The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 91


1 2 You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,


Say to the LORD, "My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust."


God will rescue you from the fowler's snare, from the destroying plague,


Will shelter you with pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge; God's faithfulness is a protecting shield.


You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day,


Nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon.


Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come.


You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see.


You have the LORD for your refuge; you have made the Most High your stronghold.


No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent.


3 For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways.


With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone.


You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon.


Whoever clings to me I will deliver; whoever knows my name I will set on high.


All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor.


With length of days I will satisfy them and show them my saving power.



1 [Psalm 91] A prayer of someone who has taken refuge in the security of the temple ( Psalm 91:1-2). The psalmist is confident that God's presence will protect the people in every dangerous situation ( Psalm 91:3-13). The final verses are an oracle of salvation promising salvation to those who trust in God ( Psalm 91:14-16).

2 [1] The shelter of the Most High: basically "hiding place" but in the psalms a designation for the protected temple precincts. Cf Psalm 27:5; 31:21; 61:5. The shadow of the Almighty: literally, "the shadow of the wings of the Almighty." Cf Psalm 17:8; 36:8; 57:2; 63:8. Psalm 91:4 makes clear that the shadow is an image of the safety afforded by the outstretched wings of the cherubim in the holy of holies.

3 [11-12] The words are cited in Luke 4:10-11; Matthew 4:6, as Satan tempts Jesus in the desert.

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