Psalm 34:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 34:20, NIV: "he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken."

Psalm 34:20, ESV: "He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken."

Psalm 34:20, KJV: "He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken."

Psalm 34:20, NASB: "He protects all his bones, Not one of them is broken."

Psalm 34:20, NLT: "For the LORD protects the bones of the righteous; not one of them is broken!"

Psalm 34:20, CSB: "He protects all his bones; not one of them is broken."

What does Psalm 34:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the prior verse, David explained how God is with the righteous, even when they experience hardship or persecution. Here, he makes a curious comment which is more poetic than literal: that the righteous person's bones will remain unbroken. In a symbolic sense, this is exaggeration for effect, noting how God can thoroughly protect His people. In a prophetic sense, this ties the details of Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross (John 19:33–37) to His role as our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7; Exodus 12:46).

The word "keep" is translated from the Hebrew sō'mēr', which means to "exercise great care over." It is comforting to know God has such deep concern for us. In Bible times a shepherd led his sheep, sometimes even carrying one on his shoulders. The shepherds, to whom angels delivered the news of Jesus' birth, were "keeping watch over their flock by night" (Luke 2:8). Similarly, Jesus the Good Shepherd keeps watch over believers (John 10:14). Like shepherds in Bible times who led their sheep, Jesus goes ahead of us to protect us from harm (John 10:4). The Lord's watchful care of us is so complete that He knows how many hairs are on our head (Matthew 10:30).