English Standard Version
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
King James Bible
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
American Standard Version
Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts;
Prove me, O God, and know my heart: examine me, and know my paths.
English Revised Version
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts:
Webster's Bible Translation
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts:
Psalm 139:23 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The embryo folded up in the shape of an egg is here called גּלם, from גּלם, to roll or wrap together (cf. glomus, a ball), in the Talmud said of any kind of unshapen mass (lxx ἀκατέργαστον, Symmachus ἀμόρφωτον) and raw material, e.g., of the wood or metal that is to be formed into a vessel (Chullin 25a, to which Saadia has already referred).
(Note: Epiphanius, Haer, xxx. 31, says the Hebrew γολμη signifies the peeled grains of spelt or wheat before they are mixed up and backed, the still raw (only bruised) flour-grains - a signification that can now no longer be supported by examples.)
As to the rest, compare similar retrospective glances into the embryonic state in Job 10:8-12, 2 Macc. 7:22f. (Psychology, S. 209ff., tr. pp. 247f.). On the words in libro tuo Bellarmine makes the following correct observation: quia habes apud te exemplaria sive ideas omnium, quomodo pictor vel sculptor scit ex informi materia quid futurum sit, quia videt exemplar. The signification of the future יכּתבוּ is regulated by ראוּ, and becomes, as relating to the synchronous past, scribebantur. The days יצּרוּ, which were already formed, are the subject. It is usually rendered: "the days which had first to be formed." If יצּרוּ could be equivalent to ייצּרוּ, it would be to be preferred; but this rejection of the praeform. fut. is only allowed in the fut. Piel of the verbs Pe Jod, and that after a Waw convertens, e.g., ויּבּשׁ equals וייבּשׁ, Nahum 1:4 (cf. Caspari on Obadiah 1:11).
(Note: But outside the Old Testament it also occurs in the Pual, though as a wrong use of the word; vide my Anekdota (1841), S. 372f.)
Accordingly, assuming the original character of the לא in a negative signification, it is to be rendered: The days which were (already) formed, and there was not one among them, i.e., when none among them had as yet become a reality. The suffix of כּלּם points to the succeeding ימים, to which יצּרוּ is appended as an attributive clause; ולא אחד בּהם is subordinated to this יצּרוּ: cum non or nondum (Job 22:16) unus inter eos equals unus eorum (Exodus 14:28) esset. But the expression (instead of ועוד לא היה or טרם יהיה) remains doubtful, and it becomes a question whether the Ker ולו (vid., on Psalm 100:3), which stands side by side with the Chethb ולא (which the lxx, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, the Targum, Syriac, Jerome, and Saadia follow), is not to be preferred. This ולו, referred to גלמי, gives the acceptable meaning: and for it (viz., its birth) one among them (these days), without our needing to make any change in the proposed exposition down to יצרו. We decide in favour of this, because this ולו אחד בהם does not, as ולא אחד בהם, make one feel to miss any היה, and because the ולי which begins Psalm 139:17 connects itself to it by way of continuation. The accentuation has failed to discern the reference of כלם to the following ימים, inasmuch as it places Olewejored against יכתבו. Hupfeld follows this accentuation, referring כלם back to גלמי as a coil of days of one's life; and Hitzig does the same, referring it to the embryos. But the precedence of the relative pronoun occurs in other instances also,
(Note: The Hebrew poet, says Gesenius (Lehrgebude, S. 739f.), sometimes uses the pronoun before the thing to which it referred has even been spoken of. This phenomenon belongs to the Hebrew style generally, vid., my Anekdota (1841), S. 382.)
and is devoid of all harshness, especially in connection with כּלּם, which directly signifies altogether (e.g., Isaiah 43:14).
It is the confession of the omniscience that is united with the omnipotence of God, which the poet here gives utterance to with reference to himself, just as Jahve says with reference to Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1:5. Among the days which were preformed in the idea of God (cf. on יצרו, Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 37:26) there was also one, says the poet, for the embryonic beginning of my life. The divine knowledge embraces the beginning, development, and completion of all things (Psychology, S. 37ff., tr. pp. 46ff.). The knowledge of the thoughts of God which are written in the book of creation and revelation is the poet's cherished possession, and to ponder over them is his favourite pursuit: they are precious to him, יקרוּ (after Psalm 36:8), not: difficult of comprehension (schwerbegreiflich, Maurer, Olshausen), after Daniel 2:11, which would surely have been expressed by עמקוּ (Psalm 92:6), more readily: very weighty (schwergewichtig, Hitzig), but better according to the prevailing Hebrew usage: highly valued (schwergewerthet), cara.
(Note: It should be noted that the radical idea of the verb, viz., being heavy (German schwer), is retained in all these renderings. - Tr.)
"Their sums" are powerful, prodigious (Psalm 40:6), and cannot be brought to a summa summarum. If he desires to count them (fut. hypothet. as in Psalm 91:7; Job 20:24), they prove themselves to be more than the sand with its grains, that is to say, innumerable. He falls asleep over the pondering upon them, wearied out; and when he wakes up, he is still with God, i.e., still ever absorbed in the contemplation of the Unsearchable One, which even the sleep of fatigue could not entirely interrupt. Ewald explains it somewhat differently: if I am lost in the stream of thoughts and images, and recover myself from this state of reverie, yet I am still ever with Thee, without coming to an end. But it could only perhaps be interpreted thus if it were העירותי or התעוררתּי. Hofmann's interpretation is altogether different: I will count them, the more numerous than the sand, when I awake and am continually with Thee, viz., in the other world, after the awaking from the sleep of death. This is at once impossible, because הקיצתי cannot here, according to its position, be a perf. hypotheticum. Also in connection with this interpretation עוד would be an inappropriate expression for "continually," since the word only has the sense of the continual duration of an action or a state already existing; here of one that has not even been closed and broken off by sleep. He has not done; waking and dreaming and waking up, he is carried away by that endless, and yet also endlessly attractive, pursuit, the most fitting occupation of one who is awake, and the sweetest (cf. Jeremiah 31:26) of one who is asleep and dreaming.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
1 Thessalonians 2:4
but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.
(Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity!)
Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous-- you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!
Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts.
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