|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
139:1-6 God has perfect knowledge of us, and all our thoughts and actions are open before him. It is more profitable to meditate on Divine truths, applying them to our own cases, and with hearts lifted to God in prayer, than with a curious or disputing frame of mind. That God knows all things, is omniscient; that he is every where, is omnipresent; are truths acknowledged by all, yet they are seldom rightly believed in by mankind. God takes strict notice of every step we take, every right step and every by step. He knows what rule we walk by, what end we walk toward, what company we walk with. When I am withdrawn from all company, thou knowest what I have in my heart. There is not a vain word, not a good word, but thou knowest from what thought it came, and with what design it was uttered. Wherever we are, we are under the eye and hand of God. We cannot by searching find how God searches us out; nor do we know how we are known. Such thoughts should restrain us from sin.
Verse 5. - Thou hast beset me behind and before; i.e. "thou art ever close to me, and therefore hast complete knowledge of me. Thine omniscience arises out of thy omnipresence." And laid thine hand upon me. To uphold me, and at the same time to restrain me (comp. ver. 10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou hast beset me behind and before,.... Art on every side of me, all around me, like one besieged in a strait place; so that there is nothing I can think, say, or do, but what is known unto thee. The two Kimchis, father and son, render the word, "thou hast formed me": and interpret it of the formation of his body, of which, in Psalm 139:14; see Job 10:8 but it denotes how God compasses men with his presence and providence, so that nothing escapes his knowledge;
and laid thine hand upon me; not his afflicting hand, which sometimes presses hard; though the Targum thus paraphrases it,
"and stirred against me the stroke of thine hand:''
but rather his hand of power and providence, to preserve, protect, and defend him. Or it signifies that he was so near to him that his hand was upon him, and he was perfectly known; as anything is that is before a man, and he has his hand upon.
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