Psalms 139

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version

← Psalms 138   Psalms 140 →

1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.

7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;

10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

16 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.

17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.

20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.

21 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?

22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

← Psalms 138   Psalms 140 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 389


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 5385, 8620, 9422, 10032, 10248

Apocalypse Revealed 140, 256

Doctrine of the Lord 50

True Christian Religion 62


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 167, 199, 222, 526, 527, 622, 687, ...

Marriage 62

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  Spiritual Topics:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Deuteronomy 31:21

2 Samuel 7:20

1 Kings 8:39

2 Kings 19:27

2 Chronicles 2

Job 10:8, 11, 11:7, 12:22, 22:13, 23:10, 31:4, 6, 34:22, 42:3

Psalms 9:18, 11:4, 5, 17:3, 27:11, 40:6, 44:22, 92:6, 95:6, 119:115, 158, 168, 139:1, 23

Proverbs 5:21, 15:11, 30:18

Jeremiah 1:5, 12:3, 17:10, 23:24

Ezekiel 11:5

Daniel 2:22

Amos 9:2, 3

Matthew 6:4

Luke 5:22

John 1:48, 2:24, 25, 21:17

Jude 1:15

Revelation 2:2, 6

Word/Phrase Explanations

thought
Those who are 'anxious' are not content with their own lot, and do not trust the Divine, but only themselves. They only look to worldly...

Path
'A path' denotes truths, and in the opposite sense, falsities.

lying down
To “lie down” in the Bible represents a state of spiritual serenity, a time when temptations are distant and we are not in spiritual conflict....

ways
These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

Word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

Tongue
'The tongue,' as an organ, signifies doctrine, but as speech, or language, it signifies religion. 'Tongue' signifies perception of truth with respect to speech, and...

Behind
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

upon
'Upon' or 'over' signifies being within.

knowledge
Throughout the Word, a distinction is made between wisdom, intelligence, and knowledge. 'Wisdom' means from good, 'intelligence' is from truth, and 'knowledge' is in a...

High
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

spirit
There are two aspects to the life of each person. We might call them "heart" and "mind," a part of us that wants and feels...

Flee
To flee signifies to escape, and be rescued. To flee signifies to be overcome.

heaven
"Heaven" and "heavens" are used many times in the Bible, with a couple of variations of meaning. Sometimes it is relatively literal, including times when...

Make
'To make,' as in Hosea 8:11, refers to good. In the opposite sense it refers to evil. To make heaven, and earth, and the sea,...

Bed
A bed of ivory (Amos 6:4) are doctrines apparently from rational truths.

Hell
'Hell,' as mentioned in Jonah 2:3, signifies the earth below.

Wings
'Wings' signify spiritual truths. 'Wings,' when related to the Lord, signify the divine spiritual. In the opposite sense, 'wings' relate to falsities and rationalizations from...

dwell
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

sea
Water generally represents what Swedenborg calls “natural truth,” or true concepts about day-to-day matters and physical things. Since all water ultimately flows into the seas,...

lead
The meaning of "leading" people in the Bible is pretty straightforward, though obviously it is about leading people in spiritual things, not natural ones. When...

Right hand
'The right hand' signifies the whole of a person regarding intellectual power, and so, regarding faith. 'To place the right hand on the head,' signifies...

hold
On a natural level, "clinging" to someone clearly indicates a desire to be close to them and conjoined with them. It often has a negative...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

darkness
"Darkness" is a state without light. "Light" is truth from the Lord, so "darkness" is a state where truth is lacking.

Cover
The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

night
The sun in the Bible represents the Lord, with its heat representing His love and its light representing His wisdom. “Daytime,” then, represents a state...

light
Nov. 4, 1879: Thomas Edison filed a patent for a long-burning light bulb. Nov. 5, 1879: The light bulb was universally accepted as the symbol...

shineth
“Light” in the Bible represents divine truth, ideas which pour out to us from the Lord’s infinite love. It makes sense, then, that when something...

mother
In general, mothers in the Bible represent the Lord's church on earth, or the church among those who know and follow the Lord. In some...

Womb
'Womb,' as in Genesis 49:25, signifies the conjunction of good and truth. The term 'belly' is used where truths are being discussed, and the term...

Works
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

well
A pit,' or 'well which has no water,' as in Jeremiah 2:13, signifies doctrines which have no truths.

substance
Substance' and 'treasures,' as in Jeremiah 17:3, signify the spiritual riches of faith, or the aspects of the doctrine of faith.

Secret
'Secret' or 'hidden' signifies the inward part of a person. 'The secret place' signifies where the Lord is.

Wrought
wrought (also entwined or entwisted) is predicated of the natural scientific principle, and in Isaiah 45:13, of divine natural truth.

Earth
"Earth" in the Bible can mean a person or a group of like-minded people as in a church. But it refers specifically to the external...

eyes
It’s common to say “I see” when we understand something. And indeed, “seeing” in the Bible represents grasping and understanding spiritual things. So it makes...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Book
(Rev. 10:9.) "And I went unto the angel, saying, give me the little book," signifies the faculty of perceiving the quality of the Word from...

written
If knowing what’s right were the same as doing what’s right, we would all be thin, healthy, hard-working, law-abiding, faithful to our spouses and free...

none
'No one,' or 'none' denotes the negative side of something.

Thoughts
There are thoughts from perception, from conscience, and from a lack of conscience. Thoughts from perception are only possible in the celestial, that is, people...

God
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Sum
To 'take the sum of the sons of Israel,' as in Exodus 30:12, signifies the whole church.

Number
To number,' as in Isaiah 22:10, signifies falsifying. To number bones,' as in Psalm 22:14-18, signifies desiring to dissipate truths by reasonings and false principles....

Sand
'Sand,' as in Matthew 7:27, signifies faith separate from charity.

Awake
'Awake' denotes a clear state.

still
When something is described as quiet, still or calm in the Bible, it represents the state of peace that comes with being aligned with the...

Slay
'To slay' or 'to kill' in the Word, means destroying souls, which is spiritually killing.

wicked
Swedenborg several times associates the “wicked” with “malevolence,” defines “malevolence” as “destroying good, interior and exterior,” and says that the wicked do this by disowning...

men
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

enemies
An enemy in the Bible refers to people who are in the love of evil and the false thinking that springs from evil. On a...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

In vain
'To take the Lord's name in vain,' denotes profaning divine truths with blasphemies and applying divine teachings to idolatrous worship, as the Jews did when...

rise
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

Perfect
'The days of the perfect' signifies the states of people who are in good and truths from good.

hatred
If you truly hate someone, that means you would kill them and destroy their reputation if you could do so without repercussion – not a...

Search
'To search,' as in Revelation 2:23, signifies seeing.

know
Like so many common verbs, the meaning of "know" in the Bible is varied and dependent on context. And in some cases – when it...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

everlasting
In many cases, the use of “eternity” in the Bible is pretty literal, simple meaning forever. This is especially true when the text is referring...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Contentment
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Memory Verse: Providence and Evil
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Out of the Forest
A story showing how the Lord leads as described in the 23rd Psalm.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Prayers for Adults: Approaching the Lord
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Adults: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Adults: The Holy Supper
Activity | Ages over 18

 Prayers for Teens: Praying to the Lord
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Prayers for Teens: The Holy Supper
Activity | Ages 15 - 17

 Self Examination in the Lord's Presence
Most people dread the idea of honest self-examination, but if we invite the Lord to be with us it can become a source of contentment and strength.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord Knows
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Why Are We Here?
Lesson and activities to explore why we were created - what God intends for us.
Religion Lesson | Ages over 15


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