John Wesley's Explanatory Notes
on the Whole Bible
- This psalm is, by many of the Jewish doctors, esteemed the most excellent in the whole book. The omniscience of God is here asserted, verse 1-6.
- Proved by two arguments; That he is every where present, verse 7-12.
- And that he made us, verse 13-16.
- This may fill us with pleasing admiration of God, verse 17, 18.
- With an holy hatred of sin, verse 19-22.
- And with an holy satisfaction in our own integrity, verse 23, 24.
- To the chief musician, A psalm of David.
Afar off - Thou knowest what my thoughts will be in such and such circumstances, long before I know it, yea from all eternity.
Compassest - Thou discernest every step I take. It is a metaphor from soldiers besieging their enemies, and setting watches round about them.
Beset me - With thy all-seeing providence. And laid - Thou keepest me, as it were with a strong hand, in thy sight and under thy power.
I cannot - Apprehend in what manner thou dost so presently know all things.
Hell - If I could hide myself in the lowest parts of the earth.
The wings - If I should flee from east to west: for the sea being the western border of Canaan, is often put for the west in scripture. And wings are poetically ascribed to the morning here, as they are elsewhere to the sun, and to the winds.
Imperfect - When I was first conceived. Book - In thy counsel and providence, by which thou didst contrive and effect this great work, according to that model which thou hadst appointed.
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.
Them - Thy wonderful counsels and works on my behalf come constantly into my mind.
Perfect hatred - See the difference between the Jewish and the Christian spirit!