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Psalm 91:13

ESV You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
NIV You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
NASB You will walk upon the lion and cobra, You will trample the young lion and the serpent.
CSB You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the young lion and the serpent.
NLT You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
KJV Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

What does Psalm 91:13 mean?

This continues the theme of the passage, symbolizing the safety a person has when they are protected by God (Psalm 91:11–12). Neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament imply that God-believers are invincible and immune from all harm, in all ways. On the contrary, life still presents difficulties and dangers (Psalm 3:1–2; 73:2–3; John 16:33). Jesus explicitly refuted poor interpretations of these verses when He resisted Satan's temptation (Matthew 4:5–7). A believer cannot presume God will supernaturally defend him when he is careless or arrogant. A person needs to obey godly wisdom to have a better chance of avoiding catastrophe (Proverbs 1:7; 9:11–12).

There are instances where God has used overt, miraculous protection. Some of those events involve these very dangers. When Jesus addressed seventy-two of His followers who returned from a preaching mission, He referred to this passage. He told them, "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you" (Luke 10:19).

The apostle Paul experienced an extremely literal version of this verse while kindling a fire on the island of Malta. A viper emerged from the fire and attached itself to Paul's hand. However, the viper did not wound or kill Paul; Paul simply shook off the viper and threw it back into the fire (Acts 28:1–6). The Bible describes the Devil as both a lion and a serpent (1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:7–9). Although he is vicious and sly, believers can be victorious over him by humbling themselves before God, by casting all their anxiety on God, by being sober-minded, by staying alert, and by resisting Satan using faith (1 Peter 5:6–9).
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