Psalm 91


commentary, sermon aids and bible versions


Psalm 91 is commonly known as the "Psalm of Protection", and is one of the most popular psalms in the scriptures. It is used by the Jewish faith on the Shabbat (their day of rest), and is recited before bed and at Jewish burial services. In the Christian faith, the psalm is used at Compline (Christian prayers and meditation at the end of the day) and also at the first Sunday of Lent. In Luke 4:9-11, Satan quotes Psalm 91:11-12, tempting Jesus to test God. Lent is a period forty days of Christian abstence and prayer, in preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. Hence the psalm is an appropriate scripture reading, as Lent mirrors the forty day period of the fasting of Jesus in the desert.

Psalm 91 Summary

The psalm is famous for comparing the love and protection of the Lord to several beautiful images - God is a 'shelter' and we live in his 'shadow' (v.1), the Lord is a 'fortress' and a 'refuge' (v.2) and God covers us with his 'feathers' and 'wings' (v.4). There are three people speaking in the psalm:-

1. The priest - (most of verses 1-13) who recalls the faithfulness of God in the presence of danger.

2. The people - (verses 2 and 9a) who worship God as one who can be trusted.

3. God himself in verses 14 to 16, who promises to keep safe those who trust in him.

Psalm 91 Commentary

The majority of this site is devoted to the commentary and analysis of Psalm 91. The commentary by John Calvin is devided into four sections: Psalm 91:1-4, 91:5-8, 91:9-12 and 91:13-16. Calvin asks why is it that so few Christians actually intrust their safety with the Almighty. Hence Psalm 91 is worth meditation and study to learn about the security and protection found in God. Matthew Henry also expounds upon the divine protection of the Lord, and divides the Psalm into two sections, the first part from Ps 91 v 1 - 8, and second from v 9 - 16. There is also an exegesis on Psalm 91 by Alexander Maclaren, who foucuses on four themes found within the text: the sheltering wing of the Almightly (verse 4), the Habitation of the Soul (verse 9-10), the outcome of trusting in God (verses 14), and an exegesis on 'What God Will Do For Us" (verse 15-16). The commentary section also features some bible notes on the scripture by John Welsey, and a sermon on Psalm 91 by Charles Spurgeon, divided in to two parts.

Psalm 91


(click on the highlighted text for relevant commentaries)


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.


psalm 91 from the King James (Authorized) Version of the scriptures.


Psalm 91 Bible Versions

There's also a number of bible versions of Psalm 91 worth reading and comparing. There's a modern version (from "The Message"), which is useful for young people or older children studying Psalm 91. For a more traditional approach, try reading the KJV - King James version. There's also the scripture from the American Standard Version which can be read and meditated on as a prayer to God. In this section you'll also find catholic and latin versions of the psalm, the text from the Young's Literal Translation, and the words of the Psalm from the Webster's version. One of the most famous lines from this scripture (psalm 91 verse 11) is presented in six different bible versions - from the NIV, GNT, Message, NLT, KJV and the Websters bible! If you are in need of teaching resources for sunday school classes, then there is also a page to links on children's craft and art activities for psalm 91, as well as a video and a child friendly version of the psalm from the Bible in Basic English. Psalm 91 is often used as a soldiers prayer of protection before entering armed conflict, and a version is presented here from the World English Bible.




Psalm 91 Home page

Psalm 91 Commentary

Commentary by John Calvin

Psalm 91: 1-4 Commentary Psalm 91: 5-8 Commentary Psalm 91: 9-12 Commentary Psalm 91: 13-16 Commentary
Commentary by Matthew Henry Psalm 91 Commentary Part 1 Psalm 91 Commentary Part 2
Exegesis on Psalm 91 by Alexander Maclaren Psalm 91:4 - The Sheltering Wing Psalm 91:9-10 - The meaning of this verse Psalm 91:14 - Commentary on trusting in God Psalm 91:15-16 - Exegesis on 'What God Will Do For Us'

Bible Notes & Sermons
Bible Notes by John Wesley on Psalm 91
Sermon on Psalm 91 by Charles Spurgeon (Part One)
Sermon on Psalm 91 by Charles Spurgeon (Part Two)

Bible Versions Psalm 91 modern The words to psalm 91 from the "Message" Bible
Psalm 91 words The words from Webster's Bible
Psalm 91 text The words from Young's Literal Translation
Psalm 91 King James version The traditional words from the Authorized Bible
Psalm 91 Scripture
American Standard Version
The words from the ASV
Psalm 91 in Latin The words from the Roman Catholic Vulgate

Psalm 91 Catholic Version From the Catholic Public Domain Version

Psalm 91 11 Versions Comparing the NIV, GNT, KJV, Message & NLT

Soldiers PrayerPsalm 91 as a prayer for protection
Psalm 91 for children Art, craft & teaching aids for pre-school & sunday school
Psalm 91 online links Links to videos, mp3 and other resources on scripture
Other link resources


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