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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Psalms 23



Verses 1-6

This is a Ps. of simple and unclouded confidence in God, who is described first as a shepherd (Psalms 23:1-4) and next as an host (Psalms 23:5-6). The beautiful imagery of the first part would be natural on the lips of the king who was a shepherd in his youth. The reference to 'the house of the Lord' in Psalms 23:6 may be a continuation of the figure of the host, and need not indicate a date after the building of the Temple.

3. Leadeth] RV 'guideth.' An Eastern shepherd goes before his flock. For his name's sake] in consistency with the character which He has already made known.

4. Shadow of death] rather, 'deep darkness': see Jeremiah 13:16; Amos 5:8. The rod was a short oaken club for defence; the staff a longer pole for use in climbing, or for leaning upon. An Eastern shepherd still carries both.

5. In the presence of mine enemies] as when David enjoyed the hospitality of Barzillai (2 Samuel 17:27-29). Anointest] RV 'hast anointed,' as a host anoints an honoured guest: see Luke 7:46. Runneth over] God's hospitality is lavish and generous.

6. Goodness and mercy, like two angels, 'pursue' the Psalmist, determined, as it were, to run him down. For ever] lit. 'for length of days,' referring to prolonged earthly life rather than to life beyond the grave.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Psalms 23:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 19th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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