He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
Or "pastures of tender grass" F20; this is one part of the shepherd's work, and which is performed by Christ, ( Ezekiel 34:14 ) ( John 10:9 ) ; by these "green pastures" may be meant the covenant of grace, its blessings and promises, where there is delicious feeding; likewise the fulness of grace in Christ, from whence grace for grace is received; also the flesh and blood, righteousness and sacrifice, of Christ, which faith is led unto and lives upon, and is refreshed and invigorated by; to which may be added the doctrines of the Gospel, with which Christ's under-shepherds feed his lambs and sheep, there being in them milk for babes and meat for strong men; and likewise the ordinances of the Gospel, the goodness and fatness of the Lord's house, the feast of fat things, and breasts of consolation: here Christ's sheep are made to "lie down", denoting their satiety and fulness; they having in these green pastures what is satisfying and replenishing; as also their rest and safety, these being sure dwellings and quiet resting places, even in the noon of temptation and persecution; see ( Song of Solomon 1:7 ) ;
he leadeth me beside the still waters,
or "waters of rest and quietness" F21; not to rapid torrents, which by reason of the noise they make, and the swiftness of their motion, the sheep are frightened, and not able to drink of them; but to still waters, pure and clear, and motionless, or that go softly, like the waters of Shiloah, ( Isaiah 8:6 ) ; and the "leading" to them is in a gentle way, easily, as they are able to bear it; so Jacob led his flock, ( Genesis 33:14 ) ; and Christ leads his, ( Isaiah 40:11 ) ; by these "still waters" may be designed the everlasting love of God, which is like a river, the streams whereof make glad the hearts of his people; these are the waters of the sanctuary, which rise to the ankles, knees, and loins, and are as a broad river to swim in; the pure river of water of life Christ leads his sheep to, and gives them to drink freely of: also communion with God, which the saints pant after, as the hart pants after the water brooks, and Christ gives access unto; moreover he himself is the fountain of gardens, and well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon; and the graces of his Spirit are also as rivers of living water, all which he makes his people partakers of; to which may be added, that the Scriptures, and the truths of the Gospel, are like still, quiet, and refreshing waters to them, and are the waters to which those that are athirst are invited to come, ( Isaiah 55:1 ) ; and in the immortal state Christ will still be a shepherd, and will feed his people, and lead them to fountains of living water, where they shall solace themselves for ever, and shall know no more sorrow and sighing, ( Revelation 7:17 ) .
F20 (avd) "tenerae herbae", Piscator, Amama, Gejerus, Michaelis; "in folds of budding grass", Ainsworth.
F21 (txwnm ym) "aquas requietum", Pagninus, Montanus; "quietum", Vatablus, Michaelis; "vel quietis", Gejerus; so Ainsworth; (ampaumatov) , Apollinar.