Yahweh returns them to the good pastures of Israel (Ezek 34:13-34:15)

“‘I will bring them

Out from the various people.

I will gather them

From the various countries.

I will bring them

Into their own land.

I will feed them

On the mountains

Of Israel.

They will be

By the water fountains,

In all the inhabited places

Of the country.

I will feed them

With good pasture.

The mountain heights

Of Israel

Shall be their pasture.

They shall lie down there

In good grazing land.

They shall feed

On rich pasture

On the mountains

Of Israel.

I myself

Will be the shepherd

Of my sheep.

I will make them

Lie down.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Somewhat reminiscent of Psalm 23 about the good shepherd, Yahweh, their God, said that he was going to bring all his lost sheep together from the various countries where they had been. They were going to go back to their own land. Yahweh was going to feed them on the mountains of Israel with flowing water in all the inhabited places of their country. He was going to feed them from the good pastures in the mountain heights of Israel. There they would lie down in this good grazing land. They would eat from the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. Yahweh was going to be their shepherd, the good shepherd of his sheep. He was going to make them lie down in great green pastures.

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Yahweh protects David (Ps 23:5-23:6)

“You prepare a table before me

In the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil.

My cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy

Shall follow me

All the days of my life.

I shall dwell in the house of Yahweh

My whole life long.”

Yahweh prepared his food in the presence of his enemies. He had anointed David as king. His cup overflowed with goodness and mercy. All the days of his life were to be filled with goodness and mercy. In fact, David had some rough days. Nevertheless, all the days of his life he would dwell in the house of Yahweh, whether it is his palace or the developing Temple. This short psalm ends with David living his whole life long with Yahweh.

The confidence of David (Ps 23:4-23:4)

“Even though I walk

Through the darkest valley,

I fear no evil.

You are with me.

Your rod and your staff,

They comfort me.”

David expresses complete confidence in Yahweh, his good shepherd. Even in the darkest valley, he has no fear of evil. The good shepherd is always with his sheep with a rod and staff to keep him and the rest of the sheep in line. The presence of this good shepherd comforts David and all his fellow sheep.

 

 

The good shepherd (Ps 23:1-23:3)

A psalm of David

Yahweh is my shepherd.

I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul.

He leads me in right paths,

For the love of his name.”

This is the famous Psalm 23 of David that places Yahweh as the good shepherd. This “The Lord is my shepherd” is rather short compared to the preceding psalm. There is no other indication in the title other than that this is a psalm of David. David was himself a shepherd so that this is an easy amplification of his own role. Yahweh as shepherd makes sure that David does not lack anything. David as a sheep has lovely green pastures to lie down in. He has still water to drink. This restores his soul. The good shepherd leads him on the right paths. The love of the name of Yahweh drives him. The good shepherd keeps the sheep from going astray.