Analysis of the twenty-third psalms

Introduction

Psalm twenty three is widely known that the psalmist David was the author and it was written throughout his life time in a poetic tone.

The extent of Psalm twenty-third is to demonstrate the bliss of those who has made Lord their refuge, fortress, and security; His faithful promises are our armor and safeguard. In the six verses there is a distinct premise with the first verse. David was not alarmed or distressed, for he knew the Lord to be his Shepherd. This psalm of trust gives an illustration of David in two ways. On one hand, he is like a "sheep" that made the Lord his Shepherd. On the other hand, a shepherd who in ancient time was one of the most familiar imagery of kingship, in this instance, David being a king was shepherd over the herd of Israel.

Although, the word 'king' doesn't mentioned in the psalm since David was a king and shepherd over the flock of Israel, this shows that Psalm 23 is considered to be a royal psalm, the psalm "predictive tells of Jesus as the superior Shepherd whose herd reliance upon Him, in (John 10) and in (Luke 23:2, 3; Rev.17:14) the King whose just decree will be reputable. In the psalm we see a depiction of the Lord as David's shepherd caring for his entire necessitate (vv.1); and in addition the Lord as his shepherd expanding His mercy to all (vv. 5, 6)."[1]

The Lord is my shepherd

David who had been a shepherd from his youth as is shown in the historical descriptions of his life as described in 1 Samuel, (1 Sam.16:19) of God as his shepherd that came from his personal life experience (23:1). He begins with this first point, Lord, which means Lord a name spoken of "Yahweh"[2] a Jewish tradition demonstrating respect. Again Yahweh is said to be a promised name of God, which according to Jewish custom this name of God is too scared to utter. It was first used in Genesis 15:2 by Abraham when he said 'Lord God what will thou give me.

I lack nothing (23:1 CJB)

The word lack comes from the Hebrew word (chacer, Hebrew lexicons) I will not be without; here he was speaking in a hyperbole tone God will provide for all our needs. He will do for us what a first-class shepherd will do for his sheep since his heart is full of love for us. Surely this expression could hint to the marvelous proviso of the children Israel's needs when God rain down bread in the wilderness during their Exodus, (Exodus 16:4).

He has me lie down in grassy pastures (23:2 CJB)

I believe this an allegorical narrative and it is not literally speaking of grass but a peaceful environment. To my knowledge, sheep are regarded as an apprehensive breed of animals and need to feel absolutely sheltered before they will lie down. The slightest commotion of an intruder frightens them.

He leads me by quiet water (2:2 CJB)

David articulates such powerful words here to communicate his outlook of God's abundant care he gives to His people. "Quiet water" it is also as a matter of facts, that sheep are scared of rapid flowing waters. Therefore, David wants us to see that God's proviso of quiet water has a comforting effect that calms the sheep.

He restores my inner person (23:3 CJB)

The calm voice and tender touch of God rejuvenates his people from a life of ruin, and renovates the soul from sin. Because of this reason, the sheep knows the Shepherd and are known by Him (John 10:14). Citing Ernest Lucas the "shepherd had to protect the sheep from predators, so shepherding was about provision and protection for the flock"[3]

For His name's sake: "The loving actions of the Shepherd proceed from His nature."[4]

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

The word death in Hebrew comes from the word Bowr pit, well, cistern (Hebrew Lexicons) I believe David uses an allegorical narrative as a shepherd, because the valley was a place of risk and danger to go through, there was cliffs and gluttonous creatures, the sheep used to go through to get water from the wells and could be attacked by wild dogs and wolves. Because it was dangerous he calls it the valley of the shadow of death. The sheep knew that the shepherd was with them and they knew the sound of his voice. He uses death as a metaphorical give show horror.

Whenever, we are faced with difficult time in our lives, frequently comes with illness, testing, and hardship. Nevertheless, Lord, our guardian, is able to escort us through these dim and difficult valleys to everlasting life with Him. There is no need to be afraid of death's power (1 Corinthians 15:25). You are with me: The Good Shepherd is always with us even in our most complicated and disturbing circumstances.

Your rod and your staff reassure me (23:4 CJB)

In the primeval time shepherds used the rod and staff to free or carry the sheep from confinement, aggression jeopardy or evil. The rod and staff here used as a symbol of the shepherd's authority. As a result, they are symbols of the Good Shepherd's affectionate care for his flock. The Lord watches over us and defends us. The sheep are not unaided, for their shepherd watches over them and defends them.

You prepare a table for me, even as my enemies watch (23:5 CJB)

God's proviso is so comfy; I like how the New Living Translation translate this verse it show God provision for us in the midst of opponent. 'You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You welcome me as a guest, anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings.' (23:5 NTL. David writes, he has organized a feast not only that he is able to give me food to eat, but he also have the authority to defend me, even if I am enclosed by enemies, I can sit down at his table with self-assurance, knowing that I shall feast in perfect safety. According to Jamieson, Faussett, "This may refer to the favour God gave the poor captive Israelites in the sight of the Chaldeans who had grievously treated them for seventy years."[5]

You anoint my head with oil from an overflowing cup (23:5 CJB)

Normally in the 'prehistoric time in the Middle East it was the tradition to anoint an honored guest with olive oil that has a fragrance.'[6] My cup: God's provision is as plentiful as the wine presented to a guest by a kind host. "The lavish treatment of the guest is indicative of the loving care of God for His people."[7]

'Goodness and mercy will pursue me every day of my life; and I will live in the house of ADONAI for years and years to come (23:6 CJB).'

Let's reflect on these two words "mercy" is to have compassion and "goodness" is to show kindness, both illustrate God's devoted love for his people. True followers of God will never lack his favorable compassion, his congenial influences, when they are essential Barns states "The Hebrew verb follow describes an animal in pursuit."[8] As long as the Lord is our Shepherd, we will replace pursued by wild animals with pursued by the affectionate kindness of our Lord.

Live in the house of the Lord forever

Sometimes we go through a time of testing the Lord wants to see if we will trust him enough through that time. David writes for the duration of his days, throughout, the rest of my life, I shall not be alienated from the house of my God, neither from his order. Echo a verbal communication of a minister who returned from confinement to live in the sanctuary, and to serve the Lord for the rest of his life for years and years to come. "God's promise for the Israelites was not just for the enjoyment of this life in the land of promise it was also for the full enjoyment of the life to come in His blessed presence (Psalms 16:9; 17:15; 49:15)."[9]

Bibliography

  • Ellision, H.L., BA.,B.D. Understanding The New Testament, The Psalms, (Published in Daily Bible Commentary Volume 2, 1977) 21
  • Gibbs, Carl B. Principles of Biblical Interpretation, An Independent-Study Textbook, Third Edition, Mattersey Hall Distance Learning, MDL506, 1994
  • Lucas, Ernest. Exploring the Old Testament, The Psalms and Wisdom Literature volume (Published by Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London 2003).
  • Abbot, Jacob. Abbot, John S. C. Commentary on Psalm 23, Abbott Illustrated New Testament, <http://www.studylight.org/com, O.A Browning & Co. Toledo, Ohio. 1878. 30/04/2009 6:30 pm
  • Barnes, Albert, Commentary on Psalm 23, Barnes' Notes on the New Testament http://www.studylight.org/com/bnn/view, 30/04/2009 8:30 pm
  • Beers, Ronald A., Petersen, Ken, Saba, Nelson, Ilumina, Bible Encyclopedia: (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2002).
  • Clarke, Adam, Commentary on Psalm 23, The Adam Clarke Commentary http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view, 1832, 30/04/2009 8:00 pm
  • Blue Letter Bible. The Names of God in the Old Testament. Blue Letter Bible. 1 Apr 2002. 27 Nov 2009. <http://blueletterbible.org/study/misc/name_god.html>
  • Henry, Matthew, Complete Commentary on Psalm 23, Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, http://www.studylight.org/com/mhc- com/view>, 1706,30/04/2009 6 00 pm
  • Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Classic Bible Commentaries Courtesy of E-Word Today History's Most Renowned Commentary Writers 30/4/2009/ 7:00 pm
  • Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Psalm 23, Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition), http://www.studylight.org/com/srn/view, 1917 30/4/2009 7:55 pm
  • Wesley, John, Commentary on Psalm 23, John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, http://www.studylight.org/com/wen/view, 1765, 30/04/2009 6:30 pm.
  1. Clarke, Adam, Commentary on Psalm 23, The Adam Clarke Commentary http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view, 1832, 30/04/2009 8:00 pm
  2. Blue Letter Bible. The Names of God in the Old Testament. Blue Letter Bible. 1 Apr 2002. 27 Nov 2009. <http://blueletterbible.org/study/misc/name_god.html
  3. Lucas, Ernest. Exploring the Old Testament, The Psalms and Wisdom Literature volume 3, (Published by Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London 2003) 40
  4. Clarke, Adam, Commentary on Psalm 23. The Adam Clarke Commentary <http://www.studylight.org/com/acc/view>, 1832. 30/04/2009 8:00 pm
  5. Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown Classic Bible Commentaries Courtesy of E-Word Today History's Most Renowned Commentary Writers 30/4/2009/ 7:00 pm
  6. Beers, Ronald A., Petersen, Ken, Saba, Nelson, Ilumina, Bible Encyclopedia: (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House, 2002)
  7. Abbot, Jacob. Abbot, John S. C. Commentary on Psalm 23, John S. C. Abbott and Jacob Abbott Illustrated New Testament. http://www.studylight.org/com/ain/view, O.A Browning & Co. Toledo, Ohio. 1878. 30/04/2009 6:30 pm
  8. Barnes, Albert, Commentary on Psalm 23, Barnes' Notes on the New Testament http://www.studylight.org/com/bnn/view, 30/04/2009 8:30 pm
  9. Ellision, H.L., BA.,B.D. Understanding The New Testament, The Psalms, (Published in Daily Bible Commentary Volume 2, 1977) 21

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