Psalms 23:1

A psalm of David.

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

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Psalms 23:1 in Other Translations

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
1 God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack.

Psalms 23:1 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 23:1

The Lord [is] my shepherd
This is to be understood not of Jehovah the Father, and of his feeding the people of Israel in the wilderness, as the Targum paraphrases it, though the character of a shepherd is sometimes given to him, ( Psalms 77:20 ) ( 80:1 ) ; but of Jehovah the Son, to whom it is most frequently ascribed, ( Genesis 49:24 ) ( Isaiah 40:11 ) ( Ezekiel 34:23 ) ( 37:24 ) ( Zechariah 13:7 ) ( John 10:11 John 10:14 ) ( 1 Peter 2:25 ) ( 5:4 ) . This office he was called and appointed to by his Father, and which through his condescending grace he undertook to execute, and for which he is abundantly qualified; being omniscient, and so knows all his sheep and their maladies, where to find them, what is their case, and what is to be done for them; and being omnipotent, he can do everything proper for them; and having all power in heaven and in earth, can protect, defend, and save them; and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge being in him, he can guide and direct them in the best manner; wherefore he is called the great shepherd, and the chief shepherd, and the good shepherd. David calls him "my shepherd"; Christ having a right unto him, as he has to all the sheep of God, by virtue of his Father's gift, his own purchase, and the power of his grace; and as owning him as such, and yielding subjection to him, following him as the sheep of Christ do wheresoever he goes; and also as expressing his faith of interest in him, affection for him, and joy because of him: and from thence comfortably concludes,

I shall not want;
not anything, as the Targum and Aben Ezra interpret it; not any temporal good thing, as none of Christ's sheep do, that he in his wisdom sees proper and convenient for them; nor any spiritual good things, since a fulness of them is in him, out of which all their wants are supplied; they cannot want food, for by him they go in and out and find pasture; in him their bread is given them, where they have enough and to spare, and their waters are sure unto them; nor clothing, for he is the Lord their righteousness, and they are clothed with the robe of his righteousness; nor rest, for he is their resting place, in whom they find rest for their souls, and are by him led to waters of rest, as in ( Psalms 23:2 ) : the words may be rendered, "I shall not fail", or "come short" F19; that is, of eternal glory and happiness; for Christ's sheep are in his hands, out of which none can pluck them, and therefore shall not perish, but have everlasting life, ( John 10:27-29 ) .


F19 (roxa al) "non deficiam", Pagninus, Montanus.

Psalms 23:1 In-Context

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Related Articles

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Genesis 48:15; S Psalms 28:9; Isaiah 40:11; S John 10:11; 1 Peter 2:25
  • 2. Psalms 34:9,10; Psalms 84:11; Psalms 107:9; Philippians 4:19
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