The one (Whoever, He , He) who (who, who)lives(dwells, lives, takes refuge) under the protection of the Most High(in the shelter of the Most High, in the shelter of the Most High, in the secret shelter of the Most High) dwells in the shadow of the Almighty (will rest in the shadow of the Almighty, will be safe in the shadow of the Almighty, lodges in the shadow of the Almighty).
-Psalm 91:1 (HCSB, NIV, VOICE, Berkeley)
I was looking at Psalm 91 this week. I saw some key words in various translations. There are four translation, color coded above.
One thing I noticed, when transposing these four translations, is that we see “dwell” twice, once at the beginning: “Whoever dwells… will rest in the shadow…”(NIV), and, “The one who lives… dwells in the shadow”(HCSB). These two “dwell’s” are two different Hebrew words, that I think mean two different things
It is, perhaps, dwell vs dwelling. I dwell around something- my favorite store, park, game, or thoughts. But, my dwelling is my house, my refuge, or the place I lodge in. I was looking up what the Hebrew dictionary says, and I saw the word lodge for what the second of these two “dwell/dwelling” words mean ( יָשַׁב yashab (yō-šêḇ) & יִתְלוֹנָֽן luwn (yiṯ-lō-w-nān)). It looks like the first one does mean dwell, as in “hang out”, while the second one is a place to stay: lodging to spend the night.
By the way, I am not a Hebrew nor Greek scholar, but just a student and a learner. I recommend that you dig into the Hebrew and Greek for yourself, and not take my word for it.
I found the Berkeley Version
(1959), because the scholars there did the translation, “lodges in the shadow of the Almighty”. The reason it is called Berkeley is because that is the city of the publisher, period.
What I have learned, is that if you make it a goal to live your life in God’s presence, which is a secret shelter for you; that you will end up lodging – sleeping, taking up residence, in God’s shadow.
He who dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Dwelling = hanging out or intentional focus in your heart while you are doing other things.
In the secret place = it is invisible, private, intimate, and hidden.
Of the Most High = it is God’s presence that you and I have access to.
Shall abide = shall dwell as in dwelling as in live in as in housing, lodge there, as spend the night in a safe house.
In the shadow of the Almighty = under God’s eyes, in his presence, under his protection, and shadowing God speaks of following as close as you can for nurture and safety.
Psalm 91 is a prayer for protection, for safety against enemies. It is very beneficial to be living this way when you face all of the difficulties of life. You may very well get away to a secret place, geographically, like the ocean, the wilderness, or your prayer closet; to seek God.
But, what Psalm 91 teaches is that we can have a life in the world, among other people, some who are unfriendly to us, and even our enemies; where we live in the secret place of the Most High God. I can be in the kitchen cooking, on the freeway among unsafe drivers, and even have someone verbally or physically attack me; while all the while I am living in God, dwelling and lodging in His and my secret place.
As a child of God, you have available to you the presence of God that you can turn into and turn towards any and all the time. If you live this way, it will obviously affect how you respond to others and your inner workings as take in other’s presentations.
It’s called walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:17).
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