Quotes From Bob Marley Songs on Religion and Spirituality

Bob Marley performing live in concert.

Mike Prior/Staff/Getty Images

Reggae musician Bob Marley wrote hundreds of songs in his relatively short career. As a devout Rastafarian, Marley wrote many songs about his faith and spiritual beliefs. He incorporated spiritual elements into many of his other songs and into his life.

Songs From Bob Marley Inspired by the Bible

"Small Axe"

"The goodness of Jah-Jah I-dureth for I-ver" (this lyric references Psalms 52:1).


"Let righteousness cover the Earth like the water cover the sea!" (this lyric may reference Isaiah 11:9).

"Johnny Was"

"The wages of sin is death, yeah! Gift of Jah is life" (lyric references Romans 6:23).

"Night Shift"

"The sun shall not smite I by day, nor the moon by night, and everything that I do shall be hopeful and right" (from Psalms 121:6).

"Running Away"

"It is better to live on the housetop than to live in a house full of confusion" (from Proverbs 21:9).


"We're the survivors, the Black survivors, yeah! We're the survivors, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Thrown in the fire, but never get burn" (references Daniel 3).

"Zion Train"

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold" (from Proverbs 16:16).

"Forever Loving Jah"

"'Cause only a fool lean upon, lean upon his own misunderstanding. And then what has been hidden from the wise and the prudent been revealed to the babe and the suckling, in everything, in every way, I say yeah!" (lyric references Proverbs 3:5, Matthew 11:25, and Luke 10:21).

"'Cause just like a tree planted, planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth fruits, bringeth forth fruits in due season, everything in life got its purpose, find its reason in every season, forever, yeah!" (from Psalms 1:3 and Ecclesiastes 3:1).

"Stiff Necked Fools"

"The lips of the righteous teach many, but fools die for want of wisdom" (lyric is a reference to Proverbs 10:21).

"The rich man's wealth is in his city; the righteous' wealth is in his Holy Place" (lyric references Proverbs 10:15, Proverbs 18:11, Matthew 5:10, similar verses).

"One Drop"

"But read it in Revelation, you'll find your redemption."

"We and Dem"

"But in the beginning, Jah created everything, giving man dominion over all things" (references Genesis 1).

On Smoking Pot

"Easy Skanking"

"Excuse me while I light my spliff. Good God, I gotta take a lift. From reality, I just can't drift, that's why I'm staying with this riff."


"I feel so high, I even touch the sky above the fallen' rain! I feel so good in my neighborhood, so here I come again!"

On Freedom


"Jah come to break downpression, rule equality, wipe away transgression, set the captives free."


"No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor we won't bow, neither can be bought or sold. We all defend the right, Jah-Jah children must unite — life is worth much more than gold."

"Redemption Song"

"Won't you help to sing these songs of freedom? 'Cause all I ever have...redemption songs, redemption songs."

"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds."

On God

"So Much Things to Say"

"While they fight you down, stand firm and give Jah thanks and praises."

"One Love/People Get Ready"

"Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner, there ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation."

"Redemption Song"

"My hand was made strong by the hand of the Almighty. We forward in this generation, triumphantly."


"Jah sitteth in Mount Zion, and rules all creation!"

On History

"Midnight Ravers"

"I see ten thousand chariots, and they coming without horses. The riders, they cover their face, so you couldn't make them out in smoky place."

"Rat Race"

"Don't forget your history, know your destiny. In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty."

"Zion Train"

"Two thousand years of history could not be wiped so easily."

"Buffalo Soldier"

"If you know your history, then you would know where you're coming from, then you wouldn't have to ask me, who the heck do I think I am."


"We're leaving Babylon, we're going to our fatherland."

Giving Advice

"Positive Vibration"

"If you get down and you quarrel every day, you're saying prayers to the devil, I say."

"Natural Mystic"

"There's a natural mystic blowing through the air. If you listen carefully now, you will hear."

"One and all have to face reality now."

"Time Will Tell"

"Jah would never give the power to a baldhead. Run come crucify the dread."


"Every man got a right to decide his own destiny, and in this judgment, there is no partiality."

"Wake Up and Live"

"Flee from hate, mischief, and jealousy! Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality, yeah!"

"Rise from your sleepless slumber! We're more than sand on the seashore, we're more than numbers. All together now: wake up and live now, y'all!"

"Coming in From the Cold"

"Why do you look so sad and forsaken? When one door is closed, don't you know the other is open?"

Personal Thoughts


"We gonna walk through the roads of creation, we the generation trod through great tribulation."

"Misty Morning"

"The power of philosophy floats through my head, light as a feather, heavy as lead."


"They say the sun shines for all, but in some people world, it never shine at all."

"Ride Natty Ride"

"Everywhere this fire is burning, destroying and melting their gold, destroying and wasting their souls."

"Redemption Song"

"How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look? Yes, some say it's just a part of it: we've got to fulfill the book."


"Psalm 1:3." The Holy Bible, BibleHub.

"The Holy Bible." King James Version, Bartleby, 2000.