David describes how his trust in G‑d never falters, and how, even as he walks through through the valley of the shadow of death, G‑d shields him from … To be invited to the King’s table was a great honor. I shall not want = That's Supply! In the Old Testament, prophets were anointed (1 Kings 19:16). “As a deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants after you, God (Psalm 42:1). Isaiah 58:6; Isaiah 10:27.). It is a psalm which has been sung by good Christians, and will be while the world stands, with a … First, the contemplative. We need to hear those words as if God intended them for us––because he did. The Hebrew word rewayah suggests abundance––even superabundance. In the United States, a signal honor would be an invitation to stay overnight in the Lincoln bedroom in the White House. The Third Commandment says, “You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name” (Exodus 20:7). As mentioned earlier in our commentary on Ps 23:1, The LORD begins and ends the psalm (Ps 23:1, 6). 3 But you, O L ord, are r a shield s about me, my glory, and t the lifter of my head. In the first four verses of Ps. The Christian life has two elements in it, the contemplative and the active, and both of these are richly provided for. Psalm 2:3. 1-4) and that of the host (vv. David was a man just like we are. “and I will dwell in Yahweh’s (Hebrew: YHWH) house forever” (v. 6b). PSALM 23 . ), The Complete WordStudy Old Testament (Chattanooga; AMG Publishers, 1994), Baker, Warren and Carpenter, Eugene, The Complete WordStudy Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2003), Bromiley, Geoffrey (General Editor), The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised, 4 vols. Psalm 51. In this context, it suggests blessings that will help the psalmist. He was tempted to fret over his life on many occasions, not the least of which was the time when Saul was seeking his life, which according to some commentators may very well form the background to this psalm. In an era of increasing biblical illiteracy, this is an encouraging sign. Whole Psalm. God is holy, and takes his holy name seriously: Since God is holy, we as God’s people need to insure that we do not tarnish his name by our wrongful words or actions. We will not have this man to reign over us. A number of our soldiers died there. He restored my soul = That's Healing! Adam Clarke Commentary. The New Testament speaks of Jesus as anointed (Luke 4:18; John 20:31; Acts 5:42; Hebrews 1:9, etc.). Psalm 23. The structure of Psalm 2 is made of three parts. The valley of the This twenty-third may be … Kings were anointed (1 Samuel 10:1; 16:3, 12-13; 2 Samuel 23:1; 1 Kings 1:39). He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness. It means properly what is twisted or interlaced, and refers to the usual manner in which ropes are made. Cows and sheep eat grass. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He leads me beside the still waters = That's Refreshment! The shepherd would use his staff to guide sheep and to pull them back from dangerous places. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, etc. When explaining why he was restoring Israel, God said, “I don’t do this for your sake, house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations, where you went. Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd = That's Relationship! The sense of this verse then is that, because God is loving and kind, his people can expect God to provide blessings throughout life. The passage before us is just as applicable to the world now as it was to the time when the Saviour personally appeared on the earth. 4 The psalmist likely looks back at what God has done for His people, 5 (especially in the (first) Exodus) and trusts that God will continue to be God. A study […] Filed Under: Faith , Healthy Spirit Tagged With: psalm 23 , psalm 23 commentary , psalm 23 explained beautifully , psalm 23 for kids , psalm 23 meaning , psalm 23 verse Psalm 23:4, ESV: "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." and Kahane, Ahuvia, The Oxford English-Hebrew Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1998), Fohrer, Georg, Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament (SCM Press, 2012), Freedman, David Noel (ed. The consolations of the Holy Spirit are the still waters by which the saints are led; the streams which flow from the Fountain of living waters. “You prepare a table (Hebrew: sulhan) before me in the presence of my enemies” (v. 5a). Fortunately, I had insurance that would allow my family to weather the storm financially. “Right paths” lead to life rather than death (see Matthew 7:13-14). But if it is an honor to be invited to the President’s home, it is an infinitely greater honor to be invited to the Lord’s house. Not only he hath green pastures to lead me into, which shows his ability, bu… The second section runs from verse 4 trough verse 9. I remember a woman who grieved every year on anniversary of the death of her infant child. Grass is a plant that grows in fields. When I asked the oncologist how serious it was, he said, “Stage three––maybe Stage three and a half.” My chances of survival were less than 50-50. A shepherd would prepare a table for his sheep by scouting ahead to find good pastureland free from predators and poisonous plants. What Is Psalm 23? Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Psalm 8 INTRODUCTION: While the superscription notes this psalm is for the use of the Chief Musician or choirmaster, the psalm itself is addressed to Yahweh. The Hebrew word, sulhan (table), could refer to an animal hide spread on the ground like a picnic blanket. and cast away their cords from us; with relation to the Lord and his Anointed, whose laws, ordinances, and truths, they call "bands" and "cords"; so Arama interprets them of the law, and the commandments; or a "yoke", as the Vulgate Latin, Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions render the last word; and the phrases in general express their irreverence of God and the Messiah, their rejection Christ and his religion; their non-subjection to him, and their refusal to have him to rule over them; and their disesteem and contempt of his Gospel, and of the ordinances of it, and of the laws and rules of his government in his churches: and also they show the wrong notion that carnal men have of these things that whereas Christ's yoke is easy, and his burden light, Matthew 11:30; his Gospel and the truths of it make men free from the slavery of sin and Satan, and from a spirit of bondage, Romans 8:15; and true Gospel liberty consists in an observance of his commands and ordinances; yet they look upon these things as bands and cords, as fetters and shackles, as so many restraints upon their liberty, which are not to be bore: when, on the other hand, they promise themselves liberty in a disengagement from them, and in the enjoyment of their own lusts and sinful pleasures; whereas thereby they are brought into bondage, and become the servants of corruption. They believed that something of the person’s identity was tied up in the name––that the name expressed something of the person’s essential character. The center point of this psalm is “for you are with me.” In the original Hebrew language, there are 26 words before this phrase, and 26 afterwards (Limburg, 74). Psalm 23 3 Commentary: The food and drink and peace that the Lord gives according to what we learned in our Psalm 23 2 Meaning article leads to what we see here in the third verse of Psalm 23.. 3 He restoreth my [soul/strength]: he [leadeth/guides] me [in/down] the [paths of righteousness/right paths] for his [name's/reputation’s] sake.Psalm 23 3 Commentary: … Psalm 50:23 in all English translations. Psalm 49. Psalm 3 – Peace in the Midst of the Storm. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. That’s the first section. 19 (Dallas: Word Books, 1983), Hartley, J.E., in Bromiley, Geoffrey (General Editor), The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume Three: K-P – Revised (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986), Keller, W. Phillip, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1970, 2007, 2015), Kidner, Derek, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Psalms 1-72, Vol. and flame will not scorch you. Also, return recalls the Ps 23:3 where the psalmist sings that the LORD “refreshes my soul” (lit. 28. To be invited to a person’s table was an honor. I had good medical care. When the psalmist says that God has anointed his head with oil, he means that God has marked him as special––has set him apart for a significant role. The Hebrew word tob has a variety of meanings, such as good, moral, profitable, or plentiful. God “saved (Israel) for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power known” (Psalm 106:8). Though its context is unclear, 3 clearly it is a psalm of confidence and trust in the LORD. “You anoint my head with oil” (v. 5b). Augustine is said to have beheld, in a dream, the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm rising before him as a tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God. The lifter up of mine head - Thou wilt restore me to the state from which my enemies have cast me down. But what may concern us about Psalm 23 is its reputation — that is, it is known for the most part as a “funeral psalm.” To be sure, it is not a bad thing that Psalm 23 speaks palpably … Continue reading "Commentary on Psalm 23" He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. daq) is life lived in accord with ethical principles––life lived in accord with God’s law and God’s will. A commentary that takes into consideration the entire Bible, however, reveals Psalm 22 to contain a detailed prophecy of how Jesus dies on the cross to pay the death penalty due for our sins (see John 3:16), including those highlighted below and explained further below (also see Isaiah 53 commentary). (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007), Freedman, David Noel (Ed. It could also refer to a piece of furniture like the tables that we know today. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979-1988), Brown, Francis; Driver, S.R. And cast away their cords from us - The same idea under another form - the cords referring not to that which would bind them as prisoners, but to the ropes or thongs which bound oxen to the plow; and, hence, to that which would bind men to the service of God. Psalm 23 Commentary : The majority of this site is devoted to exploring the meaning of psalm 23. SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) modern English translation of the Holy Bible. Many people were praying for me. (General Editor), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 5 vol., (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan. The LORD as Shepherd sustains. Psalm 23:1. The word “through” is important. a. “I will fear no evil, for you are with me” (v. 4b). The shepherd’s staff was the familiar long rod with a crook on one end. I am inclined to see two images in the psalm, that of the shepherd (vv. Everybody knows Psalm 23. And they would sleep easily. A Psalm of David. Other than the president and family, only a handful of people have been invited to make the White House their home––and then only for a few years. This is the first psalm with a title: A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son. Oils and ointments can salve wounds and insect bites. There are no halfway measures when it comes to the Lord’s provision for our lives. “With joy you will draw water out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3). In these paths we cannot walk, unless. The shepherd’s rod was a sturdy club for use against wild animals that would otherwise prey on the sheep. The psalm is commonly used in the context of death and the funeral service. The laws of God and Christ, though easy and pleasant in themselves, and to all good men, Matthew 11:29-30 ; 1 John 5:3 ; yet are very grievous and burdensome to corrupt nature, … Priests were anointed (Exodus 40:13-15). he makes me to lie down in green fields: these were fields where the grass was new. A. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. James Montgomery Boice points out that since these titles are in the canonical text of the Hebrew Bible, “They are to be taken with absolute seriousness throughout.” Pop(ular) Song. Most importantly, I understood that God is with us in life and in death––and so I can truly say that I was not frightened. King James Version (KJV) Public Domain . The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. ), Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), Mounce, William D., (ed. Many of David's psalms are full of complaints, but this is full of comforts, and the expressions of delight in God's great goodness and dependence upon him. In either case, the sulhan represented an intimate table fellowship, just as a dinner table does today. Many are p rising against me; 2 many are saying of my soul, q “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah 1. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Psalm 23 EXEGESIS: CONTEXT: "A Psalm by David." 4 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996), Waltner, James H., Believers Church Bible Commentary: Psalms (Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 2006, Baker, Warren (ed. have “yoke,” which is in keeping with the metaphor of a restive animal. Psalm 23 Meaning – Line by Line. The passage, considered as referring to the Messiah, had an ample fulfillment. Not many people receive such an invitation, and even fewer receive more than one. (1) that the government of Yahweh, the true God, and the Messiah or Christ, is the same; (2) that opposition to the Messiah, or to Christ, is in fact opposition to the purposes of the true God; (3) that it may be expected that men will oppose that government, and there will be agitation and commotion in endeavoring to throw it off. 6 Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in Yahweh’s house forever. Thou, O Lord art a shield - As a shield covers and defends the body from the strokes of an adversary, so wilt thou cover and defend me from them that rise up against me. The enemy was strongly entrenched there, and was determined to stay. There are two systems for numbering the verses in the Psalms. It is a hymn of praise throughout, expressing wonder that Yahweh has made people “a little lower than God” (v. 5) and “ruler over the works of your hands” (v. 6). Here you'll find a short study on the psalm by John Calvin, exploring the thanksgiving nature of David's writing. That symmetric bracketing was a literary device intended to focus attention on the middle phrase, “for you are with me.” God’s saving presence is the focal point of this psalm. Those only are led by the still waters of comfort, who walk in the paths of righteousness. Psalm 23, which begins with the words “Mizmor leDavid” (“A song of David ”), is arguably the most famous of all the Psalms.In it, King David sings of G‑d ’s protection, referring to Him as a shepherd. 76 With this background in mind, let us begin our study of Psalm 23. 23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. Psalm 23 is one of the best-known and most often-quoted passages in the Bible. 2. In that culture, people considered a person’s name to be more than a simple label to identify that person. ), The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 5 vol. The psalmist has been talking about God in the third person (“he). (a) in the purposes of the high priests, of Herod, and of Pilate, to put him to death, and in the general rejection of him by his own countrymen; (b) in the general conduct of mankind - in their impatience of the restraints of the law of God, and especially of that law as promulgated by the Saviour, demanding submission and obedience to him; and. Psalm 23:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Psalm 23:4, NIV: "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." For them, it truly was the valley of the shadow of death. In the Bible, anointing was used to designate a person for a significant role. Let’s look at Psalm 23. Some even see the imagery of a guide in verses 3 and 4. ; and Briggs, Charles A., The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1906, 2004), Doniach, N.S. The work of righteousness in peace. When I was serving in Vietnam as a chaplain, I visited soldiers in the A Shau Valley near Laos. Read full chapter. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; When people die, we think of them as having entered the valley of the shadow of death, but the same is true for their loved ones. It may be a good idea to craft your own definition of this powerful prayer to read from time to time and to have handy should you need it in an unexpected situation. Choose a verse from 'Psalms 23' to begin your 'Verse-by-Verse' study of God's Word using the more than 100 commentaries available on StudyLight.org The Sheep and the Shepherd (23:1-4) 1 A Psalm of David. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006-2009), VanGemeren, Willem A. To be invited to God’s table is the ultimate honor. You anoint my head with oil. He talks about going through it, showing that he expects to emerge from its shadows into the light on the other side. You are mine. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. Some render it "cast away from him" (c); either from Christ, or everyone from himself. There are few experiences in life that would be more satisfying. “Surely goodness (Hebrew: tob) and loving kindness (Hebrew: hesed) shall follow me all the days of my life” (v. 6a). the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:1-3). The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. See Psalms on \"Psalms 23:1\" for further information. The way of duty is the truly pleasant way. Almost 25 years ago, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. Bible Gateway Recommends. 29 — bracketing the song with His Name. Psalm 2 Commentary: Divisions. He first spoke them for Israel’s sake, but he caused Isaiah to record them for our sake. The work of righteousness in peace. Discontent and distrust … ), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, 6 vol. For I am Yahweh your God, Everything makes sense in our understanding of a shepherd leading his flock to green grass and calm waters. We can imagine various meanings for “the valley of the shadow of death.”. Anointing with oil was used for various purposes (healing, burial, expressing grief or joy). ), Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 2006), Renn, Stephen D., Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words: Word Studies for Key English Bible Words Based on the Hebrew and Greek Texts (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2005), Richards, Lawrence O., Encyclopedia of Bible Words (Zondervan, 1985, 1991), Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob (ed. 23, David takes the gentle picture of a shepherd with his sheep to describe the relationship God has with us and we with Him. Jesus honored his disciples by inviting them to a table where he served them bread, saying, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Luke 22:15-16). On still other days, she found herself walking through the middle of the valley. 14a (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973), Limburg, James, Westminster Bible Companion: Psalms (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000, Mays, James Luther, Interpretation: Psalms (Louisville: John Knox, 1994), McCann, J. Clinton, Jr., The New Interpreter’s Bible: The Book of Psalms, Vol. You prepare a table before me in the … But you see, David overcame sinful worry by trusting and rejoicing in God. Anderson, A.A., The New Century Bible Commentary: Psalms 1-72 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972), Broyles, Craig C., New International Biblical Commentary: Psalms (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999, Brueggemann, Walter, The Message of the Psalms A Theological Commentary (Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1984), Clifford, Richard J., Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries: Psalms 1-72 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002), Craigie, Peter C., Word Biblical Commentary, Psalms 1-50, Vol. With this verse, he begins to use the second person (“you” and “your”). For other references to “the shadow of death,” see Jeremiah 2:6 and Job 10:21-22. The way of duty is the truly pleasant way. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. returns my soul). Many psalms include a superscription, which we believe to have been added after the fact by the people putting together the psalm book. But the valley was always there, casting its shadow over her life. Let us break their bands asunder — That is, the laws of the Lord and his Anointed; the bands or yokes which they design to put upon our necks, that they may bring us into subjection. It thus indicates a prevalent state of the human mind as being impatient of the restraints and authority of God, and especially of the dominion of his Son, anointed as King. Depression and other illnesses can enshroud us in darkness and threaten us with death. To eat at the King’s table in the presence of your enemies would show your enemies that the king holds you in high regard, and would demonstrate their powerlessness to hurt you. The ASV, which is also in the public domain due to expired copyrights, was a very good translation, but included many archaic words (hast, shineth, etc. For a shepherd, the healing purpose would be significant. Perhaps, also, in the words "let us cast away" there is the expression of an idea that it could be easily done: that they had only to will it, and it would be done. God lead us into them, and lead us on in them. This is called the superscription. Verse 2. Cords.—The LXX. The overflowing cup symbolizes the Lord’s generosity. 3 O L ord, o how many are my foes! (c) in the conduct of individual sinners - in the opposition of the human heart to the authority of the Lord Jesus. Psalms 23:1-6.Under a metaphor borrowed from scenes of pastoral life, with which David was familiar, he describes God's providential care in providing refreshment, guidance, protection, and abundance, and so affording grounds of confidence in His perpetual favor. He is no longer speaking about God, but is instead speaking to God. I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, says the Lord Yahweh, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes” (Ezekiel 36:22-23). Like the Greek word agape (love) in the New Testament, hesed (lovingkindness) involves action––kindness or love expressed through kind or loving actions rather than just feelings. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. Another such honor would be an invitation for dinner at the White House––preferably dinner with the President and a small group of his key people–– although a large state dinner would also be interesting. On other days, she was on the other side. and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. This is the meaning of the phrase; and this he speaks prophetically. Jesus honors us by inviting us to his table, saying, “This is my body that is for you. The rod and staff were comforting to the sheep, because both were intended for the sheep’s benefit. and Vulg. When the end of the Babylonian Exile and Israel’s salvation was nigh, God told Israel: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you. The LORD is my shepherd: David thought about God, the God of Israel; as he thought about his relationship with God, he made the analogy of a shepherd and his sheep. Commentary on Psalm 23. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (v. 4a). Verse 2. ), which the WEB has updated. April 7, 2018 / Posted By : Joseph Mattera / 0 comments / Under : Daily Blog, Theology; Psalm 23. My cup runs over. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, “for his name’s sake” (v. 3c). He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. Then we get to v. 4, and it doesn't fit. A Psalm of David, n when he fled from Absalom his son. “My cup runs over” (Hebrew: rewayah) (v. 5c). 5-6). It was by divine design that this Psalm so beautifully describes the Lord God as our great and caring Shepherd, for although it is often used as great comfort at a time of death or bereavement - it is equally a Psalm that points to the Lord Jesus Christ as our sustenance and support in every season of our lives. The psalmist doesn’t speak of going into the valley, as if it were a box canyon or a final destination. Green fields means that the sheep would find plenty to eat. But the psalm’s language and imagery may be more fitting for the season of Easter when the Church tries to discern how to live in light of … Continue reading "Commentary on Psalm 23" Do this in remembrance of me.” Paul affirms the importance of this table ministry when he says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:24, 26). 1. (1) A declaration and its immediate result. Our children were still quite young. This psalm of David is loved the world over for its calming and healing wisdom. Either way, the final destination is in the presence of the LORD. The word hesed also has a variety of meanings –– kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, or love. The 23rd Psalm – most of us can recite it, but what meaning does it hold for you personally? (Comp. He leads me in the paths of righteousness = … We are so invited–– and not just occasionally but forever––the honor that exceeds all other honors. Verses 1 through 3 tell us about this near-universal rejection of the Lord and the king whom he’s anointed to rule his nation Israel – the Davidic ruler. A psalm of David. He makes me to lie down in green pastures = That's Rest! Together, the expressions refer to the purpose among men to cast off the government of God, and especially that part of his administration which refers to his purpose to establish a kingdom under the Messiah. Psalm 23 is likely the most well-known psalm 1 of the Psalter — and the most well-known passage in the Bible. God (through the prophet Jeremiah) said, “For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS Verse 1-4. Though the majority of the occurrences of hesed are translated ‘steadfast love,’ there are undeniable elements of ‘mercy’ and ‘kindness’ that underlie each of these occurrences” (Renn, 633-634).