139:5 You squeeze me in from behind and in front;
you place your hand on me.
139:6 Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension;
it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it. 1
139:7 Where can I go to escape your spirit?
Where can I flee to escape your presence? 2
If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be. 4
and settle down on the other side 7 of the sea,
139:10 even there your hand would guide me,
your right hand would grab hold of me.
1 tn Heb “too amazing [is this] knowledge for me, it is elevated, I cannot attain to it.”
2 tn Heb “Where can I go from your spirit, and where from your face can I flee?” God’s “spirit” may refer here (1) to his presence (note the parallel term, “your face,” and see Ps 104:29-30, where God’s “face” is his presence and his “spirit” is the life-giving breath he imparts) or (2) to his personal Spirit (see Ps 51:10).
3 tn The Hebrew verb סָלַק (salaq, “to ascend”) occurs only here in the OT, but the word is well-attested in Aramaic literature from different time periods and displays a wide semantic range (see DNWSI 2:788-90).
4 tn Heb “look, you.”
5 tn Heb “rise up.”
6 sn On the wings of the dawn. This personification of the “dawn” may find its roots in mythological traditions about the god Shachar, whose birth is described in an Ugaritic myth (see G. R. Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 126) and who is mentioned in Isa 14:12 as the father of Helel.
7 tn Heb “at the end.”