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Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
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PSALM 91

Ps 91:1-16. David is the most probable author; and the pestilence, mentioned in 2Sa 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.

1. dwelleth in the secret place—(Ps 27:5; 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 Ps 91:2.

3. snares … [and] … noisome pestilence—literally, "plagues of mischiefs" (Ps 5:9; 52:7), are expressive figures for various evils.

4. For the first figure compare De 32:11; Mt 23:37.

buckler—literally, "surrounding"—that is, a kind of shield covering all over.

5. terror—or, what causes it (Pr 20:2).

by night—then aggravated.

arrow—that is, of enemies.

7, 8. The security is more valuable, as being special, and, therefore, evidently of God; and while ten thousands of the wicked fall, the righteous are in such safety that they only see the calamity.

9-12. This exemption from evil is the result of trust in God, who employs angels as ministering spirits (Heb 1:14).

13. Even the fiercest, strongest, and most insidious animals may be trampled on with impunity.

14-16. God Himself speaks (compare Ps 46:10; 75:2, 3). All the terms to express safety and peace indicate the most undoubting confidence (compare Ps 18:2; 20:1; 22:5).

set his love—that of the most ardent kind.

16. show him—literally, "make him see" (Ps 50:23; Lu 2:30).

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