have been composed by David when made king of Israel; though some think it was written by him when accused of traitorous designs against Saul. It is a most sublime ode on the wisdom, knowledge, presence, and justice of God: the sentiments are grand, the style highly elevated, and the images various, beautiful, and impressive
thou hast
23; 11:4,5; 17:3; 44:21; 1 Kings 8:39; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Jeremiah 12:3; 17:9,10; John 21:17; Hebrews 4:13; Revelation 2:18,23

Verse 2
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
knowest
56:8; Genesis 16:13; 2 Kings 6:12; 19:27; Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 37:28; Zechariah 4:10
understandest
94:11; Matthew 9:4; Luke 9:47; John 2:24,25; 1 Corinthians 4:5
afar off
Ezekiel 38:10,11,17

Verse 3
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
compassest
or, winnowest.
Job 13:26,27; 14:16,17; 31:4; Matthew 3:12
my path
18; 121:3-8; Genesis 28:10-17; 2 Samuel 8:14; 11:2-5,27
and art acquainted
2 Samuel 12:9-12; Proverbs 5:20,21; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Isaiah 29:15; Jeremiah 23:24; John 6:70,71; 13:2,21; Acts 5:3,4

Verse 4
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
there is not
19:14; Job 8:2; 38:2; 42:3,6-8; Zephaniah 1:12; Malachi 3:13-16; Matthew 12:35-37; James 1:26; 3:2-10
thou knowest
50:19-21; Jeremiah 29:23; Hebrews 4:12,13

Verse 5
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
beset me
Deuteronomy 33:27; Job 23:8,9
and laid
Exodus 24:11; Revelation 1:17

Verse 6
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
knowledge
40:5; 13:1; Job 11:7-9; 26:14; 42:3; Proverbs 30:2-4; Romans 11:33

Verse 7
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Jeremiah 23:23,24; Jonah 1:3,10; Acts 5:9

Verse 8
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
I ascend
Ezekiel 28:12-17; Amos 9:2-4; Obadiah 1:4
in hell
Job 26:6; 34:21,22; Proverbs 15:11; Jonah 2:2

Verse 9
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
If I take
Light has been proved, by many experiments, to travel at the astonishing rate of 194,188 miles in one second of time; and comes from the sun to the earth, a distance of 95,513,794 miles in 8 minutes and nearly 12 seconds! But, could I even fly upon the wings or rays of the morning light, which diffuses itself with such velocity over the globe from east to west, instead of being beyond Thy reach, or by this sudden transition be able to escape Thy notice, Thy arm could still at pleasure prevent or arrest my progress, and I should still be encircled with the immensity of Thy essence. The sentiment in this noble passage is remarkably striking and the description truly sublime.
the wings
18:10; 19:6; Malachi 4:2
dwell
74:16,17; Isaiah 24:14-16

Verse 10
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
63:8; 73:23; 143:9,10; Isaiah 41:13

Verse 11
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Surely
10:11-13; 94:7; Job 22:12-14; Isaiah 29:15; Jeremiah 23:24
even the night
Job 12:22

Verse 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.
the darkness
Exodus 14:20; 20:21; Job 26:6; 34:22; Daniel 2:22; Hebrews 4:13
hideth not
Heb. darkeneth not. the darkness, etc. Heb. as is the darkness, so is the light.

Verse 13
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
For thou
Job 10:9-12
covered me
22:9,10; 71:6; Job 31:15; Isaiah 44:2; 46:3; Jeremiah 1:5

Verse 14
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
for I am fearfully
Genesis 1:26,27
marvellous
92:4,5; 104:24; 111:2; Job 5:9; Revelation 15:3
right well
Heb. greatly.

Verse 15
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
substance
or, strength, or body. when I.
13; Job 10:9-11; Exodus 11:5
in the lowest
63:9; Ephesians 4:9

Verse 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.
in thy book
56:8; Malachi 3:16; Revelation 20:12
all my members
Heb. all of them. which in continuance were fashioned. or, what days they should be fashioned.

Verse 17
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
precious
40:5; Proverbs 8:31; Isaiah 55:8,9; Jeremiah 29:11; Ephesians 3:9,10
how great
31:19; 36:7

Verse 18
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
they are more
40:12
when I awake
3; 3:5; 16:8-11; 17:15; 63:6,7; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:10

Verse 19
Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
Surely
5:6; 9:17; 55:23; 64:7; 94:23; Isaiah 11:4
depart from
6:8; 119:115; Matthew 7:23; 25:41; 2 Corinthians 6:17

Verse 20
For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
for they speak
73:8,9; 74:18,22,23; Job 21:14,15; Isaiah 37:23,28,29; Jude 1:15; Revelation 13:6
thine
2:1-3; Exodus 20:7

Verse 21
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
Do not I
15:4; 31:6; 2 Chronicles 19:2; Revelation 2:2,6
and am not
119:136,158; Jeremiah 13:17; Mark 3:5; Luke 19:41; Romans 9:1-3

Verse 22
I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
hate them
101:3-8; Luke 14:26

Verse 23
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
Search me
1; 26:2
know
Deuteronomy 8:2,16; Job 31:6; Proverbs 17:3; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2,3; 1 Peter 1:7

Verse 24
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
And see
7:3,4; 17:3; Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9,10
wicked way
Heb. way of pain, or grief.
Hebrews 12:15,16
and lead
5:8; 25:8,9; 119:1,32; 143:8,10
the way
Matthew 7:14; John 14:6; Colossians 2:6

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 139:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-139.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, November 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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