Psalm 23


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psalm 23




The Lord is the Pastor of his people; therefore it may be
inferred that they shall not want, 1.
How he guides, feeds, and protects them, 2, 3.
Even in the greatest dangers they may be confident of his
support, 4.
His abundant provision for them, 5.
The confidence they may have of his continual mercy, and their
eternal happiness, 6.




There is nothing particular in the title; it is simply
attributed to David; but as it appears to be a thanksgiving of the
Israelites for their redemption from the Bablylonish captivity, it
cannot with propriety be attributed to David. Some think it was
written by David in his exile, which is not likely; others, that
he penned it when he was finally delivered from the persecution of
Saul. I rather incline to the opinion that it was written after
the captivity. The Chaldee seems to suppose that it was written to
celebrate the goodness of God to the Israelites in the desert. It
is a truly beautiful Psalm. Supposing it to have been written
after the captivity, we see, 1. The redeemed captives giving
thanks to God for their liberty. 2. Acknowledging that God had
brought back their lives from the grave. 3. They represent
themselves in Judea as a flock in an excellent pasture. 4. They
declare that from the dangers they have passed through, and from
which God had delivered them, they can have no fear of any enemy.
5. They conclude, from what God has done for them, that his
goodness and mercy shall follow them all their days. And, 6. That
they shall no more be deprived of God's worship, but shall all
their days have access to his temple.





The scope of this Psalm is to show the happiness of that man who
has God for his protector, and is under his care and tuition.

To illustrate this protection, two
allegories: the one of a shepherd; the other of a free-hearted man
given to hospitality, and entertaining his guests bountifully. It
has two parts: the first sets forth, 1. God's care in providing
him with all necessaries, Ps 23:1-4. 2. His liberality in
supplying him with all that he needed, Ps 23:5.

The second part shows his confidence in God's grace, and his
thankfulness, Ps 23:6.


I. He begins the first with this position, "God is my shepherd;"
and upon it infers, "Therefore I shall not want." He will do for
me what a good shepherd will do for his sheep.

1. He will feed me in green pastures, Ps 23:2.

2. He will there provide for my safety: "He makes me to lie

3. He will provide waters of comfort for me.

4. These waters shall be gently-flowing streams, still
waters-not turbulent and violent.

5. He will take care to preserve me in health; if sick, he will
restore me.

6. He goes before and leads me, that I may not mistake my way:
"He leads me in paths of righteousness," which is his love; for it
is "for his name's sake."

7. He restores. If I err and go astray, and walk through the
valley of the shadow of death, (for a sheep is a straggling
creature,) I will fear no evil: for his rod and staff comfort me;
his law and his Gospel both contribute to my correction and


Thus, as a good Shepherd, he supplies me with necessaries, that
I want nothing: but over and above, as a bountiful Lord, he has
furnished me copiously with varieties which may be both for
ornament and honour.

1. He has prepared a table for me-and that in the presence of my

2. He hath anointed my head with oil, to refresh my spirits, and
cheer my countenance.

3. And my cup runneth over-with the choicest wine he gladdens my

II. The last verse, 1. Sets out David's confidence that it shall
be no worse with him: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life."

2. Then he expresses his thankfulness: "I will dwell in the
house of the Lord for ever." In thy house, among the faithful, I
will praise thy name as long as I live.

On each point in this analysis the reader is requested to
consult the notes.