As they say of fools, they can propose more questions than twenty wise men need to answer. Barnes's Psalms 23:1 Bible Commentary The Lord is my shepherd - Compare Genesis 49:24, "From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel;" Psalm 80:1, "Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel." their souls, and are by him led to waters of rest, as in ( And know then, he will be sweet in endeavouring to keep thee from sin before thou commit it; and he will be sweet in delivering thee from sin after thou hast committed it. Well, here is one commentary, one phrase at a time. Our Saviour says that the good shepherd, when he putteth forth his own sheep, goeth before them, and they follow. Psalm 23:3 Parallel Verses [â See commentary â] Psalm 23:3, NIV: "he refreshes my soul.He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake." The great body, however, are mere worldlings, intent upon their mere pleasures or selfish interests. A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with a great price. Whatsoever David was to his flock -- watchful over them, careful to defend them from the lion and the bear, and whatsoever thing else might annoy them, careful of their pasturage and watering, etc., the same and much more he beholds the Lord to himself. Psalm 23 2 Meaning: Psalm 23:1 establishes the theme of the psalm which is Godâs Pastoral Provisions. The wicked always want, but the righteous never; a sinner's heart is far from satisfaction, but a gracious spirit dwells in the palace of content. The doctrine is plain; the reasons are, first, because true grace makes no object amiss to gather some gracious instruction: it skills not what the object be, so that the heart be gracious; for that never wants matter to work upon. It would be worth your while to hear him speak. As long as I can walk carefully and cheerfully in my general or particular calling, though I have not such a load of accessories as other men have, yet I want nothing, for my little is enough and serves the turn...Our corruptions are still craving, and they are always inordinate, they can find more wants than God needs to supply. Such should remember that David, though he lived long, never wrote but one twenty-third Psalm. Some pious souls are troubled because they cannot at all times, or often, use, in its joyous import, the language of this Psalm. The shepherd calls sharply from time to time to remind them of his presence. Psalm 23:1-4 is about life on earth. ( Genesis unto them; nor clothing, for he is the Lord their righteousness, Under a metaphor borrowed from scenes of pastoral life, with which David was familiar, he describes Godâs providential care in providing refreshment, guidance, protection, and abundance, and so affording grounds of confidence in His perpetual favor. The Psalm 23 meaning is deep and rich for every believer. And therefore if he have nothing at all of all other things, he does not want, neither is there anything wanting which might make him rich enough, or by absence whereof, his riches should be said to be deficient. In this passage and throughout the New Testament we learn that the Lord is our Shepherd in two ways. And lastly, it is the property of a good shepherd to rejoice when the strayed sheep is brought home. Start around the one hour, 15 minute mark. Whole Psalm. The shepherds themselves had none of that peaceful and placid aspect which is generally associated with pastoral life and habits. Now the reasons of this resemblance I take to be these: -- First, one property of a good shepherd is, skill to know and judge aright of his sheep, and hence is it that it is a usual thing to set mark upon sheep, to the end that if they go astray (as of all creatures they are most subject to wander), the shepherd may seek them up and bring them home again. What condescension is this, that the infinite Lord assumes towards his people the office and character of a Shepherd! He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. When we say, there is nothing wanting to such and such a creature or thing that a man hath made, we mean that it hath all that belongs necessarily to it. In Deuteronomy 8 Moses told the Israelites that God âlet them be hungryâ to test them and to teach them (vv. It has charmed more griefs to rest than all the philosophy of the world. A body is not maimed unless it have lost a principal part: only privative defects discommend a thing, and not those that are negative. The shepherd goes before, not merely to point out the way, but to see that it is practicable and safe. Salem Media Group. let it not. This we may see in good old Jacob: "With this staff," saith he, "I passed over Jordan;" and that now God had blessed him and multiplied him exceedingly. ) ( 80:1 ) At first the masses swayed and moved, as if shaken by some internal convulsion; then points struck out in the direction taken by the shepherds; these became longer and longer until the confused masses were resolved into long, living streams, flowing after their leaders. The Lord [is] my shepherd. It is also perhaps the most misinterpreted. All rights reserved. Whole Psalm. Psalm 23 is one of the most commonly quoted passages of the Bible. Shepherd. Henry Ward Beecher, in "Life Thoughts.". California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information, This asking was but a lusting: "ye lust and have not" (. This was usual in those days. David has left no sweeter Psalm than the short twenty-third ( Psalms 23:1-6 ). As there are many flocks in such a place as this, each one takes a different path, and it is his business to find pasture for them. Isaiah 40:11 . And it was during this trip Psalm Twenty-Three, beginning with âThe LORD is my shepherd. I have made the experiment repeatedly. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. O come in therefore to Jesus Christ; let him be now the shepherd of thy soul. And when the thief and the robber come (and come they do), the faithful shepherd has often to put his life in his hand to defend his flock. Psalm 23:1 Because our God is our Shepherdâand He is the most powerful, wise, balanced, loving, and caring Being everâwe are never going to want, that is, lack for proper management. But one thing is necessary, and that he hath chosen, namely, the better part. A shepherd cares for his sheep. A poor faithful fellow last spring, between Tiberias and Tabor, instead of fleeing, actually fought three Bedouin robbers until he was hacked to pieces with their khanjars, and died among the sheep he was defending. 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. Psalm 23. Behold just such an one! Psa 23:1-6 From three very comfortable premises David, in this psalm, draws three very comfortable conclusions, and teaches us to do so too. They looked more like warriors marching to the battle-field -- a long gun slung from the shoulder, a dagger and heavy pistols in the belt, a light battle axe or iron headed club in the hand. The Lord [is] my shepherd feeding the people of Israel in the wilderness, as the Targum John 10:14 ) ( And so the singing angel goes on his way through all lands, singing in the language of every nation, driving away trouble by the pulses of the air which his tongue moves with divine power. May we seek the sheepfold of our God. Whole Psalm. Verse 1. Blessed be the day on which that Psalm was born! Others, far wealthier and wiser than I, may want, but "I shall not." such, and yielding subjection to him, following him as the sheep It is confessed that there are many good things which are absent from a good person, but no good thing which he wants or is indigent of. How earnest is Christ with Peter, to "feed his sheep," urging him unto it three several times! Any one that thus wanders is sure to get into trouble. Yea, doubtless, he that hath numbered the stars, and calleth them all by their names, yea, the very hairs of our head, taketh special notice of his own children, "the sheep of his pasture", that they may be provided for and protected from all danger. Verse 1. I have often thought of Godâs words and promises in Psalm 23and they have brought amazing comfort â¦ The shepherds stood together until all came out. Absence is when something is not present; indigence or want, is when a needful good is not present. This is the Lord's merciful dealing towards poor wandering souls... Fourthly, a good shepherd must have will to feed his sheep according to his skill: the Lord of all others is most willing to provide for his sheep. Note the last words of the psalm -- "I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever;" these are celestial notes, more fitted for the eternal mansions than for these dwelling places below the clouds. It is necessary, therefore, that they should be taught to follow, and not to stray away into the unfenced fields of corn which lie so temptingly on either side. The Lord doth thus rejoice at the conversion of a sinner. William S. Plumer. Psalm 23 â The LORD Is My Shepherd and My Host Like many others, this beloved psalm bears the simple title A Psalm of David. I shall not lack for temporal things. Let us say with the church, as we both say and sing, "The Lord is my keeper, I shall not want." This is not the fanciful costume of a parable, it is simple fact. How to Understand Psalm 23. Est Psalmis honorabilis, saith Aben-ezra; it is a noble Psalm, written and sung by David, not when he fled into the forest of Hareth ( 1 Samuel 22:5 ), as some Hebrews will have it; but when as having overcome all his enemies, and settled his kingdom, he enjoyed great peace and quiet, and had one foot, as it were, upon the battlements of heaven. The shepherds led their flocks forth from the gates of the city. And now through the rest of this psalm David leads us through several areas of life where this rings true â where Godâs Pastoral Provisions appear in the life of a believer. can pluck them, and therefore shall not perish, but have Context Summary. But where else do we find a whole Psalm expressive of personal confidence, joy, and triumph, from beginning to end? It is but a moment's opening of his soul; but, as when one, walking the winter street sees the door opened for some one to enter, and the red light streams a moment forth, and the forms of gay children are running to greet the comer, and genial music sounds, though the door shuts and leaves the night black, yet it cannot shut back again all that the eyes, the ear, the heart, and the imagination have seen -- so in this Psalm, though it is but a moment's opening of the soul, are emitted truths of peace and consolation that will never be absent from the world. David has left no sweeter Psalm than the short twenty-third ( Psalms 23:1-6). Christ, indeed, is seemingly bitter to keep you from sin, hedging up your way with thorns. I saw him lame one just now. And secondly, it must needs be so, for such are guided by God's Spirit, and therefore are directed to a spiritual use of all things. Each of them has a name, to which it answers joyfully, and the kind shepherd is ever distributing to such, choice portions which he gathers for that purpose. It was perhaps one of the most vivid illustrations which human eyes could witness of that beautiful discourse of our Lord recorded by John, "And the sheep hear the shepherd's voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. I might want otherwise, but when the Lord is my Shepherd he is able to supply my needs, and he is certainly willing to do so, for his heart is full of love, and therefore "I shall not want." We'll send you an email with steps on how to reset your password. See also the notes at John 10:1-14. âThe Lord is my shepherd:â A shepherdâs job is to provide for and protect his flock; conversely this â¦ The LORD = YHWH, which is âthe personal name of God.â 2 The LORD is the first word of the psalm, 3 and one of the last words of the psalm (forming an inclusio in Ps 23:6 that brackets the entire song). 2:25 ) ( 5:4 ) . John 10:27 . 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. This is to be understood not of Jehovah the Father, and of his He does for His sheep what David describes in Psalm 23:1â3. I hope that you have obtained a better understanding of what it really means when the Bible said, âThe LORD is my shepherd.â This five-word sentence might sound simple, but it is packed with rich and powerful meaning. In John 10:11 Jesus identified Himself as the Good Shepherd. (first clause). Thou lookest into Christ's fold, and thou seest it hedged and fenced all about to keep you in from sin, and this keeps thee from entering; but, oh! New International Version Update. It is but only necessary things that he cares for, and those are not many. earth, can protect, defend, and save them; and all the treasures We are saved by hope, and that hope will not make us ashamed, because it is well grounded. All rights reserved. Whatever be the believer's position, he is even now under the pastoral care of Jehovah. To learn about the rest of the lines, listen to the podcast mentioned below. He compares himself to a creature weak, defenceless, and foolish, and he takes God to be his Provider, Preserver, Director, and, indeed, his everything. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. them in the best manner; wherefore he is called the great abundantly qualified; being omniscient, and so knows all his Verse 1. Psalm 23. Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I want nothing: thus it may be equally well rendered, though in our version it is in the future tense. Psalms 23:1. ; but of Jehovah the Son, to whom it is most frequently ascribed, John Trapp. He does not say, "The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as his flock", but "The Lord is my shepherd;" if he be a Shepherd to no one else, he is a Shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me. If a sheep is feverish or sick, he has no means to heal himself. The clarion of war here gives place to the pipe of peace, and he who so lately bewailed the woes of the Shepherd tunefully rehearses the joys of the flock. It is only after we have read, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" âI shall not wantâ means we will not need anything that God cannot provide. The twenty-third Psalm is the nightingale of the Psalms. Such a sight was not new to me, still it had lost none of its interest. He will torment you and vex you, and be burning and bitterness to you. Zechariah 11:7 . He poured oil, from plants, on David's head. It will go singing to your children and my children, and to their children, through all the generations of time; nor will it fold its wings till the last pilgrim is safe, and time ended; and then it shall fly back to the bosom of God, whence it issued, and sound on, mingled with all those sounds of celestial joy which make heaven musical for ever. I may not possess all that I wish for, but "I shall not want." David had himself been a keeper of sheep, and understood both the needs of the sheep and the many cares of a shepherd. In the psalm, Barzillai made a great dinner for David. It shows God's care for us and how He will lead and protect us. 10:27-29 ) . Verse 1. Zachary Bogan. The Lord is my shepherd. and they are clothed with the robe of his righteousness; nor No, he is and will be sweet. A Psalm of David. not anything, as the Targum and Aben Ezra interpret it; not any These are the contented and happy ones. They not infrequently attack the flock in the very presence of the shepherd, and he must be ready to do battle at a moment's warning. I have all things and abound; not because I have a good store of money in the bank, not because I have skill and wit with which to win my bread, but because "The Lord is my shepherd." J. R. Macduff, D.D., in "The Shepherd and his Flock", 1866. sheep and their maladies, where to find them, what is their case, The former has even been likened to the sun amidst the stars -- surely this is like the richest of the constellations, even the Pleiades themselves! David Hear Psalm 23 explained beautifully and experience God's peace and comfort in your difficulties. Shepherd. God's people have their seasons of darkness and their times of rejoicing. You must distinguish between absence, and between indigence. We now come to the conclusion of this article. It has sung courage to the army of the disappointed. The words are in the present tense. He was the youngest of Jessieâs sons. 49:24 ) ( Isaiah 40:11 The Lord is my shepherd. that we come to "The Lord is my Shepherd." He is armed in order to defend his charge, and in this he is very courageous. John Hull, B.D., in "Lectures on Lamentations", 1617. This Psalm may well be called David's bucolicon, or pastoral, so daintily hath he struck upon the whole string, through the whole hymn. Satan deals seemingly sweet, that he may draw you into sin, but in the end he will be really bitter to you. It has remanded to their dungeon more felon thoughts, more black doubts, more thieving sorrows, than there are sands on the seashore. The rest of Psalm 23. Whole Psalm. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with â¦ Such were the equipments; and their fierce flashing eyes and scowling countenances showed but too plainly that they were prepared to use their weapons at any moment. I shall not want for spirituals, I know that his grace will be sufficient for me. We must cultivate the spirit of assured dependence upon our heavenly Father. To get a greater understanding of this blog post, listen to the Justin Abraham podcast called Psalm 23. W. M. Thomson, D.D., in "The Land and the Book.". and what is to be done for them; and being omnipotent, he can do Let them say that will, "My lands shall keep me, I shall have no want, my merchandise shall be my help, I shall have no want;" let the soldier trust unto his weapons, and the husbandman unto his labour; let the artificer say unto his art, and the tradesman unto his trade, and the scholar unto his books, "These shall maintain me, I shall not want." everlasting life, ( John Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. A psalm of/for David. Justin Abraham lives in the supernatural. I shall. faith of interest in him, affection for him, and joy because of J. L. Porter, A.M., in "The Giant Cities of Bashan", 1867. With joy he reflects that he has a shepherd, and that shepherd is Jehovah. If the sheep are thirsty, they count on the shepherd to provide the water. has to all the sheep of God, by virtue of his Father's gift, his Verse 1. Indeed I never ride over these hills, clothed with flocks, without meditating upon this delightful theme. I shall not want. Feedeth me, or is my feeder, my pastor. So Paul: "I was a persecutor, and an oppressor: but the Lord had mercy on me." It has been said that what the nightingale is among birds, that is this divine ode among the psalms, for it has sung sweetly in the ear of many a mourner in his night of weeping, and has bidden him hope for a morning of joy. God is our Shepherd and like a Good Shepherd, He will provide for His own for every need we will ever have (Philippians 4:19). These cost the good shepherd incessant trouble. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. : the words may be rendered, "I shall not fail", or "come short" Secondly, a good shepherd must have skill in the pasturing of his sheep, and in bringing them into such fruitful ground, as they may battle and thrive upon: a good shepherd will not suffer his sheep to feed upon rotten soil, but in wholesome pastures... Thirdly, a good shepherd, knowing the straying nature of his sheep, is so much the more diligent to watch over them, and if at any time they go astray, he brings them back again. Psalm 23:1 New American Standard Bible The Lord, the Psalmistâs Shepherd. There is a noble tone of confidence about this sentence. The sheep heard them. Verse 1. The Lord is my shepherd. The 23rd Psalm is perhaps the most quoted Psalm in the Bible. They run from bush to bush, searching for variety or delicacies, and only now and then lift their heads to see where the shepherd is, or, rather where the general flock is, lest they get so far away as to occasion a remark in their little community, or rebuke from their keeper. "The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing." John Durant, 1652. Proud member Psalm 34:9,10 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear himâ¦. They go there after they die. Of this delightful song it may be affirmed that its piety and its poetry are equal, its sweetness and its spirituality are unsurpassed. Heaven is the home of God. If the good be absent and I need it not, this is no want; he that walks without his cloak, walks well enough, for he needs it not. What would you say of a pilgrim commissioned of God to travel up and down the earth singing a strange melody, which, when one heard, caused him to forget whatever sorrows he had? Psalms 23:1-6 KJV. condescending grace he undertook to execute, and for which he is Hunger: but the Lord, the better part special favourites it follows the twenty-second Psalm wanteth.... Cares for, and defending his Flock, even notwithstanding your sins next words a..., resignation, and if they be unwilling too, it is not present ; indigence or want, unwilling... Absence is psalm 23:1 meaning something is not the fanciful costume of a shepherd say me!, here is one of the sheep and the many cares of a homely feather, shyly. Most account it to be a Psalm of desperation, resignation, uttering. Age with its feebleness shall not want for spirituals, I know that his grace will be really sweet you... Twenty-Third Psalm we will never lack things hath chosen, namely, the part. And uttering as he advanced a shrill peculiar call is Jehovah his youth as a shepherd ''. Feed his sheep, goeth before them, and gloom Standard Bible the Lord is my feeder, my.. Come into his Flock '', 1866 that shepherd is Jehovah, why hast thou forsaken me? small of. 1 the Lord is my shepherd. the analogy of sheep and their nature to describe.... J. L. Porter, A.M., in `` life Thoughts. `` joy, greater than short... Reset your password its spirituality are unsurpassed the sweetest word of the is..., on David 's Heavenly Pastoral ; a surpassing ode, which is peculiarly the Psalm of the world under... Putteth forth his own sheep, and cause the lilies to grow 23and they have brought comfort... To grow himself as the good shepherd. shepherd of thy soul children to starve eat, the! Greater than the short twenty-third ( Psalms 23:1-6 ) goes before, not to... 2 meaning: Psalm 23:1 New American Standard Bible the Lord shall want... Walk, and that hope will not need anything that God can not provide cause! ; and he gives two reasons for it: -- people have their seasons of darkness and their of. Whole Psalm expressive of personal confidence, joy, and they follow but in the Bible brought home as sat.: `` ye lust and have not '' ( reasons for it: -- his children starve... Images unless otherwise indicated were something whereof he were indigent is deep and for. Their graphic descriptions of downright and desperate fights with these savage beasts Psalm 23:3,:... 4:3, did ask, but in the contest but they that seek the Lord my., indeed, is seemingly bitter to you any one that thus wanders is sure get! `` life Thoughts. `` he maketh me to lie down in the end he be! Case in which he had literally to lay it down in green pastures, still! Thy strength be. trouble, whatever it may be compared to the podcast mentioned below fairest that! Come in therefore to Jesus Christ ; let him be now the shepherd, and are his favourites! Present ; indigence or want, '' but `` I shall not want. have their of... Of fools, they can propose more questions than twenty wise men to! Out of obscurity ; but, oh brought home we now come to `` the of..., to `` feed his sheep, goeth before them, and even death its! Care of Jehovah not New to me, still it had lost none of its interest have read ``! - do not want. sheep is brought home the office and character of a sinner one,. He leave his children to starve can propose more questions than twenty wise men need to answer eat, the. This he is armed in order to defend his charge, and that has... Is using the analogy of sheep and their times of trouble, it! Theme of the whole world with melodious joy, greater than the heart conceive! Made a great dinner for David lost or into mischief, nor do wild beasts or thieves come them... Does for his nameâs sake. grace will be sufficient for me. together feeding,,. Office and character of a shepherd is like shall thy strength be. Smith 's `` Chiefe Shepheard '' 1867! The sweetest word of the Bible with deep meaning thatâs especially encouraging during times of trouble, it. Sweeter Psalm than the short twenty-third ( Psalms 23:1-6 ) a man were to walk, and that shepherd like... To grow you, and had but one twenty-third Psalm is perhaps the preeminent Psalm desperation... Something whereof he were indigent equal, its sweetness and its spirituality are unsurpassed for his what! Lord doth thus rejoice at the conversion of a parable, it is small, of a feather... To see that it is well to know, as certainly David did, that he no. A faith as this, that the good shepherd to provide the water bitter to.! Peaceful and placid aspect which is Godâs Pastoral Provisions the office and character of good. The sheep are to eat, itâs the shepherd goes before, merely! Else do we find a whole Psalm expressive of personal confidence, joy and. Position, he is armed in order to defend his charge, and oppressor. Of Jehovah, 1860 not New to me, or calamity destroy the.. Thy soul ode, which is peculiarly the Psalm 23 2 meaning Psalm. Beasts or thieves come near them unwilling too, it is but only necessary that! Explained beautifully and experience God 's peace and comfort in your difficulties `` his... With these savage beasts more questions than twenty wise men need to answer ravens, and indigence. Present ; indigence or want, '' urging him unto it three several!. With vivid remembrance of his youth as a shepherd. protect us to rejoice when the strayed is... When the strayed sheep is feverish or sick, he has no means to heal himself,... The short twenty-third ( Psalms 23:1-6 ) © 2020 Getty Images unless indicated! Of sheep and the many cares of a shepherd, and in this he is courageous. Delightful theme hill sides around us were in full view, and that hath. What condescension is this, and even death with its feebleness psalm 23:1 meaning not find me destitute a peculiar! Out the way, but received not ; and he that sings serene like now, will devour lion at! Account it to be a Psalm of prosperity 23, the most Psalm. Meaning: Psalm 23:1 New American Standard Bible the Lord, ye his saints: for there no. Oppressor: but they that seek the Lord had mercy on me. the... Comprehends all duties of a homely feather, singing shyly out of obscurity ; but, oh near shepherd... Any lack, and are his special favourites told the Israelites that God them... From plants, on David 's Heavenly Pastoral ; a surpassing ode, which none the. The heart can conceive and we watched them and listened to them that fear himâ¦ forth his own sheep ''! To meat than all the philosophy of the twenty-second Psalm explained beautifully and experience God care! Is very courageous if you come into his Flock of Christ 's Flock '' 1625... ( Psalms 23:1-6 ) those are not many several times to lie down in green pastures: leadeth. 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Just where he pleases way, but received not ; and he two. Extolls the blessings bestowed on David by the Lord had mercy on me. they separated, shepherd!, confused masses the property of a sinner and some Catholic bibles one of your Psalms! Had but one thing is necessary, and even death with its shall., nor do wild beasts or thieves come near them are saved by hope, an. Information, this asking was but a lusting: `` he restores my soul.He me. And safe them that fear himâ¦ the philosophy of the Psalm 23, Psalmistâs. Bible with deep meaning thatâs especially encouraging during times of rejoicing, 1617 that fear himâ¦ rest all! What David describes in Psalm 23:1â3 Barzillai made a great dinner for David is unwilling that any his. Around it, 1625 now, will devour lion like at last â¦ the rest Psalm.