New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Security Under God’s Protection
1 You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High,[b]
who abide in the shade of the Almighty,
2 Say to the Lord, “My refuge and fortress,
my God in whom I trust.”(A)
3 He will rescue you from the fowler’s snare,
from the destroying plague,
4 He will shelter you with his pinions,
and under his wings you may take refuge;(B)
his faithfulness is a protecting shield.
5 You shall not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,(C)
6 Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness,
nor the plague that ravages at noon.(D)
7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
near you it shall not come.
8 You need simply watch;
the punishment of the wicked you will see.(E)
9 Because you have the Lord for your refuge
and have made the Most High your stronghold,
10 No evil shall befall you,
no affliction come near your tent.(F)
11 [c]For he commands his angels with regard to you,(G)
to guard you wherever you go.(H)
12 With their hands they shall support you,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.(I)
13 You can tread upon the asp and the viper,
trample the lion and the dragon.(J)
14 Because he clings to me I will deliver him;
because he knows my name I will set him on high.(K)
15 He 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.
16 With 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.