This is a very traditional Jewish translation. You should definitely buy the edition published by the folks at Artscroll, or at least send them a bunch of money.

  1. For the Conductor, by David, a psalm. O Hashem, You have scrutinized me and you know.

  2. You know my sitting down and my rising up, You understand my thought from afar.

  3. You encompass my path and my repose, You are familiar with all my ways.

  4. For the word is not yet on my tongue - behold, Hashem, You knew it all.

  5. Back and front You have restricted me, and You have laid Your hand upon me.

  6. Knowledge is beyond me; exalted, I am incapable of it.

  7. Where can I go from Your spirit? And where can I flee from Your Presence?

  8. If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in the lowest depths, behold, You are there.

  9. Were I to take up wings of dawn, were I to dwell in the distant west -

  10. there, too, Your hand would guide me, and Your right hand would grasp me.

  11. Would I say: 'Surely darkness will shadow me,' then the night would become as light around me.

  12. Even darkness obscures not from You; and night is as luminous as the day - darkness and light are the same.

  13. For You have created my mind; You have covered me in my mother's womb.

  14. I acknowledge You, for I am awesomely, wondrously fashioned, wondrous are Your works, and my soul knows it well.

  15. My physical structure was not hidden from You; that which I was made in concealment, which I was knit together in the lowest parts of the earth.

  16. Your eyes saw my unshaped form, and in Your book all were recorded; though they will be fashioned through many days, to Him they are one.

  17. To me - how glorious are Your thoughts, O God! How very great are their general headings!

  18. Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand, even if I were to be constantly awake and always with You.

  19. O that You would slay the wicked, O God, and men of blood (to whom I say) 'Depart from me!'

  20. Those who pronounce Your name for wicked schemes, it is taken in vain by Your enemies.

  21. For indeed those who hate You, Hashem, I hate them, and I quarrel with those who rise up against You!

  22. With the utmost hatred, I hate them, I regard them as my own enemies.

  23. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.

  24. And see if I have vexing ways; and lead me in the way of eternity.

Psalm 139 by Mary Herbert, Countess of Pembroke

O Lord, in me there lieth nought
But to thy search revealed lies;
    For when I sit
    Thou markest it;
No less thou notest when I rise;
Yea, closest closet of my thought
Hath open windows to thine eyes.

Thou walkest with me when I walk;
When to my bed for rest I go,
    I find thee there
    And everywhere;
Not youngest thought in me doth grow,
No, not one word I cast to talk,
But, yet unuttered, thou dost know.

If forth I march, thou goest before;
If back I turn, thou comest behind;
    So forth nor back
    Thy guard I lack;
Nay, on me, too, thy hand I find.
Well I thy wisdom may adore,
But never reach with earthy mind.

To shun thy notice, leave thine eye,
O! whither might I take my way?
    To starry sphere?
    Thy throne is there.
To dead man's undelightsome stay?
There is thy walk, and there to lie
Unknown in vain I should assay.

The KJV version of this Psalm (included for continuity with the KJV-noding effort):

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

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

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

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

5 Thou 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.

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

8 If 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;

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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Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Psalms
Book: Psalms
Chapter: 139

David encourages himself in God. (1-7) He prays for, and
prophesies the Destruction of, his persecutors. (8-13)

1-7 The more danger appears, the more Earnest we should be in
Prayer to God. All are safe whom the Lord protects. If he be for
us, who can be against us? We should especially watch and pray,
that the Lord would Hold up our goings in his ways, that our
footsteps slip not. God is as able to keep his people from
secret fraud as from open force; and the experience we have had
of his power and care, in dangers of one kind, may encourage us
to depend upon him in other dangers.

8-13 Believers may pray that God would not grant the desires of
the wicked, nor further their evil devices. False accusers will
bring mischief upon themselves, even the burning coals of Divine
vengeance. And surely the righteous shall Dwell in God's
presence, and give him thanks for evermore. This is true
thanksgiving, even thanks-living: this use we should make of all
our deliverances, we should serve God the more closely and
cheerfully. Those who, though evil spoken of and ill-used By
men, are righteous in the sight of God, being justified By the
Righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and received
By Faith, as the effect of which, they live soberly and
righteously; these give thanks to the Lord, for the
Righteousness whereby they are made righteous, and for every
blessing of Grace, and Mercy of Life.

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