World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
23. Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
24. Psalm 24
The earth is the Lord’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Ps 23:1-6. Under a metaphor borrowed from scenes of pastoral life, with which David was familiar, he describes God's providential care in providing refreshment, guidance, protection, and abundance, and so affording grounds of confidence in His perpetual favor.
1. Christ's relation to His people is often represented by the figure of a shepherd (Joh 10:14; Heb 13:20; 1Pe 2:25; 5:4), and therefore the opinion that He is the Lord here so described, and in Ge 48:15; Ps 80:1; Isa 40:11, is not without some good reason.
2. green pastures—or, "pastures of tender grass," are mentioned, not in respect to food, but as places of cool and refreshing rest.
the still waters—are, literally, "waters of "stillness," whose quiet flow invites to repose. They are contrasted with boisterous streams on the one hand, and stagnant, offensive pools on the other.
paths of righteousness—those of safety, as directed by God, and pleasing to Him.
for his name's sake—or, regard for His perfections, pledged for His people's welfare.
4. In the darkest and most trying hour God is near.
the valley of the shadow of death—is a ravine overhung by high precipitous cliffs, filled with dense forests, and well calculated to inspire dread to the timid, and afford a covert to beasts of prey. While expressive of any great danger or cause of terror, it does not exclude the greatest of all, to which it is most popularly applied, and which its terms suggest.
thy rod and thy staff—are symbols of a shepherd's office. By them he guides his sheep.
5, 6. Another figure expresses God's provided care.
a table—or, "food," anointing
oil—the symbol of gladness, and the overflowing
cup—which represents abundance—are prepared for the child of God, who may feast in spite of his enemies, confident that this favor will ever attend him. This beautiful Psalm most admirably sets before us, in its chief figure, that of a shepherd, the gentle, kind, and sure care extended to God's people, who, as a shepherd, both rules and feeds them. The closing verse shows that the blessings mentioned are spiritual.
Ps 24:1-10. God's supreme sovereignty requires a befitting holiness of life and heart in His worshippers; a sentiment sublimely illustrated by describing His entrance into the sanctuary, by the symbol of His worship—the ark, as requiring the most profound homage to the glory of His Majesty.
world—the habitable globe, with
they that dwell—forming a parallel expression to the first clause.
2. Poetically represents the facts of Ge 1:9.
3, 4. The form of a question gives vivacity. Hands, tongue, and heart are organs of action, speech, and feeling, which compose character.
hill of the Lord—(compare Ps 2:6, &c.). His Church—the true or invisible, as typified by the earthly sanctuary.
4. lifted up his soul—is to set the affections (Ps 25:1) on an object; here,
vanity—or, any false thing, of which swearing falsely, or to falsehood, is a specification.
5. righteousness—the rewards which God bestows on His people, or the grace to secure those rewards as well as the result.
7-10. The entrance of the ark, with the attending procession, into the holy sanctuary is pictured to us. The repetition of the terms gives emphasis.
10. Lord of hosts—or fully, Lord God of hosts (Ho 12:5; Am 4:13), describes God by a title indicative of supremacy over all creatures, and especially the heavenly armies (Jos 5:14; 1Ki 22:19). Whether, as some think, the actual enlargement of the ancient gates of Jerusalem be the basis of the figure, the effect of the whole is to impress us with a conception of the matchless majesty of God.