Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
139:2 Afar off - Thou knowest what my thoughts will be in such and such circumstances, long before I know it, yea from all eternity.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
139:3 Compassest - Thou discernest every step I take. It is a metaphor from soldiers besieging their enemies, and setting watches round about them.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
139:5 Beset me - With thy all - seeing providence. And laid - Thou keepest me, as it were with a strong hand, in thy sight and under thy power.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
139:6 I cannot - Apprehend in what manner thou dost so presently know all things.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
139:8 Hell - If I could hide myself in the lowest parts of the earth.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
139:9 The wings - If I should flee from east to west: for the sea being the western border of Canaan, is often put for the west in scripture. And wings are poetically ascribed to the morning here, as they are elsewhere to the sun, and to the winds.
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
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.
139:16 Imperfect - When I was first conceived. Book - In thy counsel and providence, by which thou didst contrive and effect this great work, according to that model which thou hadst appointed.
How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
139:17 Thoughts - Thy counsels on my behalf. Thou didst not only form me at first, but ever since my conception and birth, thy thoughts have been employed for me.
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
139:18 Them - Thy wonderful counsels and works on my behalf come constantly into my mind.
Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
139:22 Perfect hatred - See the difference between the Jewish and the Christian spirit!
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.