New English Translation
91 As for you, the one who lives[b] in the shelter of the Most High,[c]
and resides in the protective shadow[d] of the Sovereign One[e]—
2 I say this about the Lord, my shelter and my stronghold,
my God in whom I trust—
3 he will certainly rescue you from the snare of the hunter[f]
and from the destructive plague.
4 He will shelter you[g] with his wings;[h]
you will find safety under his wings.
His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall.[i]
5 You need not fear the terrors of the night,[j]
the arrow that flies by day,
6 the plague that stalks in the darkness,
or the disease that ravages at noon.[k]
7 Though a thousand may fall beside you,
and a multitude on your right side,
it[l] will not reach you.
8 Certainly you will see it with your very own eyes—
you will see the wicked paid back.[m]
9 For you have taken refuge in the Lord,
my shelter, the Most High.
10 No harm will overtake[n] you;
no illness[o] will come near your home.[p]
11 For he will order his angels[q]
to protect you in all you do.[r]
12 They will lift you up in their hands,
so you will not slip and fall on a stone.[s]
13 You will subdue[t] a lion and a snake;[u]
you will trample underfoot a young lion and a serpent.
14 The Lord says,[v]
“Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him;
I will protect him[w] because he is loyal to me.[x]
15 When he calls out to me, I will answer him.
I will be with him when he is in trouble;
I will rescue him and bring him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with long life,[y]
and will let him see my salvation.”
- Psalm 91:1 sn Psalm 91. In this psalm an individual (perhaps a priest) addresses one who has sought shelter in the Lord and assures him that God will protect him from danger (vv. 1-13). In vv. 14-16 God himself promises to keep his loyal follower safe.
- Psalm 91:1 tn Heb “[O] one who lives.”
- Psalm 91:1 sn The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן ʿelyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Pss 7:17; 9:2; 18:13; 21:7; 47:2.
- Psalm 91:1 sn The Lord is compared here to a bird who protects its young under the shadow of its wings (see v. 4).
- Psalm 91:1 sn The divine name used here is “Shaddai” (שַׁדַּי, shadday; see also Ps 68:14). Shaddai (or El Shaddai) is the Sovereign God of the world who grants life/blesses and kills/judges. In Genesis he blesses the patriarchs with fertility and promises numerous descendants. Outside Genesis he both blesses/protects and takes away life/happiness.
- Psalm 91:3 tn The word refers specifically to a fowler (or hunter of birds).
- Psalm 91:4 tn Heb “put a cover over you” (see Ps 5:11).
- Psalm 91:4 tc The Hebrew text has the singular, but the plural should be read. The final י (yod) of the suffix, which indicates the plural, has dropped off by haplography (note the yod at the beginning of the next word).
- Psalm 91:4 tn Traditionally the Hebrew term סֹחֵרָה (sokherah), which occurs only here in the OT, has been understood to refer to a buckler or small shield (see BDB 695 s.v.). But HALOT 750 s.v., on the basis of evidence from the cognate languages, proposes the meaning “wall.”
- Psalm 91:5 tn This probably alludes to a sneak attack by enemies in the darkness of night (see Song 3:8).
- Psalm 91:6 sn As in Deut 32:23-24, vv. 5-6 closely associate military attack and deadly disease. Perhaps the latter alludes to one of the effects of siege warfare on the population of an entrapped city, which was especially vulnerable to the outbreak of epidemics.
- Psalm 91:7 tn Apparently the deadly disease mentioned in v. 6b is the understood subject here.
- Psalm 91:8 tn Heb “retribution on the wicked.”
- Psalm 91:10 tn Or “confront.”
- Psalm 91:10 tn For this sense of the Hebrew term נגע see Ps 38:11.
- Psalm 91:10 tn Heb “your tent.”
- Psalm 91:11 tn Heb “for his angels he will command concerning you.”
- Psalm 91:11 tn Heb “in all your ways.”
- Psalm 91:12 tn Heb “so your foot will not strike a stone.”
- Psalm 91:13 tn Heb “walk upon.”
- Psalm 91:13 tn Or perhaps “cobra” (see Ps 58:4).
- Psalm 91:14 tn The words “the Lord says” are supplied in the translation to clarify that the words which follow are the Lord’s oracle of assurance.
- Psalm 91:14 tn Or “make him secure” (Heb “set him on high”).
- Psalm 91:14 tn Heb “because he knows my name” (see Ps 9:10).
- Psalm 91:16 tn Heb “length of days.”