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Psalms 139:16

16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all [my] days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.[a]

Psalms 139:16 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 139:16

Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect
The word F17 for "substance" signifies a bottom of yarn wound up, or any rude or unformed lump; and designs that conglomerated mass of matter separated in the womb, containing all the essentials of the human frame, but not yet distinguished or reduced into any form or order; yet, even when in this state, the eyes of the Lord see it and all its parts distinctly;

and in thy book all [my members] were written: [which] in continuance
were fashioned, when [as yet there was] none of them;
in the book of God's eternal mind, and designs, the plan of the human body was drawn, all the parts of it described, and their form, places, and uses fixed, even when as yet not one of them was in actual being; but in due time they are all exactly formed and fashioned according to the model of them in the mind of God; who has as perfect knowledge of them beforehand as if they were written down in a book before him, Or "in thy book are written all [of them], what days they should be fashioned"; not only each of the members of the body were put down in this book, but each of the days in which they should be formed and come into order: "when" as yet there was "none of them"; none of those days, before they took place, even before all time; the Targum is,

``in the book of thy memory all my days are written, in the day the world was created, from the beginning that all creatures were created.''


F17 (ymlg) "informe meum", Montanus; "glomus meam", Michaelis.

Psalms 139:16 In-Context

14 I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know [this] very well.
15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all [my] days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.
17 God, how difficult Your thoughts are for me [to comprehend]; how vast their sum is!
18 If I counted them, they would outnumber the grains of sand; when I wake up, I am still with You.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Ps 69:28; Ex 32:32; Jb 14:5