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Psalm chapter 91

New International Version

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, 'The LORD is my refuge,' and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 Because he loves me,' says the LORD, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.'
English Standard Version

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot. 14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. 15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
King James Version

1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. 5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9 Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; 10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. 11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
New American Standard Bible

1 One who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!' 3 For it is He who rescues you from the net of the trapper And from the deadly plague. 4 He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may take refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and wall. 5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day; 6 Of the plague that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that devastates at noon. 7 A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you. 8 You will only look on with your eyes And see the retaliation against the wicked. 9 For you have made the LORD, my refuge, The Most High, your dwelling place. 10 No evil will happen to you, Nor will any plague come near your tent. 11 For He will give His angels orders concerning you, To protect you in all your ways. 12 On their hands they will lift you up, So that you do not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will walk upon the lion and cobra, You will trample the young lion and the serpent. 14 'Because he has loved Me, I will save him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 15 He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 I will satisfy him with a long life, And show him My salvation.'
New Living Translation

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. 4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. 7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. 8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, 10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. 11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. 12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won't even hurt your foot on a stone. 13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The LORD says, 'I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. 15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. 16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.'
Christian Standard Bible

1 The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say concerning the LORD, who is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust: 3 He himself will rescue you from the bird trap, from the destructive plague. 4 He will cover you with his feathers; you will take refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield. 5 You will not fear the terror of the night, the arrow that flies by day, 6 the plague that stalks in darkness, or the pestilence that ravages at noon. 7 Though a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, the pestilence will not reach you.
8 You will only see it with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked. 9 Because you have made the LORD--my refuge, the Most High--your dwelling place, 10 no harm will come to you; no plague will come near your tent. 11 For he will give his angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways. 12 They will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the young lion and the serpent. 14 Because he has his heart set on me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he knows my name. 15 When he calls out to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor. 16 I will satisfy him with a long life and show him my salvation.

What does Psalm chapter 91 mean?

We cannot be sure who wrote this psalm, but its author was well acquainted with the importance and benefits of trusting in the Lord. The writer testifies that God is his refuge and fortress, using words that imply places of safety and security (Psalm 91:1–2).

Various dangers are used to symbolize the ways in which God can protect His people. These vary from natural disasters, to animals, diseases, and enemies, whether those come at night or during the day. A key symbol here is that of entrapment, a common tool used by Satan (Psalm 91:3–8).

While absolute safety is not guaranteed in this life (Psalm 3:1–2), those who honor God by obeying His wisdom are not subject to unnecessary dangers. To "dwell" with the Lord implies consistency and faithfulness (Psalm 91:9–10).

Satan attempted to use part of this psalm against Jesus during a temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5–7). Angels are part of God's way to influence the world. He has the power to protect His people, though we are not given the right to demand invincibility. God can, and will, keep a believer from all forms of harm if it's part of His plan (Luke 10:19; Acts 28:1–6). He will not allow a believer to "force" God to overcome their own arrogance or ignorance (Psalm 91:11–13).

The psalm ends with a shift from the psalmist's voice to the perspective of God. This again echoes the ideas of safety, in the context of someone who "holds fast" to the Lord (Psalm 91:14–16).