Psalms 121:4

4 He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

Psalms 121:4 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 121:4

Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor
] He that kept Israel or Jacob, when asleep, and appeared to him in a dream, and promised to keep him in all places, and did; who found his posterity in the wilderness, and kept them as the apple of his eye: he keeps his spiritual Israel, whom he has chosen, redeemed, and calls; and he that is in general their keeper, is the keeper of every particular believer, who may promise themselves the utmost safety under his care; since, though he may sometimes seem to sleep, when he withdraws his gracious presence, defers help, and does not arise so soon to the assistance of his people as they wish for and expect; yet does not in reality sleep, nor is any ways negligent of them; no, not so much as slumber, nor is in the least indifferent about them, and careless of them; see ( Genesis 28:15 ) ( Deuteronomy 32:10 ) ( Psalms 44:23 ) . So Homer F11 represents Jupiter as not held by sleep, while other gods and men slept all night; and hence Milton F12 has the phrase of "the unsleeping eyes of God": but the Phrygians had a notion that their god slept in winter, and was awake in summer F13.


F11 Iliad. 2. v. 1, 2.
F12 Paradise Lost, B. 5. v. 647.
F13 Plutarch. de Iside & Osir. prope finem.

Psalms 121:4 In-Context

2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.