Psalms 91:5

5 1You will not fear 2the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,

Psalms 91:5 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 91:5

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night
The terrible things that happen in the night; as fire, storms and tempests, invasion of enemies, murders, thefts, and, robberies: a good man, when he has committed himself and his family to the care and protection of God by prayer, has no reason to be anxiously careful of these things, or to indulge a slavish fear about them; see ( Psalms 3:5 ) ( 4:8 ) ( Proverbs 3:24 Proverbs 3:25 ) , the Targum is,

``thou shall not be afraid for the fear of devils that walk in the night:''

so Jarchi interprets this, and the next verse, of such; as do others of the Jewish writers: a man that trusts in the Lord need not be afraid of men or devils: a fear of evil spirits is natural to men, and very early appeared; perhaps it took its rise from the fatal affair of the fall of our first parents, through an intercourse with an evil spirit; and ever since has been imprinted on human nature an aversion to evil spirits, and a dread of them, and even of all spirits in general; see ( Job 4:13-16 ) ( Matthew 14:25 Matthew 14:26 ) ( Luke 24:37 Luke 24:38 ) ,

nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
the judgments of God, such as the sword, famine, and pestilence; these are called the arrows of God, ( Deuteronomy 32:23 Deuteronomy 32:24 Deuteronomy 32:42 ) ( Ezekiel 5:16 ) F17, because they move swiftly, come suddenly, and strike surely, and are open and visible; they are sent by the Lord, and are ordered and directed by him, and hit and hurt whom he pleases, and none else; and therefore such who dwell in the secret of the Lord, and under his shadow, need not be distressed about them: the Targum interprets it of the arrow of the angel of death, which he sends out in the day; see ( Hebrews 2:14 ) , so Jarchi understands it of a demon that flies like an arrow.


F17 (ecepeukev belouv----khla yeoio) , Homer. Iliad. 1. v. 51, 53.

Psalms 91:5 In-Context

3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Proverbs 3:23; Isaiah 43:1; See Job 5:19-23
  • 2. Song of Songs 3:8
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.