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Psalm 91


Of the 150 psalms in the Book of Psalms, 116 are titled. The titles, ranging from lengthy comments to a single word, often name the author to which the psalm should be attributed. Of the named authors, King David is by far the most prolific, with 73 psalms credited to his divinely inspired quill. A dozen psalms are credited to “Asaph,” who was apparently the head of the tabernacle musicians during the reign of King David. Eleven others claim to have been composed “for the sons of Korah,” the tabernacle singers during David’s reign. One of these psalms is ascribed to Heman, the Ezrahite, who may have been the director of the tabernacle singers. Two other notable named authors are King Solomon, David’s son, to whom two psalms are ascribed, and Moses, who is credited with the authorship of Psalm 90.


Psalm 91 is one of the Book of Psalms untitled psalms. Being untitled, its author is anonymous. There is, however, a theory among Jewish scholars that an untitled psalm should be attributed to the last-named author. If this is so, then, Psalm 91 should be attributed to Moses, since he is the named author of the preceding psalm, Psalm 90.


Some evidence for the Mosaic authorship of Psalm 91 may be found in the similarity between expressions found in it and others used by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy. If Moses is the inspired writer of this psalm, his contemporaries Caleb and Joshua, whom God promised would outlive their generation and enter into the Promised Land (Numbers 14:29-30), are excellent examples to us of how we may live fearlessly as this psalm prescribes. Although Caleb and Joshua lived among the dying and the graves of the dead, they were secure in God’s presence and shielded by His promises from the fear of death. Here, is the great comforting truth of this incredible psalm.


If we dare against all odds to believe and obey God, as Caleb and Joshua did, we may be assured of our invincibility. Now, this is not to say that we will not eventually go the way of all of the earth (1 Kings 2:2). If Jesus tarries, we will all meet our final appointment with death (Hebrews 9:27). However, it is to say that until the time of our divinely set appointment with death arrives, we need fear nothing imperiling our lives.


“A coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave man dies but once.” (William Shakespeare)

Don Walton