New American Standard Bible
You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
King James Bible
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Darby Bible Translation
Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thy hand upon me.
World English Bible
You hem me in behind and before. You laid your hand on me.
Young's Literal Translation
Behind and before Thou hast besieged me, And Thou dost place on me Thy hand.
Psalm 139:5 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Thou hast beset me behind and before - The word rendered "beset" - צור tsûr - means properly to press; to press upon; to compress. It has reference commonly to the siege of a city, or to the pressing on of troops in war; and then it comes to mean to besiege, hem in, closely surround, so that there is no way of escape. This is the idea here - that God was on every side of him; that he could not escape in any direction. He was like a garrison besieged in a city so that there was no means of escape. There is a transition here (not an unnatural one), from the idea of the Omniscience of God to that of His Omnipresence, and the remarks which follow have a main reference to the latter.
And laid thine hand upon me - That is, If I try to escape in any direction I find thine band laid upon me there. Escape is impossible.
LibrarySeptember the Eighteenth the All-Round Defence
"Thou hast beset me behind." --PSALM cxxxix. 1-12. And that is a defence against the enemies which would attack me in the rear. There is yesterday's sin, and the guilt which is the companion of yesterday's sin. They pursue my soul like fierce hounds, but my gracious Lord will come between my pursuers and me. His mighty grace intervenes, and my security is complete. "Thou hast beset me ... before." And that is a defence against the enemies which would impede my advance and frighten me out of …
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year
God Omnipresent and Omniscient --Ps. cxxxix.
The Love of Christ.
The Kingdom Undivided
"There is no umpire between us, Who may lay his hand upon us both.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the LORD surrounds His people From this time forth and forever.
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