The morning after hundreds of country music fans were shot at a Las Vegas festival, President Donald Trump called on God and the scriptures to comfort grieving families and victims.
The Psalm Trump quoted –Psalm 34:18 — ranks among the top verses that Bible readers turn to after mass shootings.
Bible Gateway analyzed search patterns surrounding about 20 major incidents of violence over the past decade. Among the site’s 150 million-plus visitors a year, the other verses that saw distinct spikes in readership around those shootings were:
- John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
- Romans 12:19: “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
- Psalm 11:5 “The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.”
Overall, these go-to verses address God’s deliverance from the brokenness of the world—a condition many onlookers feel acutely during times of national tragedy.
Passages from the Psalms in particular regularly appear among the most-searched and most-shared verses in Scripture, and they take on particular significance as Christians look to the biblical text to express laments and frustrations.
Several verses associated with the end times also trended on Bible Gateway after the mass shootings.