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Psalm 139


[Recommended tunes: v 1-6 St Anne, St Andrew; v 7-16 Ayrshire, St Flavian; 
v 17-24 Huddersfield, St James]


To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.


1O Lord, thou hast me search'd and known.

2Thou know'st my sitting down,

And rising up; yea, all my thoughts

afar to thee are known.

3My footsteps, and my lying down,

thou compassest always;

Thou also most entirely art

acquaint with all my ways.


4For in my tongue, before I speak,

not any word can be,

But altogether, lo, O Lord,

it is well known to thee.

5Behind, before, thou hast beset,

and laid on me thine hand.

6Such knowledge is too strange for me,

too high to understand.


7From thy Sp'rit whither shall I go?

or from thy presence fly?

8Ascend I heav'n, lo, thou art there;

there, if in hell I lie.

9Take I the morning wings, and dwell

in utmost parts of sea;

10Ev'n there, Lord, shall thy hand me lead,

thy right hand hold shall me.


11If I do say that darkness shall

me cover from thy sight,

Then surely shall the very night

about me be as light.

12Yea, darkness hideth not from thee,

but night doth shine as day:

To thee the darkness and the light

are both alike alway.


13For thou possessed hast my reins,

and thou hast cover'd me,

When I within my mother's womb

inclosed was by thee.

14Thee will I praise; for fearfully

and strangely made I am;

Thy works are marv'llous, and right well

my soul doth know the same.


15My substance was not hid from thee,

when as in secret I

Was made; and in earth's lowest parts

was wrought most curiously.

16Thine eyes my substance did behold,

yet being unperfect;

And in the volume of thy book

my members all were writ;


Which after in continuance

were fashion'd ev'ry one,

When as they yet all shapeless were,

and of them there was none.

17How precious also are thy thoughts,

O gracious God, to me!

And in their sum how passing great

and numberless they be!


18If I should count them, than the sand

they more in number be:

What time soever I awake,

I ever am with thee.

19Thou, Lord, wilt sure the wicked slay:

hence from me bloody men.

20Thy foes against thee loudly speak,

and take thy name in vain.


21Do not I hate all those, O Lord,

that hatred bear to thee?

With those that up against thee rise

can I but grieved be?

22With perfect hatred them I hate,

my foes I them do hold.

23Search me, O God, and know my heart,

try me, my thoughts unfold:


24And see if any wicked way

there be at all in me;

And in thine everlasting way

to me a leader be.



The Psalms in Metre