What does Psalm 139:13 mean?
ESV: For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
NIV: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
NASB: For You created my innermost parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.
CSB: For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
NLT: You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
KJV: For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
NKJV: For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
Verse Commentary:
Scripture credits God with creating children long before they are physically born. David addresses God as having formed his inner being before birth. Job says something similar: "You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews" (Job 10:11).

We know from Genesis 1:27 that we were created in the image of God. This passage also reveals that God wove us together in the womb. We are, therefore, not a product of randomness or nature, but of God's omnipotent handiwork. God crafted each person in his or her mother's womb to be a distinct individual. We owe our existence to Him and not to happenstance.

Because of this, human life both before and after birth is sacred. The unborn child is not simply tissue to be discarded at the mother's discretion. Since every human being is created in the image of God, it is a heinous sin to commit murder, whether by aborting the unborn, killing oneself, or taking someone else's life in an act of rage. Every person, whether male or female, no matter the ethnicity, age, or political persuasion, is someone made in the image of God and known completely by Him. Believers are called upon to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:44); often that begins by first acknowledging their inherent worth as a human knit together by God.
Verse Context:
Psalm 139:13–16 describes God's omnipotence: His attribute of being all-powerful. The psalmist, David, described God's omniscience in verses 1–6 and His omnipresence in verses 7–12. In this section, he links omnipotence to the way God created the writer in his mother's womb.
Chapter Summary:
In this psalm David marvels at God's amazing characteristics. God knows everything about him: where he goes, all David's thoughts and everything about his conduct. The Lord knows what David will say even before David says it. There is no place David can go that God isn't already present. David marvels at God's creative work in the womb. He is thankful for God's innumerable thoughts for him and for God's presence day and night. Finally, David's thoughts turn to the wicked. He considers them God's enemies and his, and longs for God to slay them. David is disgusted by evil people because they rail against God and take His name in vain. He asks God to search his heart to see if any sin is there, and he asks God to lead him in the way everlasting.
Chapter Context:
This psalm of David lies in the fifth division of Psalms, Psalms 107—150. It discloses information about God's omniscience: He knows everything. It explains His omnipresence: that He is everywhere. It declares His omnipotence: He formed every part of human beings. It also describes His holiness: He judges the wicked and searches the heart. These attributes reflect common themes across both the Old and New Testaments.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
Accessed 5/20/2024 12:25:38 PM
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