Let us see this psalm not only as a superb text on the Shepherd, but as a model for all shepherds. "Psalm 23 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want (v. 1; RSV). How insignificant it must have seemed to David to be a “mere” shepherd boy. 1, January, 1986. No doubt David did write psalms as he spent lonely hours with his flocks in the field, but it is difficult to imagine that a psalm of such depth could have been written by a young lad.75 A young lad knows little of the dangers and disappointments of life or of the opposition which is referred to in verses 4 and 5. Heb. In this verse, the valley is one of death and evil, but because the speaker has utter trust in God as shepherd, he or she is free from fear. Experts and preachers of Christianity agree on the fact that being a shepherd himself, David symbolizes the human race as flock (the sheep) and God as their Sheppard. In verse 5, the metaphor for God shifts from shepherd to host. In pastoral circles no human protection is greater than that afforded by the hospitality of a Bedouin chief.95. Satisfaction, significance, and security are all abundantly supplied to the believer by God, as indicated by the imagery of the hospitable host.98 An even greater fellowship and graciousness is suggested by the hospitality motif than by that of the pastoral imagery. Yet this secondary interpretation is consistent with the original meaning, for in the view of the psalmists the power of death encroaches into a person’s life when the vitality of his life is weakened.” Anderson, Out of the Depths, pp. Generally the verse is broken into two parts in which the idea expressed in the first is balanced or expanded in the second. Title of the chief god of Mesopotamia. The second two verses describe God as a guide. Saul was still the king of Israel, and after David single-handedly defeated Goliath, Saul became extremely jealous of the young shepherd-turned-warrior. While a shepherd provides his sheep with food, rest, and restoration, God provides His sheep with His Word, which is the principle means of giving spiritual nourishment, rest, and restoration. Rather than boasting “that he is good, that God will reward him, and that the wicked shall perish,” writes Fromm, the psalmist conveys a quieter but perhaps more convincing resolve. Shepherd is a powerful metaphor and tends to dominate the interpretation of Psalm 23, but the metaphor of host is not without its own richness of meaning. The meaning of this imagery is transparent. Moyses), leader, prophet, and lawgiver (set in modern chronology in the first half of the 13th century b…, Bel As host, God provides for humans, allowing them to celebrate His blessings. Yet David's reign would not begin for quite some time. However, the overall language of the Bible was kept relatively simple. It is a rare and bold act when the psalmist claims the LORD as personal shepherd (elsewhere only by Jacob in Gen. 48:15). The lack of an object opens this affirmation to the widest possible meaning. By following the Hebrew law, the psalmist is paying tribute to God and furthering God’s influence. Here is this simple psalm, followed by an explanation. No greater security or comfort could be obtained by a traveler in the ancient Near East than to be offered the hospitality of a home. 7:14). Often it is necessary for the shepherd to lead his flock great distances to find both pasture and water. One of the most vulnerable of animals, a sheep is helpless without leadership, guidance, care, and protection. PSALMS are ancient Hebrew songs addressed to or invoking the deity; the Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament in the Christian scriptures, includ…, Exodus, Book of Later, he killed 200 Philistines and, in a rather curious method of scalping, brought home the Philistinian foreskins to King Saul, which enabled David to marry King Saul’s daughter. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. Both metaphors emphasize that faith is a living relationship to a person who is like a shepherd and a host. 208-209, who is inclined toward just the one figure of a shepherd. So it is likely that Psalm 23 was written in his time as king, so probably about 1000 B.C.E. 222-46. Though the psalmist is a helpless lamb, he or she is also like a king by virtue of closeness with God. “The sudden transition from one image to another,” he writes, “is in the spirit of the Oriental ode. A sheep may delight in the security of being provided for, guided, and protected by its shepherd, but a guest may enjoy full rapport with his or her host. 201-24. Knowing David was a shepherd in his early years, we may be inclined to interpret this psalm from the perspective of the shepherd. The traditional translation, “and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD,” follows Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate (weyāšabtî). Because of the predators, poachers, and harsh desert conditions that threatened grazing lands, the shepherd needed to take great care to protect the sheep. 5:4). It could occasionally be tipped with metal or studded with nails (cf. Biblical scholars of recent centuries, however, have come to agree that the psalms are, at least in part, the work of many authors. Psalm 19:7, by its subject (the law) and by the parallel verb (‘making wise’), points to a spiritual renewal of this kind, rather than mere refreshment. But God, the shepherd, knows the right paths, the paths that lead to the desired goal and that fulfill the purpose of the journey. He now describes this same relationship employing the imagery of a hospitable host. The psalmist expresses his trust in the Lord in two ways. This indicates to historians that a considerable time, probably measuring in centuries, had passed since the original collection had been put together. This second type of “leading” involves the psalmist’s soul, which God “restoreth” by guiding the psalmist “in the paths of righteousness.” Righteousness here probably refers to the Hebrew law, which is extensively delineated throughout the first books of the Old Testament and was regarded by the Hebrew people as a direct expression of God.