Old Testament

Psalm 139
Psalm 139
God's Attributes—Too Wonderful for Me!
For the choir director. By David. A psalm.
God Is All-knowing
1 Lord, you have investigated me,
and you know.
2You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You understand my thoughts from far off.
3You keep track of when I travel and when I stay,[]
and you are familiar with all my ways.
4Before there is a word on my tongue
you, Lord, already know it completely.
5You put a fence behind me and in front of me,
and you have placed your hand on me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.
It is too high—I cannot grasp it.
God Is Present Everywhere
7Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your Presence?[]
8If I go up to heaven, you are there.
If I make my bed in hell—there you are!
9I rise on the wings of dawn.
I settle on the far side of the sea.
10Even there your hand guides me,
and your right hand holds on to me.
11And if I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light will become night around me,”
12then even the darkness will not be too dark for you.
The night will be as light as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
God Is Powerful and Good
13For you created my inner organs.[]
You wove me together in my mother's womb.
14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and my soul knows that very well.
15My bones were not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16Your eyes saw my unfinished body.
In your book all of them were written.
Days were determined, before any of them existed.
17Your thoughts to me are so precious, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18If I would count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.
God Is Holy
19If only you would slay the wicked, O God,
so that bloody men would depart from me,
20men who speak against you maliciously.
Your adversaries misuse your name.
21Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord,
and detest those who rise up against you?
22I absolutely hate them. To me they are enemies.
23Investigate me, God, and know my heart.
Test me and know my troubled thoughts.
24See if there is any way in me that causes pain,
and lead me in the way everlasting.


  • 139:3 Literally you winnow my path and my crouching down
  • 139:7 Or presence. Presence can be a name for God or for the second person of the Trinity.
  • 139:13 Literally kidneys. The kidneys were thought of as a center of emotion.