Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 90:1

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Lord, thou hast been our dwellingplace - מעון maon ; but instead of this several MSS. have מעוז maoz, "place of defense," or "refuge," which is the reading of the Vulgate, Septuagint, Arabic, and Anglo-Saxon. Ever since thy covenant with Abraham thou hast been the Resting-place, Refuge, and Defence of thy people Israel. Thy mercy has been lengthened out from generation to generation.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Lord - Not יהוה Yahweh here, but אדני 'Adonāy The word is properly rendered “Lord,” but it is a term which is often applied to God. It indicates, however, nothing in regard to his character or attributes except that he is a “Ruler or Governor.”

Thou hast been our dwelling-place - The Septuagint renders this, “refuge” - καταφυγἡ kataphugē So the Latin Vulgate, “refugium;” and Luther, “Zuflucht.” The Hebrew word - מעון mâ‛ôn - means properly a habitation, a dwelling, as of God in his temple, Psalm 26:8; heaven, Psalm 68:5; Deuteronomy 26:15. It also means a den or lair for wild beasts, Nahum 2:12; Jeremiah 9:11. But here the idea seems to be, as in the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Luther, “a refuge”; a place to which one may come as to his home, as one does from a journey; from wandering; from toil; from danger: a place to which such a one naturally resorts, which he loves, and where he feels that he may rest secure. The idea is, that a friend of God has that feeling in respect to Him, which one has toward his own home - his abode - the place which he loves and calls his own.

In all generations - Margin, “generation and generation.” That is, A succeeding generation has found him to be the same as the previous generation had. He was unchanged, though the successive generations of men passed away.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
It is supposed that this psalm refers to the sentence passed on Israel in the wilderness, Nu 14. The favour and protection of God are the only sure rest and comfort of the soul in this evil world. Christ Jesus is the refuge and dwelling-place to which we may repair. We are dying creatures, all our comforts in the world are dying comforts, but God is an ever-living God, and believers find him so. When God, by sickness, or other afflictions, turns men to destruction, he thereby calls men to return unto him to repent of their sins, and live a new life. A thousand years are nothing to God's eternity: between a minute and a million of years there is some proportion; between time and eternity there is none. All the events of a thousand years, whether past or to come, are more present to the Eternal Mind, than what was done in the last hour is to us. And in the resurrection, the body and soul shall both return and be united again. Time passes unobserved by us, as with men asleep; and when it is past, it is as nothing. It is a short and quickly-passing life, as the waters of a flood. Man does but flourish as the grass, which, when the winter of old age comes, will wither; but he may be mown down by disease or disaster.