PSALM OF THE DIVINE SHEPHERD
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely[d] goodness and mercy[e] shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell[f] in the house of the Lord forever.
Key Lessons in Faith
1-6 Expect Jesus’ shepherding care. Know that He will keep us from want, protect us, and restore our lives.
23:4 originally may have meant "to breathe intensely because of deep emotion." In some references, the word is translated "repent," the idea being that regret causes deep sighing. In its sense of comfort, nacham does not describe casual sympathy, but rather deep empathy. It is like "weeping with those who weep." Or actually "sighing with those who sigh." From nacham are derived the names "Nahum" ("Comforting") and "Nehemiah" ("Comfort of Yahweh")
23:1-6 This refreshing pastoral psalm reflects absolute trust and peaceful confidence in God. It is divided into two metaphors: the Shepherd (vv.1-4) and the Host (vv.5, 6).
23.1 Jesus is the good shepherd who went one step beyond David’s list of provisions-He gave His life for the sheep (John 10:11).
23.3 Daily restoration of the anxious, weary soul is a major human need (2 Cor. 4:16).
23:4 The key to provision is the presence of God. (Jos. 1:5-9). This awesome thought causes the psalmist to change from mere statements (He…) to spontaneous heavenward praise (Thou art with me.)
23:5 Of the two kinds of oil, the priestly anointing oil and
the Oriental perfumed oil, this is the latter. This act shows favor and excellent hospitality.
23:6 Mercy (Hebrew chesed) is the unfailing, steadfast covenant love of God. This loving-kindness is similar to the NT word "grace" (John 1:16, 17).
Janet Irene Thomas
Bible Stories Theatre of
Fine & Performing Arts