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Psalm 5:12

ESV For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.
NIV Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
NASB For You bless the righteous person, Lord, You surround him with favor as with a shield.
CSB For you, Lord, bless the righteous one; you surround him with favor like a shield.
NLT For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.
KJV For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

What does Psalm 5:12 mean?

David closes Psalm 5 with a prayer for the Lord to bless the righteous; that is, to make the righteous happy or spiritually prosperous. The righteous may not be financially prosperous, but they can be spiritually prosperous and happy. Scripture is clear that a godly life is not always (or often) easy, wealthy, or free from pain (John 16:33). Yet those who trust in God know that they can rest in Him, and experience joy and peace, despite those hard times (Psalm 5:11; Romans 5:3–11; Philippians 4:4–9; James 1:2–4; 1 Peter 1:6–9).

This verse also asks the Lord to cover the righteous person "with favor as with a shield." The word for "shield" in this verse does not refer to the small, round shield mentioned in Psalm 3:3. The word here is tsin'nāh, which refers to a "standing shield"—a massive barrier, like a door, which covered a soldier's entire body. God's favor is not small but large. His protection is sufficient to keep believers safe at all times, and according to His will.

Psalm 84:11 affirms what David wrote in Psalm 5:12. It promises, "The LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly." The apostle John offered a verse that alleviates our fears when the Devil hurls his fiery darts at us. John wrote: "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).
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