Security Under God’s Protection
1You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,*
who abide in the shade of the Almighty,*
2Say to the LORD, “My refuge and fortress,
my God in whom I trust.”a
3He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare,
from the destroying plague,
4He will shelter you with his pinions,
and under his wings you may take refuge;b
his faithfulness is a protecting shield.
5You shall not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,c
6Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness,
nor the plague that ravages at noon.d
7Though a thousand fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
near you it shall not come.
8You need simply watch;
the punishment of the wicked you will see.e
9Because you have the LORD for your refuge
and have made the Most High your stronghold,
10No evil shall befall you,
no affliction come near your tent.f
11*For he commands his angels with regard to you,g
to guard you wherever you go.h
12With their hands they shall support you,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.i
13You can tread upon the asp and the viper,
trample the lion and the dragon.j
14Because he clings to me I will deliver him;
because he knows my name I will set him on high.k
15He will call upon me and I will answer;l
I will be with him in distress;m
I will deliver him and give him honor.
16With length of days I will satisfy him,
and fill him with my saving power.n
* [Psalm 91] A prayer of someone who has taken refuge in the Lord, possibly within the Temple (Ps 91:1–2). The psalmist is confident that God’s presence will protect the people in every dangerous situation (Ps 91:3–13). The final verses are an oracle of salvation promising salvation to those who trust in God (Ps 91:14–16).
* [91:1] The shelter of the Most High: basically “hiding place” but in the Psalms a designation for the protected Temple precincts, cf. Ps 27:5; 31:21; 61:5. The shade of the Almighty: lit., “the shadow of the wings of the Almighty,” cf. Ps 17:8; 36:8; 57:2; 63:8. Ps 91:4 makes clear that the shadow is an image of the safety afforded by the outstretched wings of the cherubim in the holy of holies.
* [91:11–12] The words are cited in Lk 4:10–11; Mt 4:6, as Satan tempts Jesus in the desert.
a. [91:2] Ps 18:3; 31:3–4; 42:10; 142:6; 2 Sm 22:3.
b. [91:4] Ps 17:8; 36:8; 57:2; 63:8; Dt 32:11; Ru 2:12; Mt 23:37.
f. [91:10] Prv 12:21; Dt 7:15.
g. [91:11–12] Mt 4:6; Lk 4:10f.
i. [91:12] Ps 121:3; Prv 3:23.
l. [91:15] Jer 33:3; Zec 13:9.