christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

psalm 91, chiastic structure

Read Psalm 91 at Bible Gateway.

I had a dream the other night where the number 91 or a Bible open to Psalm 91 figured prominently throughout … so I began studying it.

After outlining it, I saw a unique pattern and structure to it. The whole psalm cannot be made into a single chiastic structure that I can see. I think it might be because the entire book of Psalms forms a single chiastic structure, which I am in the process of working out. But Psa 91 can be broken into two sections, based on its structure:

Psa 91:1-13, a man who dwells in the secret place:
1a) Psa 91:1-2, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High;
— 1.1, Psa 91:3, Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence;
— 1.2, Psa 91:4, He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge;
— 1.3, Psa 91:5-7, You shall not be afraid, for it shall not come near you;
central axis) Psa 91:8, Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked;
2a) Psa 91:9, Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place;
— 2.3, Psa 91:10, No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
— 2.2, Psa 91:11-12, For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways;
— 2.1, Psa 91:13, You shall tread upon the lion + cobra, the young lion + serpent you shall trample underfoot.

The above section is told in the voice of the psalmist. He is describing the benefits of dwelling in the secret place of the Most High. The structure is unusual, as you can see from studying it (although I have seen a similar structure to this before).

Then the next section is told in the voice of the Lord. It is in quotes … He takes up the exhortation:

Psa 91:14-16, The Lord’s response to that man:
Psa 91:14a, “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
Psa 91:14b, I will set him on high, because he has known My name;
Psa 91:15, He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble /deliver + honor him;
Psa 91:16, With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation.”

To be continued …

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