Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Such . . .—God’s omniscience is for man at once transcendent, unattainable, impossible. Possibly the article has dropped away, and we should read this knowledge. LXX. and Vulg. have “thy knowledge.”Psalm 139:6. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, &c. — It is such a knowledge as I cannot comprehend, much less describe. I cannot conceive, or even form any idea in what manner thou dost so perfectly know all things, especially things which have yet no being, and seem to depend on many casualties and uncertainties. Dr. Hammond renders the verse, Such knowledge is admirable, above me: it is high; I cannot deal with it. But the sense of the original of the last clause, לא אוכל לה, seems better expressed in our translation. The mind of the psalmist, when he uttered these words, was evidently impressed “with such a veneration and awe of the infinite Jehovah, the fountain and support of universal life and being; and he found his faculties so swallowed up, and, as it were, lost in meditating on so deep and immense a subject; that man’s reason, in its utmost pride and glory, and with its most boasted improvements and acquisitions of knowledge, seemed now so debased, so weak, so narrow, and, in comparison with infinity, so despicable, that he could proceed no further without expressing his admiration at such a boundless scope of intelligence as he could neither explain nor comprehend:” see Foster’s Discourses, vol. Psalm 1:4 to. p. 76.
Ps 139:1-24. After presenting the sublime doctrines of God's omnipresence and omniscience, the Psalmist appeals to Him, avowing his innocence, his abhorrence of the wicked, and his ready submission to the closest scrutiny. Admonition to the wicked and comfort to the pious are alike implied inferences from these doctrines.
it is high; sublime, out of his reach, beyond his comprehension;
I cannot attain unto it; neither to such knowledge, nor to comprehend what it is in God; and how he should have it, and in what manner he exercises it. Kimchi, Jarchi, and Aben Ezra, connect the words with the following, as if the matter of his wonder and astonishment was the omnipresence of God, or where he should find a place to flee from him.Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. A concluding exclamation of reverent awe. Such infinite knowledge baffles human thought to comprehend it. Cp. Romans 11:33.
(so) exalted (that) I cannot attain unto it] “The word used implies ‘high so as to be inaccessible’; it is used, for instance, of an impregnable city, Deuteronomy 2:36” (Driver). It is also used of God, Isaiah 2:11; Isaiah 2:17; Isaiah 12:4.Verse 6. - Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. The psalmist does not say, "such knowledge," but simply "knowledge," i.e. real true knowledge, such as deserves the name. "The thought of God's omniscience makes him feel as if real knowledge were beyond his reach" (Kay). Psalm 23:4 to mind. Though his way may lead through the midst of heart - oppressing trouble, Jahve will loose these bands of death and quicken him afresh (חיּה as in Psalm 30:4; Psalm 71:20, and frequently). Though his enemies may rage, Jahve will stretch forth His hand threateningly and tranquillizingly over their wrath, and His right hand will save him. ימינך is the subject according to Psalm 139:10 and other passages, and not (for why should it be supposed to be this?) accus. instrumenti (vid., Psalm 60:7). In Psalm 138:8 יגמר is intended just as in Psalm 57:3 : the word begun He will carry out, ἐπιτελεῖν (Philippians 1:6); and בּעדי (according to its meaning, properly: covering me) is the same as עלי in that passage (cf. Psalm 13:6; Psalm 142:8). The pledge of this completion is Jahve's everlasting mercy, which will not rest until the promise is become perfect truth and reality. Thus, therefore, He will not leave, forsake the works of His hands (vid., Psalm 90:16.), i.e., as Hengstenberg correctly explains, everything that He has hitherto accomplished for David, from his deliverance out of the hands of Saul down to the bestowment of the promise - He will not let one of His works stand still, and least of all one that has been so gloriously begun. הרפּה (whence תּרף) signifies to slacken, to leave slack, i.e., leave uncarried out, to leave to itself, as in Nehemiah 6:3. אל expresses a negation with a measure of inward excitement.
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