Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Psalms 121:6

    Psalms 121:6 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The sun shall not smite thee by day, Nor the moon by night.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    You will not be touched by the sun in the day, or by the moon at night.

    Webster's Revision

    The sun shall not smite thee by day, Nor the moon by night.

    World English Bible

    The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

    Definitions for Psalms 121:6

    Smite - To strike; beat.

    Clarke's Commentary on Psalms 121:6

    The sun shall not smite thee by day - Thus expressed by the Chaldee: "The morning spectres shall not smite thee by day, during the government of the sun; nor the nocturnal spectres by night, during the government of the moon." I believe the psalmist simply means, they shall not be injured by heat nor cold; by a sun-stroke by day, nor a frost-bite by night.

    Barnes' Notes on Psalms 121:6

    The sun shall not smite thee by day - The Septuagint renders this, "shall not burn thee" - συγκαύσει sungkausei. So the Latin Vulgate. The Hebrew word means to smite, to strike, as with a rod or staff, or with the plague or pestilence; and then, to kill, to slay. The allusion here is to what is now called a "sun-stroke" - the effect of the burning sun on the brain. Such effects of the sun are often fatal now, as doubtless they were in the time of the psalmist.

    Nor the moon by night - The psalmist here refers to some prevalent opinion about the influence of the moon, as endangering life or health. Some have supposed that he refers to the sudden cold which follows the intense heat of the day in Oriental countries, and which, because the moon rules the night, as the sun does the day, is either poetically or literally attributed to the moon. Lackmann and Michaelis suppose that there is some allusion to the influence of the moon in producing various kinds of disease, and especially lunacy - an idea which gave origin to that name. Compare the notes at Matthew 4:24. See Matthew 17:15; Mark 9:17; Luke 9:39. Knapp supposes the idea is, that from the moon's not giving a clear and full light like the sun, travelers trusting to its guidance may be led into rivers or quagmires. Macrobius refers to a custom among the Orientals of covering the faces of children when asleep, from some imagined effect of the moon on the health of the child. Andersen (Orient. Reise-Beschreib. i. 8) refers to an effect, which he says is common, and which he had often seen, of sleeping in the moon-beams, of making the neck stiff, so that it could not be turned from side to side as before. See Rosenmuller, Morgenland, in loc. Others have supposed that the allusion is to the effect of the moon, and of sleeping under the open air, in producing ophthalmia - a disease very common in the East - an effect guarded against by covering the face. The influence of the moon, in producing madness or disease - the general influence of it on health - is often referred to. Thus Shakespeare says:

    "The moon, the governess of floods,

    Pale in her anger, washes all the air,

    That rheumatic diseases do abound."

    Midsummer Night's Dream, ii.2.

    "It is the very error of the moon;

    She comes more near the earth than she was wont,

    And makes men mad."

    Othello, v. 2.

    Some of these things are evidently purely imaginary. The true idea seems to be that there were effects to be dreaded from the sudden changes from the heat of day to the cold of night, and that these effects were attributed to the moon. See Genesis 31:40. The meaning is, that God would be a Protector alike in the dangers of the day and of the night.

    Wesley's Notes on Psalms 121:6

    121:6 Smite - With excessive heat. Moon - With that cold and moisture which come into the air by it. Intemperate heats and colds are the springs of many diseases.