Psalms 91

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

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Psalms 91 Commentary

Chapter 91

The safety of those who have God for their refuge. (1-8) Their favour with Him. (9-16)

Verses 1-8 He that by faith chooses God for his protector, shall find all in him that he needs or can desire. And those who have found the comfort of making the Lord their refuge, cannot but desire that others may do so. The spiritual life is protected by Divine grace from the temptations of Satan, which are as the snares of the fowler, and from the contagion of sin, which is a noisome pestilence. Great security is promised to believers in the midst of danger. Wisdom shall keep them from being afraid without cause, and faith shall keep them from being unduly afraid. Whatever is done, our heavenly Father's will is done; and we have no reason to fear. God's people shall see, not only God's promises fulfilled, but his threatenings. Then let sinners come unto the Lord upon his mercy-seat, through the Redeemer's name; and encourage others to trust in him also.

Verses 9-16 Whatever happens, nothing shall hurt the believer; though trouble and affliction befal, it shall come, not for his hurt, but for good, though for the present it be not joyous but grievous. Those who rightly know God, will set their love upon him. They by prayer constantly call upon him. His promise is, that he will in due time deliver the believer out of trouble, and in the mean time be with him in trouble. The Lord will manage all his worldly concerns, and preserve his life on earth, so long as it shall be good for him. For encouragement in this he looks unto Jesus. He shall live long enough; till he has done the work he was sent into this world for, and is ready for heaven. Who would wish to live a day longer than God has some work to do, either by him or upon him? A man may die young, yet be satisfied with living. But a wicked man is not satisfied even with long life. At length the believer's conflict ends; he has done for ever with trouble, sin, and temptation.

Cross References 18

  • 1. S Exodus 33:22; Psalms 31:20
  • 2. Psalms 63:7; Isaiah 49:2; Lamentations 4:20; Psalms 17:8
  • 3. ver 9; S 2 Samuel 22:3; Psalms 9:9; Psalms 142:5
  • 4. S 2 Samuel 22:2
  • 5. Psalms 124:7; Proverbs 6:5
  • 6. 1 Kings 8:37
  • 7. S Ruth 2:12; Psalms 17:8
  • 8. S Deuteronomy 32:10; Psalms 35:2; Isaiah 27:3; Isaiah 31:5; Zechariah 12:8
  • 9. S Job 5:21
  • 10. Psalms 37:34; S Psalms 58:10; Malachi 1:5
  • 11. Proverbs 12:21
  • 12. S Genesis 32:1; Hebrews 1:14
  • 13. Psalms 34:7
  • 14. Matthew 4:6*; Luke 4:10-11*
  • 15. Daniel 6:22; Luke 10:19
  • 16. S 1 Samuel 2:30; Psalms 50:15; John 12:26
  • 17. Deuteronomy 6:2; S Psalms 21:4
  • 18. S Psalms 50:23

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 91

Jarchi and others think this psalm was written by Moses {m}, as was the preceding; but the Targum ascribes it to David; as do the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions; and very probably, as is generally thought, was penned by him on occasion of the pestilence which came upon the people, through his numbering of them, 2Sa 24:1. The person all along spoken of, and to, according to the Targum, is Solomon his son; and, according to the title in the Syriac version, King Hezekiah, so Theodoret, who is called the son of David; neither of which are probable. Some think the Messiah is meant; and that the psalm contains promises of protection and safety to him, as man, from diseases, beasts of prey, evil spirits, and wicked men, under the care of angels; and this not because that Satan has applied one of these promises to him, Mt 4:6, but because they seem better to agree with him than with any other: and one part of the title of the psalm, in the Syriac version, runs thus,

``and spiritually it is called the victory of the Messiah, and of everyone that is perfected by him.''

It seems best to understand it of every godly man, who is always safe under the divine protection. The Talmudisis {n} call it Myegp ryv, "a song of the occursions", or "meetings with evil spirits."

Psalms 91 Commentaries