Psalm 23

David's confidence in God's providential care and goodness.

0A Psalm of David.

1Thea LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

a Isa. 40:11; Jer. 23:4; Ezek. 34:23; John 10:11; 1 Peter 2:25; Rev. 7:17.

2He maketh me 1to lie down in 2green pastures: he 3leadeth me beside the 4still waters.

1 Compare Ezek. 34:15.

2 Hebr. pastures of grass, or, tender grass. Other, in green folds, or, huts, that is, such as are encompassed all about with green meadows or pasture grounds.

3 As Exod. 15:13; Psalm 31:3.

4 Hebr. waters of quietness, that is, which, running very quietly and softly, are very capable to water the herds.

3He 5restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the 6paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

5 Hebr. he maketh to return, or, bringeth back my soul, that is, He raises up, He revives; as a shepherd restores and refreshes the sheep, being faint through heat and thirst, with pleasant waters. See Ruth 4 on verse 15; Psalm 19 on verse 7; Prov. 25 on verse 13. Or, he doth return my soul, namely, on the right path.

6 Hebr. the path.

4Yea,b though I walk through the valley of the 7shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art 8with me; thy rod and thy 9staff they comfort me.

bPsalm 3:5; 118:6.

7 That is, in most dreadful, dark and dangerous ways, which doubtless happened often to David in his exile and wanderings. What this manner of speaking otherwise implies, is to be seen Job 3 on verse 5; Job 10 on verses 21, 22; 24:17; Psalm 44:19; 107:10, 14; Jer. 2:6, etc.

8 See Gen. 21 on verse 22; Gen. 31 on verse 3.

9 Namely, the shepherd’s crook or staff, which serves at the same time for a support; thus the prophet continues the similitude of the shepherd. See Lev. 27:32; Ezek. 20:37; Micah 7:14; Zech. 11:7.

5Thou preparest a 10table before me 11in the presence of mine enemies: thou 12anointest my head with 13oil; my 14cup runneth over.

10 See Prov. 9:2, etc.

11 To their grief they must see and suffer it. See Psalm 112:10.

12 That is, Thou anointest my head abundantly, in order that it is as fat and flowing of oil.

13 Understand odoriferous, or sweet-smelling oil or balm. See Ruth 3 on verse 3; Prov. 21 on verse 7. The meaning is: Thou dost exceedingly cheer and refresh me. Compare Psalm 45:7; 133:2; Eccl. 9:8; Isa. 61:3.

14 See Psalm 11 on verse 6.

6Surely goodness and 15mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will 16dwell in the house of the LORD 17for ever.

15 From the Lord, according as He doth promise and show unto His (own).

16 Other, rest, namely, in the tabernacle of the Lord, to serve and to praise Him with His people; which some do apply not only to this life, but also to that to come; and so likewise the following words for ever.

17 That is, for a long time, or, for ever. Compare Psalm 21 on verse 4; 93:5; Isa. 53:10.