|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
91:9-16 Whatever happens, nothing shall hurt the believer; though trouble and affliction befal, it shall come, not for his hurt, but for good, though for the present it be not joyous but grievous. Those who rightly know God, will set their love upon him. They by prayer constantly call upon him. His promise is, that he will in due time deliver the believer out of trouble, and in the mean time be with him in trouble. The Lord will manage all his worldly concerns, and preserve his life on earth, so long as it shall be good for him. For encouragement in this he looks unto Jesus. He shall live long enough; till he has done the work he was sent into this world for, and is ready for heaven. Who would wish to live a day longer than God has some work to do, either by him or upon him? A man may die young, yet be satisfied with living. But a wicked man is not satisfied even with long life. At length the believer's conflict ends; he has done for ever with trouble, sin, and temptation.
Verse 13. - Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder. Conquered enemies prostrated themselves before their conquerors, who, to mark the completeness of the subjection, placed a foot upon the prostrate form. From this practice the metaphor of "treading under foot" for conquering became a commonplace (see Psalm 7:5; Psalm 44:5; Psalm 55:12, etc.). The "lion" here represents all open and violent foes; the "adder," all secret and malignant ones. The young lion (kephir, the lion in the height of his strength) and the dragon (tannin, the most dreadful form of serpent) shalt thou trample under feet. An emphatic repetition, with a certain heightening of the colour.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder,.... Or be unhurt by such savage and poisonous creatures; as the Israelites, when they travelled through the wilderness, in which were serpents and scorpions; and many of the servants of God have been delivered from them, or have slain them, as Samson, David, and Daniel; and so Christ was among the wild beasts in the wilderness, and yet not touched or hurt by them; and his disciples had power given them by him to tread on serpents and scorpions, and to take up serpents, without receiving any damage from them; and when a viper fastened on the hand of the Apostle Paul, he shook it off, without being hurt by it; see Mark 1:13, Acts 28:5, it may be understood figuratively of Satan, who, for his voraciousness and cruelty, is compared to a lion; and, for his craft and subtlety, to a serpent, 1 Peter 5:8,
the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample underfoot; which also may be understood of the great dragon, the old serpent, called the devil and Satan; whom Christ trampled under his feet when he hung on the cross, and spoiled him and his principalities and powers; and who, in a short time, will be bruised under the feet of his people, as he has been already by the seed of the woman, Genesis 3:15.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Even the fiercest, strongest, and most insidious animals may be trampled on with impunity.
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