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Psalms 139:1-3

Context
Psalm 139 1 

For the music director, a psalm of David.

139:1 O Lord, you examine me 2  and know.

139:2 You know when I sit down and when I get up;

even from far away you understand my motives.

139:3 You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; 3 

you are aware of everything I do. 4 

Psalms 139:12

Context

139:12 even the darkness is not too dark for you to see, 5 

and the night is as bright as 6  day;

darkness and light are the same to you. 7 

1 sn Psalm 139. The psalmist acknowledges that God, who created him, is aware of his every action and thought. He invites God to examine his motives, for he is confident they are pure.

2 tn The statement is understood as generalizing – the psalmist describes what God typically does.

3 tn Heb “my traveling and my lying down you measure.” The verb זָרָה (zarah, “to measure”) is probably here a denominative from זָרָת (zarat, “a span; a measure”), though some derive it from זָרָה (zarat, “to winnow; to sift”; see BDB 279-80 s.v. זָרָה).

4 tn Heb “all my ways.”

5 tn The words “to see” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Heb “shines like.”

7 tn Heb “like darkness, like light.”



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