Psalm 91: Selected from Five Different Translations

Psalm 91Psalm 91 is available in more translations than I’ve been able to accurately count. Some translations are so similar you wonder if you’ve made a mistake: surely you’ve read this translation before.  Other translations use phraseology so unique that you are assured this translation is a new experience.

When I give instructions on praying Psalm 91 I encourage folks to start with more than one translation, like two or three.  Pick the ones that speak most clearly to your heart.

Here are five translations to help you get started.  Don’t be limited to these five.  This is just a jump-start.

One: I’ve included the King James Version for those who grew up with it and whose ears are tuned to it.  The language is antiquated but poetic.

King James: {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 show him my salvation.

The King James Version is in the Public Domain.

Two: Psalm 91 from the New King James is similar but updated.  This is a good transition from the original King James.  In my experience most of the significant words found in The Strong’s Concordance hold true from the old to the new translation, making it easy to study.  My Bible of choice is The Spirit Filled Life Bible.  For the last twenty years this is the Bible I grab.  The study aids in it are invaluable.  If you can only afford one, this is a good one.
New King James: 1.  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most HighShall 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.”
3.  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.
7.  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.
9.  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 live I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.

Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Three: Psalm 91 in the Amplified is rich with expanded word meanings and contextual clues.  You’ll appreciate the study that went into producing this translation.  I find most of the passages in the Amplified are easy to pray with.
Amplified: 1.  He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty[Whose power no foe can withstand}

2.  I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God;On Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust.

3.  For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from deadly pestilence.
4.  [Then} He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.
5.  You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plats and slander of the wicked) that flies by day,
6.  Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.
7.  A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you.
8.  Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked.
9.  Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place,
10  There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent.
11.  For He will give His angels [special] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service].
12.  They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13.  You shall tread upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot.
14.  Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore, will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understand My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love and kindness – trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never].
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 will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.

Copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by the Lockman Foundation.  Used by permission.

Four: For a more conversational tone in Psalm 91, try The Jerusalem Bible.  This will be especially appealing if you find the King James difficult to get into.
The Jerusalem Bible: 1.  If you live in the shelter of   make your home in the shadow of Shaddai,
2.  You can say to Yahweh, “My refuge, my fortress, My God in whom I trust
3.  He rescues you from the snares of  the fowler hoping to destroy you;
4.  He covers you with his feathers, and you find shelter underneath his wings.
5.  You need not fear the terrors of night, the arrow that flies in the daytime,
6.  The plague that stalks in the dark, the scourge that wreaks havoc in broad daylight.
7.  Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, you yourself will remain unscathed, with His faithfulness for shield and buckler.
8.  You have only to look around to see how the wicked are repaid,
9.  You who can say, “Yahweh my refuge,”and make Elyon your fortress.
10.  No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent;
11.  He will put you in His angels’ charge to guard you wherever you go.
12.  They will support you on their hands in case you hurt your foot against a stone;
13.  You will tread on lion and adder, trample on savage lions and dragons.
14.  “I rescue all who cling to Me, I protect whoever knows my name,
15.  I answer everyone who invokes Me, I am with them when they are in trouble;
16.  I bring them safety and honor. I give them life, long and full, and show then how I can save.”

This comes from the original version, 1966, of The Jerusalem Bible.  Doubleday has put out a new and revised: The New Jerusalem Bible.

Five: Psalm 91 from The New Living Translation is the most conversational translation you will find.  Those who love the King James usually put their noses in the air regarding the New Living Translation.  But, make up your own mind.  Choose the translations that resonate most deeply in your heart.
New Living Translation: 1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High 
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  2 This I declare of the LORD: 
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;  
he is my God, and I am trusting him.  3 For he will rescue you from every trap 
and protect you from the fatal plague.  4 He will shield you with his wings. 
He will shelter you with his feathers. 
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.  5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, 
nor fear the dangers of the day,  6 nor dread the plague that stalks in darkness, 
nor the disaster that strikes at midday.  7 Though a thousand fall at your side, 
though ten thousand are dying around you, 
these evils will not touch you.  8 But you will see it with your eyes; 
you will see how the wicked are punished.  9 If you make the LORD your refuge, 
if you make the Most High your shelter,  10 no evil will conquer you; 
no plague will come near your dwelling.  11 For he orders his angels 
to protect you wherever you go.  12 They will hold you with their hands 
to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.  13 You will trample down lions and poisonous snakes; 
you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!  14 The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. 
I will protect those who trust in my name.  15 When they call on me, I will answer; 
I will be with them in trouble. 
I will rescue them and honor them.  16 I will satisfy them with a long life 
and give them my salvation.”

New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

So there it is: a jumpstart!  If you’ve not tried praying scripture then check out Psalm 91: Power Prayer for Protection.  You will find simple to follow directions there.  Further helpful reading can be found at Psalm 91 on EzineArticles and a Psalm 91 Prayer Guide at ArticleBase.  Follow these links.  You’ll be so glad you did.


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