December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 A psalm of David. 2 The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.
- In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me;
- 3 you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name.
- 4 Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.
- 5 You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
- 6 Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come.
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1 [Psalm 23] God's loving care for the psalmist is portrayed under the figures of a shepherd for the flock (Psalm 23:1-4) and a host's generosity toward a guest (Psalm 23:5-6). The imagery of both sections is drawn from traditions of the exodus (Isaiah 40:11; 49:10; Jeremiah 31:10).
2  My shepherd: God as good shepherd is common in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (Ezekiel 34:11-16; John 10:11-18).
3  The right path: connotes "right way" and "way of righteousness."
4  A dark valley: a different division of the Hebrew consonants yields the translation "the valley of the shadow of death."
5  You set a table before me: this expression occurs in an exodus context in Psalm 78:19. As my enemies watch: my enemies see that I am God's friend and guest. Oil: a perfumed ointment made from olive oil, used especially at banquets (Psalm 104:15; Matthew 26:7; Luke 7:37, 46; John 12:2).
6  Goodness and love: the blessings of God's covenant with Israel.
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