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Psalms 139:17 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— How precious also are thy thoughts to me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— But how precious are thy thoughts unto me, O *God! how great is the sum of them!
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— To me, then, how precious have thy desires become, O GOD! How numerous, the heads of them!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And to me how precious have been Thy thoughts, O God, how great hath been their sum!
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— But to me thy friends, O God, are made exceedingly honourable: their principality is exceedingly strengthened.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Howe precious also are thy thoughts vnto me, O God: how great is the summe of them?
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— But thy friends, O God, have been greatly honoured by me; their rule has been greatly strengthened.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O El! how great is the sum of them!

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
How x4100
(4100) Complement
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
precious 3365
{3365} Prime
A primitive root; properly apparently to be heavy, that is, (figuratively) valuable; causatively to make rare (figuratively to inhibit).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
also are thy thoughts 7454
{7454} Prime
From H7462; a thought (as association of ideas).
unto me, O “Ėl אֵל! 410
{0410} Prime
Shortened from H0352; strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity).
how x4100
(4100) Complement
A primitive particle; properly interrogitive what? (including how?, why? and when?); but also exclamations like what! (including how!), or indefinitely what (including whatever, and even relatively that which); often used with prefixes in various adverbial or conjugational senses.
great 6105
{6105} Prime
A primitive root; to bind fast, that is, close (the eyes); intransitively to be (causatively make) powerful or numerous; denominatively (from H6106) to craunch the bones.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
is the sum 7218
{7218} Prime
From an unused root apparently meaning to shake; the head (as most easily shaken), whether literally or figuratively (in many applications, of place, time, rank, etc.).
of them!
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Psalms 139:1-24.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 139:17-24

_ _ Here the psalmist makes application of the doctrine of God's omniscience, divers ways.

_ _ I. He acknowledges, with wonder and thankfulness, the care God had taken of him all his days, Psalms 139:17, Psalms 139:18. God, who knew him, thought of him, and his thoughts towards him were thoughts of love, thought of good, and not of evil, Jeremiah 29:11. God's omniscience, which might justly have watched over us to do us hurt, has been employed for us, and has watched over us to do us good, Jeremiah 31:28. God's counsels concerning us and our welfare have been, 1. Precious to admiration: How precious are they! They are deep in themselves, such as cannot possibly be fathomed and comprehended. Providence has had a vast reach in its dispensations concerning us, and has brought things about for our good quite beyond our contrivance and foresight. They are dear to us; we must think of them with a great deal of reverence, and yet with pleasure and thankfulness. Our thoughts concerning God must be delightful to us, above any other thoughts. 2. Numerous to admiration: How great is the sum of them! We cannot conceive how many God's kind counsels have been concerning us, how many good turns he has done us, and what variety of mercies we have received from him. If we would count them, the heads of them, much more the particulars of them, they are more in number than the sand, and yet every one great and very considerable, Psalms 40:5. We cannot conceive the multitude of God's compassions, which are all new every morning. 3. Constant at all times: “When I awake, every morning, I am still with thee, under thy eye and care, safe and easy under thy protection.” This bespeaks also the continual devout sense David had of the eye of God upon him: When I awake I am with thee, in my thoughts; and it would help to keep us in the fear of the Lord all the day long if, when we awake in the morning, our first thoughts were of him and we did then set him before us.

_ _ II. He concludes from this doctrine that ruin will certainly be the end of sinners. God knows all the wickedness of the wicked, and therefore he will reckon for it: “Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God! for all their wickedness is open before thee, however it may be artfully disguised and coloured over, to hide it from the eye of the world. However thou suffer them to prosper for a while, surely thou wilt slay them at last.” Now observe, 1. The reason why God will punish them, because they daringly affront him and set him at defiance (Psalms 139:20): They speak against thee wickedly; they set their mouth against the heavens (Psalms 73:9), and shall be called to account for the hard speeches they have spoken against him, Jude 1:15. They are his enemies, and declare their enmity by taking his name in vain, as we show our contempt of a man if we make a by-word of his name, and never mention him but in a way of jest and banter. Those that profane the sacred forms of swearing or praying by using them in an impertinent irreverent manner take God's name in vain, and thereby show themselves enemies to him. Some make it to be a description of hypocrites: “They speak of thee for mischief; they talk of God, pretending to piety, but it is with some ill design, for a cloak of maliciousness; and, being enemies to God, while they pretend friendship, they take his name in vain; they swear falsely.” 2. The use David makes of this prospect which he has of the ruin of the wicked. (1.) He defies them: “Depart from me, you bloody men; you shall not debauch me, for I will not admit your friendship nor have fellowship with you; and you cannot destroy me, for, being under God's protection, he shall force you to depart from me.” (2.) He detests them (Psalms 139:21, Psalms 139:22): “Lord, thou knowest the heart, and canst witness for me; do not I hate those that hate thee, and for that reason, because they hate thee? I hate them because I love thee, and hate to see such affronts and indignities put upon thy blessed name. Am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee, grieved to see their rebellion and to foresee their ruin, which it will certainly end in?” Note, Sin is hated, and sinners are lamented, by all that fear God. “I hate them” (that is, “I hate the work of them that turn aside,” as he explains himself, Psalms 101:3) “with a sincere and perfect hatred; I count those that are enemies to God as enemies to me, and will not have any intimacy with them,” Psalms 69:8.

_ _ III. He appeals to God concerning his sincerity, Psalms 139:23, Psalms 139:24. 1. He desires that as far as he was in the wrong God would discover it to him. Those that are upright can take comfort in God's omniscience as a witness of their uprightness, and can with a humble confidence beg of him to search and try them, to discover them to themselves (for a good man desires to know the worst of himself) and to discover them to others. He that means honestly could wish he had a window in his breast that any man may look into his heart: “Lord, I hope I am not in a wicked way, but see if there be any wicked way in me, any corrupt inclination remaining; let me see it; and root it out of me, for I do not allow it.” 2. He desires that, as far as he was in the right, he might be forwarded in it, which he that knows the heart knows how to do effectually: Lead me in the way everlasting. Note, (1.) The way of godliness is an everlasting way; it is everlastingly true and good, pleasing to God and profitable to us, and will end in everlasting life. It is the way of antiquity (so some), the good old way. (2.) All the saints desire to be kept and led in this way, that they may not miss it, turn out of it, nor tire in it.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 139:17

Thoughts — Thy counsels on my behalf. Thou didst not only form me at first, but ever since my conception and birth, thy thoughts have been employed for me.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 139:17

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

(m) How should we esteem the excellent declaration of your wisdom in the creation of man?

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, [are] thy wonderful works [which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts [which are] to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: [if] I would declare and speak [of them], they are more than can be numbered.
Proverbs 8:31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights [were] with the sons of men.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. ... For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Ephesians 3:9-10 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: ... To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

how great:

Psalms 31:19 [Oh] how great [is] thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; [which] thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
Psalms 36:7 How excellent [is] thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
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Ps 31:19; 36:7; 40:5. Pv 8:31. Is 55:8. Jr 29:11. Ep 3:9.

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