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Published at: 04/06/2022

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Psalm 23 A Psalm of David. Young's Literal Translation

1 Jehovah [is] my shepherd, I do not lack,

2 In pastures of tender grass He causeth me to lie down, By quiet waters He doth lead me.

3 My soul He refresheth, He leadeth me in paths of righteousness, For His name's sake,

4 Also -- when I walk in a valley of death-shade, I fear no evil, for Thou [art] with me, Thy rod and Thy staff -- they comfort me.

5 Thou arrangest before me a table, Over-against my adversaries, Thou hast anointed with oil my head, My cup is full!

6 Only -- goodness and kindness pursue me, All the days of my life, And my dwelling [is] in the house of Jehovah, For a length of days!

I lack nothing

David was secure in the confidence that he lacked nothing. In 2023 whatever the challenges ahead, I lack nothing if the Lord is my shepherd.

In Exodus 4 we read how Moses made God angry by continually declaring that he could not confront Pharoah because he could not speak in public, despite his education in Pharaoh's household.

When God puts a desire in your heart to do something He will make sure you lack nothing. He takes you as you are and makes a way.

God will provide

In Psalm 23:5, King David says to the Lord, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,”

I must admit I had difficulty understanding the meaning of this verse. Was the psalmist suggesting that my enemies would be reconciled as I offered a welcome and hospitality? The context and background experience of David did not suggest this meaning. As I do not know any Hebrew I looked for a commentary by someone who did and found this helpful article Psalm 23 5 since-when-do-sheep-sit-at-a-table As the Hebrew uses contrasting words for - in front of me and - against my enemies as only Young's Literal Translation brings out, the sense seems to be that the favoured guest of the Lord is provided for as a testament against the ungodly. A demonstration that to serve God is better than to oppose or ignore Him.

The article referenced above also points out another mistranslation in the same verse. You anoint my head with oil

The problem with this translation is that the Hebrew word for anoint – MASHACH from the Hebrew root MSHCH – does not appear in this verse. That is the word everywhere in the Bible where someone is anointed. And our verse just does not say that. The word in our verse is DISHANTA is from the three-letter root D-SH-N. And guess what? D-SH-N does not mean anoint. Ever.

The root D-SH-N actually means “to fatten”, “make healthy” or “make fresh.”

So you make my head (mind) fresh or healthy.

I depend on God

6 Only -- goodness and kindness pursue me, All the days of my life, And my dwelling [is] in the house of Jehovah, For a length of days!