Psalm 34:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 34:5, NIV: "Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame."

Psalm 34:5, ESV: "Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed."

Psalm 34:5, KJV: "They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed."

Psalm 34:5, NASB: "They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces will never be ashamed."

Psalm 34:5, NLT: "Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces."

Psalm 34:5, CSB: "Those who look to him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed."

What does Psalm 34:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Those who seek the Lord in prayer are described as "radiant." The root word in Hebrew is nahar, which indicates cheerfulness; another possible English translation is "beaming." The same word is found in Isaiah 60:5, used to describe Israel's joy at seeing her sons and daughters returning to the homeland.

There is no reason to be downcast if we look to the Lord in prayer. In Psalm 42:3 the psalmist describes his depression. He says, "My tears have been my food day and night," and he describes his soul as "cast down" (Psalm 42:5, 6, 11), but then he decides to talk to God and place his hope in Him. The result is praise instead of pity (Psalm 42:11).

David adds in Psalm 34:5 that those who look to the Lord will have faces that "shall never be ashamed." This expression means their faces will never blush. If we take our eyes of the Lord we may commit an embarrassing sin, but if we keep our eyes on the Lord, we will never be defined by our shame (1 Peter 2:6; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11).