Psalm 23:2

 

Verse 2. (last clause). Easily leads, or comfortably guides me: it notes a soft and gentle leading, with sustaining of infirmity. H. Ainsworth.

Verse 2. Green pastures. Here are many pastures, and every pasture rich so that it can never be eaten bare; here are many streams, and every stream so deep and wide that it can never be drawn dry. The sheep have been eating in these pastures ever since Christ had a church on earth, and yet they are as full of grass as ever. The sheep have been drinking at these streams ever since Adam, and yet they are brim full to this very day, and they will so continue till the sheep are above the use of them in heaven! Ralph Robinson, 1656.

Verse 2. Green pastures... beside the still waters. From the top of the mound (of Arban on the Khabour) the eye ranged over a level country bright with flowers, and spotted with black tents, and innumerable flocks of sheep and camels. During our stay at Arban, the colour of these great plains was undergoing a continual change. After being for some days of a golden yellow, a new family of flowers would spring up, and it would turn almost in a night to a bright scarlet, which would again as suddenly give way to the deepest blue. Then the meadows would be mottled with various hues, or would put on the emerald green of the most luxuriant of pastures. The glowing descriptions I had so frequently received from the Bedouins of the beauty and fertility of the banks of the Khabour were more than realised. The Arabs boast that its meadows bear three distinct crops of grass during the year, and the wandering tribes look upon its wooded banks and constant greensward as a paradise during the summer months, where man can enjoy a cool shade, and beast can find fresh and tender herbs, whilst all around is yellow, parched, and sapless. Austin H. Layard, 1853.

Verse 2. With guidance to green pastures, the psalmist has, with good reason, associated guardianship beside still waters: for as we can only appropriate the word through the Spirit, so we shall ordinarily receive the Spirit through the Word; not indeed only by hearing it, not only by reading it, not only by reflecting upon it. The Spirit of God, who is a most free agent, and who is himself the source of liberty, will come into the heart of the believer when he will, and how he will, and as he will. But the effect of his coming will ever be the realisation of some promise, the recognition of some principle, the attainment of some grace, the understanding of some mystery, which is already in the word, and which we shall thus find, with a deeper impression, and with a fuller development, brought home with power to the heart. Thomas Dale, M.A., in "The Good Shepherd", 1847.

Verse 2. Still waters; which are opposed to great rivers, which both affright the sheep with their noise, and expose them to the danger of being carried away by their swift and violent streams, whilst they are drinking at them. Matthew Poole.

Verse 2. Still waters; Hebrew, "Waters of rests", ex quibus diligunt oves bibere, saith Kimchi, such as sheep love to drink of, because void of danger, and yielding a refreshing air. Popish clergymen are called the "inhabitants of the sea", Revelation 12:12 , because they set abroach gross, troubled, brackish, and sourish doctrine, which rather bring barrenness to their hearers, and gnaw the entrails than quench their thirst, or cool their heat. The doctrine of the gospel, like the waters of Siloe ( Isaiah 8:8 ), run gently, but taste pleasantly. John Trapp.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 2. (first clause). Believing rest.

Verse 2. The contemplative and the active element provided for.

Verse 2. The freshness and richness of Holy Scripture.

Verse 2. (second clause). Onward. The Leader, the way, the comforts of the road, and the traveller in it.

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