Psalm 31:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 31:20, NIV: In the shelter of your presence you hide them from all human intrigues; you keep them safe in your dwelling from accusing tongues.

Psalm 31:20, ESV: In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues.

Psalm 31:20, KJV: Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.

Psalm 31:20, NASB: You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of mankind; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.

Psalm 31:20, NLT: You hide them in the shelter of your presence, safe from those who conspire against them. You shelter them in your presence, far from accusing tongues.

Psalm 31:20, CSB: You hide them in the protection of your presence; you conceal them in a shelter from human schemes, from quarrelsome tongues.

What does Psalm 31:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Over his lifetime, David was threatened by many enemies (1 Samuel 17:44–45; 19:2; 2 Samuel 15:14). In this psalm, he has reflected on God's repeated rescue (Psalm 31:3–5). That leads him to praise the Lord for acting as a safe place in which David can trust. The imagery is of God acting as a cover, or even as a room where David and other righteous people would be safe from harm. One possible inspiration for this was the Holy of Holies, a sacred room in the tabernacle where God's presence dwelled (Exodus 26:32–34). There, in the Lord's presence, David felt free from the violent language his enemies used against him (Psalm 31:11–14).

God's physical presence is often used as a symbol for His protection. Some Old Testament miracles use dramatic rescue from physical danger to encourage faith in God. Undoubtedly, the Lord was present in the fiery furnace that left Daniel's three friends unharmed (Daniel 3:24–27). The fire merely burned off the ropes that bound them. When their persecutor, King Nebuchadnezzar, peered into the furnace, he cried out that he saw a fourth person in the fire, who appeared to be divine (Daniel 3:25). Likewise, Daniel was safe in the pit filled with hungry lions, because the Lord kept him safe. Daniel declared to the king: "My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me" (Daniel 6:22). The safest place for a believer is the Lord's presence.