Psalm 139:14
I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBTODWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) For I am . . .—Literally, because I am fearfully separated or distinguished (see Note on Psalm 26:7; Psalm 40:5), which might mean separated from the womb, i.e., born. (Comp. Galatians 1:15; Psalm 22:10.) Or if the reference is national rather than individual, it would imply, as so frequently, the choice of Israel by Jehovah in distinction to other races.

Psalm 139:14. I am fearfully and wonderfully made — Thy infinite wisdom and power, manifested in the singular and curious structure of man’s body, fill me with wonder and astonishment, and with the dread of thy Majesty. Marvellous are thy works — Both in the lesser world, man, and in the greater; and that my soul knoweth right well — I am well assured, both by thy word, and by the contemplation and study of thy works, that they are wonderful, although I do not so accurately understand them in all their parts as I wish to do.139:7-16 We cannot see God, but he can see us. The psalmist did not desire to go from the Lord. Whither can I go? In the most distant corners of the world, in heaven, or in hell, I cannot go out of thy reach. No veil can hide us from God; not the thickest darkness. No disguise can save any person or action from being seen in the true light by him. Secret haunts of sin are as open before God as the most open villanies. On the other hand, the believer cannot be removed from the supporting, comforting presence of his Almighty Friend. Should the persecutor take his life, his soul will the sooner ascend to heaven. The grave cannot separate his body from the love of his Saviour, who will raise it a glorious body. No outward circumstances can separate him from his Lord. While in the path of duty, he may be happy in any situation, by the exercise of faith, hope, and prayer.I will praise thee - I will not merely admire what is so great and marvelous, but I will acknowledge thee in a public manner as wise, and holy, and good: as entitled to honor, love, and gratitude.

For I am fearfully and wonderfully made - The word rendered "fearfully" means properly "fearful things;" things suited to produce fear or reverence. The word rendered "wonderfully made" means properly to distinguish; to separate. The literal translation of this - as near as can be given - would be, "I am distinguished by fearful things;" that is, by things in my creation which are suited to inspire awe. I am distinguished among thy works by things which tend to exalt my ideas of God, and to fill my soul with reverent and devout feelings. The idea is, that he was "distinguished" among the works of creation, or so "separated" from other things in his endowments as to work in the mind a sense of awe. He was made different from inanimate objects, and from the brute creation; he was "so" made, in the entire structure of his frame, as to fill the mind with wonder. The more anyone contemplates his own bodily formation, and becomes acquainted with the anatomy of the human frame, and the more he understands of his mental organization, the more he will see the force and propriety of the language used by the psalmist.

Marvellous are thy works - Fitted are they to excite wonder and admiration. The particular reference here is to his own formation; but the same remark may be made of the works of God in general.

And that my soul knoweth right well - Margin, as in Hebrew, "greatly." I am fully convinced of it. I am deeply impressed by it. We can see clearly that the works of God are "wonderful," even if we can understand nothing else about them.

PSALM 139

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.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made; thy infinite power and wisdom, manifested in the rare and curious structure of man’s body, doth fill me with wonder and astonishment, and with the dread of thy majesty.

Marvellous are thy works; both in the lesser world, man, and in the greater.

My soul knoweth right well; I am well assured, both by thy word, and by the contemplation and study of thy works, to which I have much addicted myself, that they are wonderful, although I do not so accurately understand all the particulars of them as I would do. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made,.... the formation of man is not of himself, nor of his parents, but of God, and is very wonderful in all its parts; it has been matter of astonishment to many Heathens, as Galen and others, who have, with any carefulness, examined the structure and texture of the human body, the exact symmetry and just proportion of all its parts, their position and usefulness; holy every bone, muscle, artery, nerve and fibre, are nicely framed and placed to answer their designed end; particularly the eye and ear, the exquisite make of them for sight and sound, have filled the most diligent inquirers into nature with amazement and wonder, and are a full proof of the wisdom and knowledge of God; see Psalm 94:9; no man has cause to reproach his parents, nor blame the Former of all things for making him thus, but on the contrary should praise the Lord, as David did, who has given him life and breath, and all things; or own and confess (l), as the word may be rendered, that he is in various surprising instances a wonder of nature; see Isaiah 45:9. R. Moses in Aben Ezra thinks David is speaking of the first father, or the first Adam; who was wonderfully made of the dust of the earth, and had a living soul breathed into him; was made after the image of God, holy and upright: but rather he speaks of Christ, the second Adam, his antitype, who as man is a creature of God's make, and was wonderfully made, even of a virgin, without the use and knowledge of man; is the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, the tabernacle which God pitched and not man; was produced by the power of the Holy Ghost, was born without sin, which no man is, and united personally to the Son of God, and is the great mystery of godliness; and his name is justly called Wonderful, Isaiah 9:6. Cocceius interprets this passage of God's separating act of David, and so of others in election; which is a wonderful setting apart of than for himself, as the word is used Psalm 4:3; it is the effect of amazing love, and to be ascribed to the sovereignty of God, and the unsearchable riches of his grace; but this seems not to be intended here, though it is a marvellous act, as all the works of God are, as follows; rather, since the word may be rendered, "I am wonderfully separated" (m), it may be interpreted of his being separated in his mother's womb from the rest of the mass and matter of her blood, and formed from thence; which was done in a secret, unknown, and marvellous way and manner;

marvellous are thy works; of creation, providence, sustentation of all creatures, the government of the world, the redemption of mankind, the work of grace and conversion, the perseverance of the saints, and their eternal salvation;

and that my soul knoweth right well: having diligently sought them out, and having such a distinct knowledge of them as to be capable of talking of them, and of showing them to others, and pointing out the wonders, beauties, and excellencies of them; see Psalm 111:2; however, he well and perfectly knew, or knew so much of them that they were very wonderful and amazing: some connect the word rendered "right well", which signifies "greatly", or "exceedingly", not with his knowledge, but with the marvellous works known; and take the sense to be, that he knew them to be greatly or exceedingly wonderful; so R. Moses in Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech.

(l) "confitebor tibi", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus; "confiteor", Tigurine version, Cocceius, Michaelis. (m) "tremendis modis separatus sum", Cocceius; so Gussetius, p. 676, 677.

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

(i) Considering your wonderful work in forming me, I cannot but praise you and fear your mighty power.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. I will praise thee] I will give thanks unto thee.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made] The Ancient Versions represent the second person, thou art fearfully wondrous.

marvellous] Wonderful, the same word as in the preceding clause.Verse 14. - I will praise thee. The note of praise, which has rung through the whole poem in an undertone, is here openly struck. Reflections upon God's wonderful works must overflow into praise; and the phenomena of man's creation and birth are, at least, as calculated to call forth praise and adoration as any other. For I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The wonderfulness of the human mechanism is so great that, if realized, it produces a sensation of fear. It has been said that, if we could see one-half of what is going on within us, we should not dare to move. Marvelous are thy works; i.e. thy doings generally. And that my soul knoweth right well. The extent of the marvelousness I may not be able to comprehend; but at least I know the fact that they are marvelous, That fact I know "right well." The future form אסּק, customary in the Aramaic, may be derived just as well from סלק (סלק), by means of the same mode of assimilation as in יסּב equals יסבּב, as from נסק (נסק), which latter is certainly only insecurely established by Daniel 6:24, להנסקה (cf. להנזקת, Ezra 4:22; הנפּק, Daniel 5:2), since the Nun, as in להנעלה, Daniel 4:3, can also be a compensation for the resolved doubling (vid., Bernstein in the Lexicon Chrestom. Kirschianae, and Levy s.v. נסק). אם with the simple future is followed by cohortatives (vid., on Psalm 73:16) with the equivalent אשּׂא among them: et si stratum facerem (mihi) infernum (accusative of the object as in Isaiah 58:5), etc. In other passages the wings of the sun (Malachi 4:2) and of the wind (Psalm 18:11) are mentioned, here we have the wings of the morning's dawn. Pennae aurorae, Eugubinus observes (1548), est velocissimus aurorae per omnem mundum decursus. It is therefore to be rendered: If I should lift wings (נשׂא כנפים as in Ezekiel 10:16, and frequently) such as the dawn of the morning has, i.e., could I fly with the swiftness with which the dawn of the morning spreads itself over the eastern sky, towards the extreme west and alight there. Heaven and Hades, as being that which is superterrestrial and subterrestrial, and the east and west are set over against one another. אחרית ים is the extreme end of the sea (of the Mediterranean with the "isles of the Gentiles"). In Psalm 139:10 follows the apodosis: nowhere is the hand of God, which governs everything, to be escaped, for dextera Dei ubique est. ואמר (not ואמר, Ezekiel 13:15), "therefore I spake," also has the value of a hypothetical protasis: quodsi dixerim. אך and חשׁך belongs together: merae tenebrae (vid: Psalm 39:6.); but ישׁוּפני is obscure. The signification secured to it of conterere, contundere, in Genesis 3:15; Job 9:17, which is followed by the lxx (Vulgate) καταπατήσει, is inappropriate to darkness. The signification inhiare, which may be deduced as possible from שׁאף, suits relatively better, yet not thoroughly well (why should it not have been יבלעני?). The signification obvelare, however, which one expects to find, and after which the Targum, Symmachus, Jerome, Saadia, and others render it, seems only to be guessed at from the connection, since שׁוּף has not this signification in any other instance, and in favour of it we cannot appeal either to נשׁף - whence נשׁף, which belongs together with נשׁב, נשׁם, and נפשׁ - or to עטף, the root of which is עת (עתה), or to צעף, whence צעיף, which does not signify to cover, veil, but according to Arab. ḍ‛f, to fold, fold together, to double. We must therefore either assign to ישׁוּפני the signification operiat me without being able to prove it, or we must put a verb of this signification in its place, viz., ישׂוּכני (Ewald) or יעוּפני (Bttcher), which latter is the more commendable here, where darkness (חשׁך, synon. עיפה, מעוּף) is the subject: and if I should say, let nothing but darkness cover me, and as night (the predicate placed first, as in Amos 4:13) let the light become about me, i.e., let the light become night that shall surround and cover me (בּעדני, poetic for בּעדי, like תּחתּני in 2 Samuel 22) - the darkness would spread abroad no obscurity (Psalm 105:28) that should extend beyond (מן) Thy piercing eye and remove me from Thee. In the word יאיר, too, the Hiphil signification is not lost: the night would give out light from itself, as if it were the day; for the distinction of day and night has no conditioning influence upon God, who is above and superior to all created things (der Uebercreatrliche), who is light in Himself. The two כ are correlative, as e.g., in 1 Kings 22:4. חשׁיכה (with a superfluous Jod) is an old word, but אורה (cf. Aramaic אורתּא) is a later one.
Links
Psalm 139:14 Interlinear
Psalm 139:14 Parallel Texts


Psalm 139:14 NIV
Psalm 139:14 NLT
Psalm 139:14 ESV
Psalm 139:14 NASB
Psalm 139:14 KJV

Psalm 139:14 Bible Apps
Psalm 139:14 Parallel
Psalm 139:14 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 139:14 Chinese Bible
Psalm 139:14 French Bible
Psalm 139:14 German Bible

Bible Hub






Psalm 139:13
Top of Page
Top of Page