Psalm 90

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Psalm 90
"Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations"
Psalm 90 Vers 10.jpg
Painting "Psalm 90. V. 10." (Psalm 90:10) by Ludwig Noster [de] (1909)
Other name
  • Psalm 89
  • "Domine refugium tu factus es nobis in generatione et generatione"
Writtenby Ethan the Ezrahite
Textattributed to Moses
LanguageHebrew (original)
Psalm 90
BookBook of Psalms
Hebrew Bible partKetuvim
Order in the Hebrew part1
CategorySifrei Emet
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part19

Psalm 90 is the 90th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations". In the slightly different numbering system used in the Greek Septuagint and Latin Vulgate translations of the Bible, this psalm is Psalm 89. In Latin, it is known as "Domine refugium tu factus es nobis in generatione et generatione".[1] It is the opening psalm of Book 4 of the psalms.[2] Uniquely among the Psalms, it is attributed to Moses. It is well known for its reference in verse 10 to human life expectancy being 70 or 80 ("threescore years and ten", or "if by reason of strength ... fourscore years", in the King James Version): it is believed that this verse was the influence for the opening words of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.[3]

The psalm forms a regular part of Jewish, Catholic liturgies. It has been set to music, for example by Baroque composers Heinrich Schütz in German. Charles Ives completed a choral setting in 1924.


Hebrew Bible version[edit]

Following is the Hebrew text of Psalm 90:[4]

Verse Hebrew
1 תְּפִלָּה֘ לְמֹשֶׁ֪ה אִֽישׁ־הָֽאֱלֹ֫הִ֥ים אֲֽדֹנָ֗י מָע֣וֹן אַ֖תָּה הָ֘יִ֥יתָ לָּ֜֗נוּ בְּדֹ֣ר וָדֹֽר
2 בְּטֶ֚רֶם | הָ֘רִ֚ים יֻלָּ֗דוּ וַתְּח֣וֹלֵֽל אֶ֣רֶץ וְתֵבֵ֑ל וּמֵֽעוֹלָ֥ם עַד־ע֜וֹלָ֗ם אַתָּ֥ה אֵֽל
3 תָּשֵׁ֣ב אֱ֖נוֹשׁ עַד־דַּכָּ֑א וַ֜תֹּ֗אמֶר שׁ֣וּבוּ בְנֵֽי־אָדָֽם
4 כִּ֚י אֶ֪לֶף שָׁנִ֡ים בְּֽעֵינֶ֗יךָ כְּי֣וֹם אֶ֖תְמוֹל כִּ֥י יַֽעֲבֹ֑ר וְאַשְׁמ֘וּרָ֥ה בַלָּֽיְלָה
5 זְרַמְתָּם שֵׁנָ֣ה יִֽהְי֑וּ בַּ֜בֹּ֗קֶר כֶּֽחָ֘צִ֥יר יַֽחֲלֹֽף
6 בַּבֹּקֶר יָצִ֣יץ וְחָלָ֑ף לָ֜עֶ֗רֶב יְמ֘וֹלֵ֥ל וְיָבֵֽשׁ
7 כִּֽי־כָלִ֥ינוּ בְאַפֶּ֑ךָ וּבַֽחֲמָֽתְךָ֥ נִבְהָֽלְנוּ
8 שַׁתָּ֣ה (כתיב שַׁתָּ֣) עֲו‍ֹֽנֹתֵ֣ינוּ לְנֶגְדֶּ֑ךָ עֲ֜לֻמֵ֗נוּ לִמְא֥וֹר פָּנֶֽיךָ
9 כִּ֣י כָל־יָ֖מֵינוּ פָּנ֣וּ בְעֶבְרָתֶ֑ךָ כִּלִּ֖ינוּ שָׁנֵ֣ינוּ כְמוֹ־הֶֽגֶה
10 יְמֵ֚י שְׁנוֹתֵ֨ינוּ | בָּהֶ֨ם שִׁבְעִ֪ים שָׁנָ֡ה וְאִ֚ם בִּגְבוּרֹ֨ת | שְׁמ֘וֹנִ֚ים שָׁנָ֗ה וְ֖רָהְבָּם עָמָ֣ל וָאָ֑וֶן כִּ֘י גָ֥ז חִ֜֗ישׁ וַנָּעֻֽפָה
11 מִֽי־י֖וֹדֵעַ עֹ֥ז אַפֶּ֑ךָ וּ֜כְיִרְאָֽתְךָ֗ עֶבְרָתֶֽךָ
12 לִמְנ֣וֹת יָ֖מֵינוּ כֵּ֥ן הוֹדַ֑ע וְ֜נָבִ֗א לְבַ֣ב חָכְמָֽה
13 שׁוּבָ֣ה יְ֖הֹוָה עַד־מָתָ֑י וְ֜הִנָּחֵ֗ם עַל־עֲבָדֶֽיךָ
14 שַׂבְּעֵ֣נוּ בַבֹּ֣קֶר חַסְדֶּ֑ךָ וּנְרַ֘נְּנָ֥ה וְ֜נִשְׂמְחָ֗ה בְּכָל־יָמֵֽינוּ
15 שַׂמְּחֵנוּ כִּימ֣וֹת עִנִּיתָ֑נוּ שְׁ֜נ֗וֹת רָ֘אִ֥ינוּ רָעָֽה
16 יֵֽרָאֶ֣ה אֶל־עֲ֖בָדֶיךָ פָּֽעֳלֶ֑ךָ וַֽ֜הֲדָֽרְךָ֗ עַל־בְּנֵיהֶֽם
17 וִיהִ֚י נֹ֨עַם | אֲדֹנָ֥י אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ עָ֫לֵ֥ינוּ וּמַֽעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָ֖דֵינוּ כּֽוֹנְנָ֣ה עָלֵ֑ינוּ וּמַֽ֘עֲשֵׂ֥ה יָ֜דֵ֗ינוּ כּֽוֹנְנֵֽהוּ

King James Version[edit]

  1. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
  2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
  3. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
  4. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
  5. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
  6. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
  7. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
  8. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
  9. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
  10. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
  11. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.
  12. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
  13. Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.
  14. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
  15. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
  16. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.
  17. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text tradition, which includes the Aleppo Codex (10th century), and Codex Leningradensis (1008).[5]

The extant manuscript of AqTaylor, a translation into Koine Greek made in c. 130 CE, contains verse 17.[6]

Authorship and date[edit]

By its header ("A Prayer of Moses, the man of God") this psalm is attributed to Moses. Theologian Albert Barnes notes "its marked unlikeness to the Psalms of David".[7] Commentator C S Rodd suggests it was written later than Moses' era,[8] but even from a biblical literalist perspective one writer warns against assuming with any certainty that this is the oldest psalm, because some psalms are anonymous and so "we don't know who wrote them or when".[9]

The title "the man of God" is given to Moses in Deuteronomy 33:1 in the introduction to the Blessing of Moses. The term also appears in Joshua 14:6 and Ezra 3:2 as a title especially appropriate to him, denoting that he was faithful to God and a man approved by God.[7]



New Testament[edit]

In the New Testament, verse 4 is quoted in 2 Peter 3:8.[16]


In the Divine Office of the Roman Catholic Church, Psalm 90 is appointed to be read at Lauds (Morning Prayer) on the Monday of the fourth week of the month.

In the Church of England's Book of Common Prayer, this psalm is appointed to be read on the morning of the 18th day of the month.[17]

Musical settings[edit]

The hymn O God, our help in ages past" is a lyrical version of Psalm 90 written by Isaac Watts.

Heinrich Schütz set the psalm in a metred version in German as part of the Becker Psalter, first published in 1628, "Herr Gott Vater im höchsten Thron", SWV 188.

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote Lord, thou hast been our refuge, a motet for choir, semi-choir and orchestra (or organ) based on the psalm in 1921. Charles Ives composed a choral setting of the psalm in English, Psalm 90, in 1923/24. Frederic Lord wrote a setting for baritone, choir and orchestra.[18] Herbert Blendinger set verses 1-4 in German, "Herr, du bist unsere Zuflucht für und für", as Psalmgebet, a solo cantata for soprano, trumpet and organ, Op. 82, in 2000.


  1. ^ Parallel Latin/English Psalter, Psalmus 89 (90). Archived 2017-05-07 at the Wayback Machine Medievalist.
  2. ^ Psalm 90: header to this psalm in the New King James Version
  3. ^ "Gettysburg Address: The lost art of the quotable speech". 19 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Psalms – Chapter 90". Tehillim. Chabad. 2019. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
  5. ^ Würthwein 1995, pp. 35–37.
  6. ^ Schürer, Emil; Vermes, Geza; Millar, Fergus (2014). The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ. Vol. 3.i. A&C Black. p. 497. ISBN 978-0567604521.
  7. ^ a b Barnes, A., Barnes' Notes on Psalm 90, accessed 26 March 2022
  8. ^ Rodd, C. S., 18. Psalms in Barton, J. and Muddiman, J. (2001), The Oxford Bible Commentary Archived 2017-11-22 at the Wayback Machine, p. 391
  9. ^ Growing Christians Ministries, Psalm 90, published 5 October 2012, accessed 3 January 2021
  10. ^ Zlotowitz 1990, p. 378.
  11. ^ Danziger & Scherman 1989, p. 329.
  12. ^ Zlotowitz 1990, p. 595.
  13. ^ Zlotowitz 1990, p. 291.
  14. ^ Weintraub, Rabbi Simkha Y. (2018). "Psalms as the Ultimate Self-Help Tool". My Jewish Learning. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  15. ^ Greenbaum, Rabbi Avraham (2007). "The Ten Psalms: English Translation". Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  16. ^ Kirkpatrick 1901.
  17. ^ Church of England, Book of Common Prayer: The Psalter as printed by John Baskerville in 1762, pp. 196ff
  18. ^ Margaret Frazer. "Frederic Lord". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 2010-01-16.


External links[edit]