We saw that the benefits of protection described by Psa 91, belong to a certain group of people, not all people:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Psa 91:1-2
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, Psa 91:9
The benefits belong to him who dwells in the secret place, abiding under the shadow of the Almighty; to him who has made the Most High his dwelling place.
“Dwells” in Hebrew is Strong’s H3427, yashab, “to sit, to sit down, to remain or abide, to dwell in or inhabit.” The root, יָשַׁב, is the yod + shin + bet.
The yod in the ancient Hebrew pictographs, is the arm and closed hand. Its meaning is to work, make, or throw, the functions of the hand. The shin is the two front teeth. Its meaning is teeth, sharp, press, or two, second, both, or again. The bet is the floor plan of the house. Its meaning is the house, family, or household. My preliminary sense of this word, is that anyone can sleep anywhere. But two people work, or give deliberate attention and effort, in order to dwell together in the same house (in peace and unity is implied).
“Dwelling place” in Hebrew is Strong’s H4583, ma’own, מָעוֹן, “dwelling or habitation.” Ma’own is from Strong’s H5772, ownah, עוֹנָה, “conjugal cohabitation” (here we are seeing our initial sense confirmed, in that the shin of yashab is representing two together), which itself is from the root עוֹנָ, ayin + vav + nun.
The ayin in the ancient Hebrew pictographs, is the eye, with the meaning of to see, watch, know, or shade. The vav is the tent peg, with the meaning of add, secure, or hook. It is also used as the conjunction “and”. The nun is the seed. It is the picture of the seed in the ground just opening with its root going down. And it is the picture of the seed of the man.
Bunny trail! In Hebrew, the seed can be speaking of agricultural seed, biological seed, or spiritual seed – this principle of the seed (the three seeds) is found throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. This is so fascinating, as these pictographs are very ancient. It was not until the invention of powerful microscopes that it was discovered in fact that the seed of the man looks like its ancient Hebrew pictograph. How did the ancient Hebrews know, since they did not have microscopes? God knew, as the Creator of the seed … and Scripture is His Word.
Back to our topic: the nun or seed can mean, seed, offspring, heir, generation, or continuation. My initial sense of the ayin + vav + nun root, is of watching over (ayin) in order to secure (vav) the next generation (nun). What does this have to do with a dwelling place? The home is the place most closely guarded. It is interesting that the vav is in the heart of the root … as vav is also the conjunction “and” which joins one thing to another. As we saw with yashab, there are two people involved in dwelling. The two who are joined together in the home, are the husband and his wife. That joining, and union, and unity, is at the heart of making a house, a home — a dwelling place.
So all of this together is saying to me: the Psa 91 man is in a relationship with the Lord his God. He is not merely performing religious obligations or duties. But he has joined himself to the Lord his God, as a man joins himself to his wife. They dwell together in unity. They cohabit. The relationship is not one- sided. The man dwells with God, and God dwells with the man.
This is a relationship where the man knows his God, and also, where God knows the man. We need to be informed from Scripture on this point, because Jesus said there will be believers who will say, “Lord, Lord,” to Him, but who will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. These believers will prophesy, cast out demons, and do many wonders in His name. But He will say to them, “Depart from Me, I never knew you, who practice lawlessness!” (Mat 7:21-23).