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Psalms 91:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, Under the shadow of the Almighty, will tarry,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— He who is dwelling In the secret place of the Most High, In the shade of the Mighty lodgeth habitually,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— The praise of a canticle for David. He that dwelleth in the aid of the most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of Jacob.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high: shall abide vnder the shadow of the Almightie.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[Praise of a Song, by David.]] He that dwells in the help of the Highest, shall sojourn under the shelter of the God of heaven.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— He that dwelleth in the secret place of Elyon shall abide under the shadow of Shadday.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
He that dwelleth 3427
{3427} Prime
יָשַׁב
yashab
{yaw-shab'}
A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry.
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
in the secret y5643
[5643] Standard
סֵתֶר
cether
{say'-ther}
From H5641; a cover (in a good or a bad, a literal or a figurative sense).
place x5643
(5643) Complement
סֵתֶר
cether
{say'-ther}
From H5641; a cover (in a good or a bad, a literal or a figurative sense).
of `Elyôn עֶליוֹן 5945
{5945} Prime
עֶלְיוֹן
'elyown
{el-yone'}
From H5927; an elevation, that is, (adjectively) lofty (comparatively); as title, the Supreme.
shall abide 3885
{3885} Prime
לוּן
luwn
{loon}
A primitive root; to stop (usually over night); by implication to stay permanently; hence (in a bad sense) to be obstinate (especially in words, to complain).
z8698
<8698> Grammar
Stem - Hithpalpel (See H8821)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 12
under the shadow 6738
{6738} Prime
צֵל
tsel
{tsale}
From H6751; shade, whether literally or figuratively.
of Šadday שַׁדַּי. 7706
{7706} Prime
שַׁדַּי
Shadday
{shad-dah'-ee}
From H7703; the Almighty.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 91:1

_ _ Psalms 91:1-16. David is the most probable author; and the pestilence, mentioned in 2 Samuel 24:13-15, the most probable of any special occasion to which the Psalm may refer. The changes of person allowable in poetry are here frequently made.

_ _ dwelleth in the secret place — (Psalms 27:5; Psalms 31:20) denotes nearness to God. Such as do so abide or lodge secure from assaults, and can well use the terms of trust in Psalms 91:2.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 91:1-8

_ _ In these verses we have,

_ _ I. A great truth laid down in general, That all those who live a life of communion with God are constantly safe under his protection, and may therefore preserve a holy serenity and security of mind at all times (Psalms 91:1): He that dwells, that sits down, in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty; he that by faith chooses God for his guardian shall find all that in him which he needs or can desire. Note, 1. It is the character of a true believer that he dwells in the secret place of the Most High; he is at home in God, returns to God, and reposes in him as his rest; he acquaints himself with inward religion, and makes heart-work of the service of God, worships within the veil, and loves to be alone with God, to converse with him in solitude. 2. It is the privilege and comfort of those that do so that they abide under the shadow of the Almighty; he shelters them, and comes between them and every thing that would annoy them, whether storm or sunshine. They shall not only have an admittance, but a residence, under God's protection; he will be their rest and refuge for ever.

_ _ II. The psalmist's comfortable application of this to himself (Psalms 91:2): I will say of the Lord, whatever others say of him, “He is my refuge; I choose him as such, and confide in him. Others make idols their refuge, but I will say of Jehovah, the true and living God, He is my refuge: any other is a refuge of lies. He is a refuge that will not fail me; for he is my fortress and strong-hold.” Idolaters called their idols Mahuzzim, their most strong-hold (Daniel 11:39), but therein they deceived themselves; those only secure themselves that make the Lord their God, their fortress. There being no reason to question his sufficiency, fitly does it follow, In him will I trust. If Jehovah be our God, our refuge, and our fortress, what can we desire which we may not be sure to find in him? He is neither fickle nor false, neither weak nor mortal; he is God and not man, and therefore there is no danger of being disappointed in him. We know whom we have trusted.

_ _ III. The great encouragement he gives to others to do likewise, not only from his own experience of the comfort of it (for in that there might possibly be a fallacy), but from the truth of God's promise, in which there neither is nor can be any deceit (Psalms 91:3, Psalms 91:4, etc.): Surely he shall deliver thee. Those who have themselves found the comfort of making God their refuge cannot but desire that others may do so. Now here it is promised,

_ _ 1. That believers shall be kept from those mischiefs which they are in imminent danger of, and which would be fatal to them (Psalms 91:3), from the snare of the fowler, which is laid unseen and catches the unwary prey on a sudden, and from the noisome pestilence, which seizes men unawares and against which there is no guard. This promise protects, (1.) The natural life, and is often fulfilled in our preservation from those dangers which are very threatening and very near, while yet we ourselves are not apprehensive of them, any more than the bird is of the snare of the fowler. We owe it, more than we are sensible, to the care of the divine Providence that we have been kept from infectious diseases and out of the hands of the wicked and unreasonable. (2.) The spiritual life, which is protected by divine grace from the temptations of Satan, which are as the snares of the fowler, and from the contagion of sin, which is the noisome pestilence. He that has given grace to be the glory of the soul will create a defence upon all that glory.

_ _ 2. That God himself will be their protector; those must needs be safe who have him for their keeper, and successful for whom he undertakes (Psalms 91:4): He shall cover thee, shall keep thee secret (Psalms 31:20), and so keep thee safe, Psalms 27:5. God protects believers, (1.) With the greatest tenderness and affection, which is intimated in that, He shall cover thee with his feathers, under his wings, which alludes to the hen gathering her chickens under wings, Matthew 23:37. By natural instinct she not only protects them, but calls them under that protection when she sees them in danger, not only keeps them safe, but cherishes them and keeps them warm. To this the great God is pleased to compare his care of his people, who are helpless as the chickens, and easily made a prey of, but are invited to trust under the shadow of the wings of the divine promise and providence, which is the periphrasis of a proselyte to the true religion, that he has come to trust under the wings of the God of Israel, Ruth 2:12. (2.) With the greatest power and efficacy. Wings and feathers, though spread with the greatest tenderness, are yet weak, and easily broken through, and therefore it is added, His truth shall be thy shield and buckler, a strong defence. God is willing to guard his people as the hen is to guard the chickens, and as able as a man of war in armour.

_ _ 3. That he will not only keep them from evil, but from the fear of evil, Psalms 91:5, Psalms 91:6. Here is, (1.) Great danger supposed; the mention of it is enough to frighten us; night and day we lie exposed, and those that are apt to be timorous will in neither period think themselves safe. When we are retired into our chambers, our beds, and have made all as safe as we can about us, yet there is terror by night, from thieves and robbers, winds and storms, besides those things that are the creatures of fancy and imagination, which are often most frightful of all. We read of fear in the night, Song of Songs 3:8. There is also a pestilence that walketh in darkness, as that was which slew the first-born of the Egyptians, and the army of the Assyrians. No locks nor bars can shut out diseases, while we carry about with us in our bodies the seeds of them. But surely in the day-time, when we can look about us, we are not so much in danger; yes, there is an arrow that flieth by day too, and yet flies unseen; there is a destruction that wasteth at high-noon, when we are awake and have all our friends about us; even then we cannot secure ourselves, nor can they secure us. It was in the day-time that that pestilence wasted which was sent to chastise David for numbering the people, on occasion of which some think this psalm was penned. But, (2.) Here is great security promised to believers in the midst of this danger: “Thou shalt not be afraid. God by his grace will keep thee from disquieting distrustful fear (that fear which hath torment) in the midst of the greatest dangers. Wisdom shall keep thee from being causelessly afraid, and faith shall keep thee from being inordinately afraid. Thou shalt not be afraid of the arrow, as knowing that though it may hit thee it cannot hurt thee; if it take away the natural life, yet it shall be so far from doing any prejudice to the spiritual life that it shall be its perfection.” A believer needs not fear, and therefore should not fear, any arrow, because the point is off, the poison is out. O death! where is thy sting? It is also under divine direction, and will hit where God appoints and not otherwise. Every bullet has its commission. Whatever is done our heavenly Father's will is done; and we have no reason to be afraid of that.

_ _ 4. That they shall be preserved in common calamities, in a distinguishing way (Psalms 91:7): “When death rides in triumph, and diseases rage, so that thousands and ten thousands fall, fall by sickness, or fall by the sword in battle, fall at thy side, at thy right hand, and the sight of their fall is enough to frighten thee, and if they fall by the pestilence their falling so near thee may be likely to infect thee, yet it shall not come nigh thee, the death shall not, the fear of death shall not.” Those that preserve their purity in times of general corruption may trust God with their safety in times of general desolation. When multitudes die round about us, though thereby we must be awakened to prepare for our own death, yet we must not be afraid with any amazement, nor make ourselves subject to bondage, as many do all their life-time, through fear of death, Hebrews 2:15. The sprinkling of blood secured the first-born of Israel when thousands fell. Nay, it is promised to God's people that they shall have the satisfaction of seeing, not only God's promises fulfilled to them, but his threatenings fulfilled upon those that hate them (Psalms 91:8): Only with thy eyes shalt thou behold and see the just reward of the wicked, which perhaps refers to the destruction of the first-born of Egypt by the pestilence, which was both the punishment of the oppressors and the enlargement of the oppressed; this Israel saw when they saw themselves unhurt, untouched. As it will aggravate the damnation of sinners that with their eyes they shall behold and see the reward of the righteous (Luke 13:28), so it will magnify the salvation of the saints that with their eyes they shall behold and see the destruction of the wicked, Isaiah 66:24; Psalms 58:10.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Psalms 91:1

He — He that makes God his habitation and refuge.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 91:1

He that dwelleth in the (a) secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

(a) He who makes God his defence and trust will perceive his protection to be a most sure safeguard.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
(Title), This Psalm is supposed by some to have been composed by Moses on the same occasion as the preceding; but others think it was written by David, after his advice to his son Solomon.
1 Chronicles 28:1-21 And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem. ... And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, [even they shall be with thee] for all the service of the house of God: and [there shall be] with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people [will be] wholly at thy commandment.

dwelleth:

Psalms 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
Psalms 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
Psalms 32:7 Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psalms 52:8 But I [am] like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
Psalms 61:3-4 For thou hast been a shelter for me, [and] a strong tower from the enemy. ... I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
Psalms 90:1 [[A Prayer of Moses the man of God.]] Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Ezekiel 11:16 Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.
Hosea 14:5-6 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. ... His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon.
1 John 4:15-16 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. ... And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

abide:
Heb. lodge,
Psalms 25:13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.
*marg.

under:

Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
Psalms 36:7 How excellent [is] thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
Psalms 57:1 [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast.
Judges 9:15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, [then] come [and] put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.
Song of Songs 2:3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so [is] my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit [was] sweet to my taste.
Isaiah 4:5-6 And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory [shall be] a defence. ... And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.
Lamentations 4:20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of the LORD, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the heathen.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Jg 9:15. 1Ch 28:1. Ps 17:8; 25:13; 27:5; 31:20; 32:7; 36:7; 52:8; 57:1; 61:3; 90:1. So 2:3. Is 4:5; 8:14. Lm 4:20. Ezk 11:16. Ho 14:5. 1Jn 4:15.

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