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139. Psalm 139

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

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

7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

16Thine 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.

17How 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

20. Who have spoken of thee wickedly. He intimates the extent to which the wicked proceed when God spares them, and forbears to visit them with vengeance. They not merely conclude that they may perpetrate any crime with impunity, but openly blaspheme their Judge. He takes notice of their speaking wickedly, in the sense of their taking no pains to disguise their sin under plausible pretences, as persons who have some shame remaining will exercise a certain restraint upon their language, but they make no secret of the contempt they entertain for God. The second clause, where he speaks of their taking God’s name falsely, some have interpreted too restrictedly with reference to their sin of perjury. Those,come nearer the truth who consider that the wicked are spoken of as taking God’s name in vain, when they conceive of him according to their own idle fancies. We see from experience, that most men are ignorant of what God is, and judge of him rather as one dead than alive. In words they all acknowledge him to be judge of the world, but the acknowledgment comes to nothing, as they straightway denude him of his office of judgment, which is to take God’s name in vain, by tarnishing the glory of it, and, in a manner, deforming it. But as name is not in the original, and נשא, nasa, means to lift Up, or on high, I think we are warranted rather to interpret the passage as meaning’, that they carried themselves with an arrogant and false pride. This elation or haughtiness of spirit is almost always allied with that petulance of which he had previously taken notice. What other reason can be given for their vending such poisonous rancour against God, but pride, and forgetfulness, on the one hand, of their own insignificance as men, and on the other, of the power which belongeth unto the Lord? On this account he calls them God’s adversaries, for all who exalt themselves above the place which they should occupy, act the part of the giants who warred against heaven.


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