Rural Shepherd or Royal Sovereign? Another Look at Psalm 23

Psalm 23 may be the most well-known and well-loved passages of Holy Scripture. It certainly ranks high on the “playlist” of most Christians. Especially notable is its use of the “shepherd” metaphor to convey God’s provision and protection of his people: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Unfortunately, many interpret this metaphor in purely pastoral motifs. They see Yahweh in terms of a rural shepherd but miss the strong royal overtones of David’s imagery. In doing so, they deprive themselves of some of the richness of the psalm’s encouragement. Continue reading