Psalm 139:5

ESV You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
NIV You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
NASB You have encircled me behind and in front, And placed Your hand upon me.
CSB You have encircled me; you have placed your hand on me.
NLT You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
KJV Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

What does Psalm 139:5 mean?

David relates his confidence that God "hems him in." This idea comes from the Hebrew word tsuwr, which is often used of a military siege or fortification. A closely-related term is used in reference to ideas such as rocks or strength. In this context, it's meant to suggest guarding a valuable object. This statement attests to the Lord's protection of His people.

The fact that God's hand was on David adds further evidence of the Lord's protection of His people. Although His hand brings judgment to the wicked, it brings grace and comfort to the righteous. He guards us on all sides. We may feel weak at times, but the Lord is always with us to keep us and strengthen us. Isaiah 40:28–31 points out that He does not faint or grow weary, but gives power to the faint and increases strength to those who are exhausted. Whoever waits on the Lord shall receive renewed strength and energy. Jesus promised that He and His Father keep us safe in their hands (John 10:28–29).
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