Psalm 91

1 He who dwells 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 I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.

4 He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

6 Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.

8 Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,

10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;

11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.

12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.

13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has 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 honor him.

16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

Several of my commentaries claim this Psalm is simply promises of God to those who believe. Others believe it is Messianic. It has been attributed to Moses, David, and Solomon.

Here’s Wechsler on the traditional view.

The source of one’s security is found, ultimately, not in one’s circumstances or personal ability, but in God—to whom we are to take recourse not only in sporadic times of distress or need, but continually, as indicated by the opening reference to “He who dwells …” i.e., who sees himself, whether awake or asleep as being in the Lord, and hence protected by Him from any lasting harm, whether physical (i.e., the second death; Revelation 20:14) or spiritual (i.e., condemnation, corresponding to Paul’s qualification of those who are “in Christ” in Romans 8:1ff). — Wechsler, page 221.


The intimacy of being “in” God is poignantly emphasized by His reference to being with him (i.e., with the individual believer) in their trouble—which promise is epitomized by Jesus, who not only partook in the sufferings common to humanity (see Hebrews 2:14-18), but continues to partake of suffering along with each individual in whom His spirit dwells (cf. John 16:7; 1 Corinthians 6:17; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 4:13). — Wechsler, page 223.

I lean toward the Messianic view , especially since Satan certainly understood it to be a reference to Christ when he quoted it in Matthew 4.

1 Faith and dependence—The Messiah speaks (vs. 1-2)
2 Hope and deliverance—The Spirit speaks (vs. 3-13)
3 Victory and happiness forever—Jehovah speaks (vs.14-16)

In the last three verses, God the Father is the speaker. He responds to the love and devotion of the Messiah, His Son, our Savior, with eight wonderful promises. They are as follows:
1. I will deliver Him.
2. I will set Him on high.
3. I will answer Him.
4. I will be with Him in trouble.
5. I will deliver Him.
6. And honor Him.
7. With long life will I satisfy Him.
8. And will show Him My salvation.

These promises bring to Him the resurrection and enthronement after His atonement for fallen man. The whole Psalm breathes the presence of the Spirit of the Messiah. Verses 11 and 12 were quoted by Satan in Matthew 4:6 and applied to Christ, the Messiah. — Phillips, pages 198-199.

Williams agrees, but with a slightly different outline.

The previous Psalm having introduced the Wilderness, and contrasted the misery and happiness of travelers in it who trust self or God, this Psalm points to the one Man Who passed through it undefiled, unhurt, and trusting and living God in perfection. To Him the Holy Spirit speaks in verses 1, 3-8 and 10-13; of Him God speaks in verses 14-16; to the Holy Spirit the Messiah responds in verse 2; and to God He declares His trust in verse 9. Thus in the Psalm, Christ is the object of the Father’s love and the Spirit’s ministry. — Williams, page 371.


Satan when quoting verses 11 and 12—and his quoting them showed his intelligence in recognizing that the Psalm applied to Jesus—left out the words “To keep Thee in all Thy ways” and put in the words “At any time.” Thus he corrupts the Scripture. — Williams, page 371.

buckler (v.4) — lit. “to go around” apparently referring to the way a shield surrounds and protects a soldier.

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