What does Psalm 91:11 mean?
ESV: For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
NIV: For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
NASB: For He will give His angels orders concerning you, To protect you in all your ways.
CSB: For he will give his angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways.
NLT: For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
KJV: For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
NKJV: For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.
Verse Commentary:
Every verse of Scripture needs to be understood in a proper context; God's words are not meant to be cut apart and used like talismans or magical spells. In this passage, the psalmist has celebrated the Lord's incredible ability to protect His people (Psalm 91:1–10). This is a part of God's ability, but it does not mean God absolutely guarantees the health and safety of anyone who demands it. In contrast, even the psalms present the reality of life's dangers (Psalm 3:1–2; 73:2–3).

Satan attempted to twist these very words when tempting Christ (Matthew 4:5–6). His implication was that the words written here could be applied as a demand to God: that Jesus could jump off a building and God would be obliged to keep Him from harm. Jesus rejected that interpretation (Matthew 4:7), in part by pointing out other important parts of God's Word (Deuteronomy 6:16).

Though Jesus rejected the Devil's improper use of these words, they do have some messianic implications. Often, during His earthly ministry, enemies tried to kill Jesus but could not, because it was not time for Him to die (John 7:30; 10:39). When the time came, He voluntarily laid down His life on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4), though He could have summoned thousands of angels to rescue Him (Matthew 26:53).

Angelic servants are one of the ways in which God acts in the world (Genesis 19:1, 13; 2 Kings 19:35). Hebrews 1:14 teaches that angels are "ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation." No doubt, believers are not fully aware of the ministry of angels on their behalf, but it's possible that God allows them to intervene on our behalf.
Verse Context:
Psalm 91:5–13 points out that those who trust in the Lord have nothing to fear because the Lord watches over them. This continues the theme introduced in the prior passage. This segment is notable in that it was cited by the Devil when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:5–6). Jesus responded to Satan's attempt at twisting Scripture with additional Scripture and a better perspective (Matthew 4:7). Trust in God's sovereignty and goodness does not mean an absolute expectation of safety.
Chapter Summary:
The psalmist expresses his trust that God is a source of safety. He uses various dangers as symbols of the terrors which God's people do not need to fear. When God has resolved to protect someone, nothing can overcome that safety. Jesus refuted inappropriate use of this promise when being tempted by Satan (Matthew 4:5–7). Those who love God, and honor Him, can count on His provision and protection, and know that nothing happens without His approval.
Chapter Context:
This psalm includes similar phrases to psalms 90 and 92. The theme of this song is trust in God, a common theme in Scripture. Notable parallels can be found in 2 Samuel 22:31, Psalms 9, 37, 40, 84, and 118, Proverbs 3:5–6, Proverbs 14:26, Isaiah 26:3, Nahum 1:7, John 14:1–6, and Hebrews 11. In Psalm 91 the writer reveals what the Lord does for those who trust in Him. Verses 11 and 12 were cited by Satan when tempting Jesus in Matthew 4:5–6.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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