Psalm 138 Domine, probasti

God, all-knowing, all-present

This exceptionally beautiful Psalm in praise of the divine omniscience and omnipresence raises the practical consideration: you must live conscious of always being watched by the all-seeing eye of God; you can hide nothing from him.  You must avoid sin, you must hate sin "with a deadly hatred"―that is the message of this Psalm.

God, the All-Knowing

Dómine, probásti me, et cognovísti me: * tu cognovísti sessiónem meam, et resurrectiónem meam.
2  Intellexísti cogitatiónes meas de longe: * sémitam meam, et funículum meum investigásti.
3  Et omnes vias meas prævidísti: * quia non est sermo in lingua mea.
4  Ecce, Dómine, tu cognovísti ómnia novíssima, et antíqua: * tu formásti me, et posuísti super me manum tuam.
5  Mirábilis facta est sciéntia tua ex me: * confortáta est, et non pótero ad eam.

O Lord, thou hast searched me out, and known me : * thou hast known my down-sitting, and mine uprising.
2  Thou hast understood my thoughts afar off : * thou hast searched out my path and my line.
3  And thou hast foreseen all my ways : * for there is not a word in my tongue.
4  Behold, O Lord, thou hast known all things, the last and those of old : * thou hast formed me, and hast laid thine hand upon me.
5  Thy knowledge is become wonderful for me; * it hath waxed strong, and I cannot attain unto it.

God, the All-Present

6  Quo ibo a spíritu tuo? * et quo a fácie tua fúgiam?
7  Si ascéndero in cælum, tu illic es: * si descéndero in inférnum, ades.
8  Si súmpsero pennas meas dilúculo, * et habitávero in extrémis maris.
9  Etenim illuc manus tua dedúcet me: * et tenébit me déxtera tua.
10  Et dixi: Fórsitan ténebræ conculcábunt me: * et nox illuminátio mea in delíciis meis.
11  Quia ténebræ non obscurabúntur a te, et nox sicut dies illuminábitur: * sicut ténebræ ejus, ita et lumen ejus.
12  Quia tu possedísti renes meos: * suscepísti me de útero matris meæ.

6  Whither shall I go then from thy Spirit? * or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
7  If I climb up into heaven, thou art there; * if I go down to hell, thou art there also.
8  If I take the wings of the morning, * and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
9  Even there also shall thy hand lead me, * and thy right hand shall hold me.
10  If I say, Peradventure the darkness shall cover me; * then shall the night be my light in my pleasures.
11  Yea, the darkness is no darkness with thee, but the night is as clear as the day; * the darkness and light to thee are both alike.
12  For my reins are thine; * thou hast protected me from my mother's womb.

God, Searcher of hearts

13  Confitébor tibi quia terribíliter magnificátus es: * mirabília ópera tua, et ánima mea cognóscit nimis.
14  Non est occultátum os meum a te, quod fecísti in occúlto: * et substántia mea in inferióribus terræ.
15  Imperféctum meum vidérunt óculi tui, et in libro tuo omnes scribéntur: * dies formabúntur, et nemo in eis.
16  Mihi autem nimis honorificáti sunt amíci tui, Deus: * nimis confortátus est principátus eórum.
17  Dinumerábo eos, et super arénam multiplicabúntur: * exsurréxi, et adhuc sum tecum.

13  I will give glory unto thee, for thou art fearfully magnified: * marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
14  My bones are not hid from thee, which thou hast made in secret, * and my substance in the nether parts of the earth.
15  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect, and in thy book shall all be written : * days shall be fashioned, and no one in them.
16  Right honourable are thy friends unto me, O God. * their rule and governance is exceeding stedfast.
17  I will number them, and they shall be more in number than the sand: * I rose up, and am present with thee.

Hate evil, love good

18  Si occíderis, Deus, peccatóres: * viri sánguinum, declináte a me.
19  Quia dícitis in cogitatióne: * Accípient in vanitáte civitátes tuas.
20  Nonne qui odérunt te, Dómine, óderam? * et super inimícos tuos tabescébam?
21  Perfécto ódio óderam illos: * et inimíci facti sunt mihi.
22  Proba me, Deus, et scito cor meum: * intérroga me, et cognósce sémitas meas.
23  Et vide, si via iniquitátis in me est: * et deduc me in via æterna.

18  If thou wilt slay the wicked, O God : * depart from me, ye men of blood.
19  For ye speak in thought : * They shall receive thy cities in vain.
20  Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? * and am not I grieved because of thine enemies?
21  Yea, with a perfect hatred have I hated them right sore; * and they are become enemies unto me.
22  Try me, O God, and know thou my heart; * examine me, and know thou my paths.
23  Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me; * and lead me in the way everlasting.