Study Guide

Psalm 23 ("The Lord is My Shepherd") Line 2

By David

Line 2

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

  • Here the metaphor of sheep and shepherd is still goin' strong. The speaker is declaring himself a sheep here, so don't be surprised if he acts like one.
  • The Lord takes the speaker to fertile green pastures where he can eat his fill and then lie down to rest. This is a good image because green pastures are alluring to both sheep and humans, though for different reasons.
  • We may think that a green pasture is just a beautiful, peaceful spot, but for a sheep it's a vital necessity in order to find enough food. This line, then, gives a specific example to back up the point that the shepherd won't let his sheep lack any essentials.
  • The Lord also takes the speaker-as-sheep to calm waters to drink and refresh himself. His thirst is quenched: another example of a necessity met.
  • The availability of food and drink also serves as a nice implied metaphor for the way that God satisfies the speaker's spiritual (as opposed to literal) hunger and thirst.
  • The stillness of the waters indicates that there are no storms or winds to disturb this peaceful scene. Also, a still pool of water is probably more pleasant to drink from than some rushing stream. We can vouch for that one.
  • The word "maketh" does not mean "forced" here – don't picture some shepherd shoving a poor sheep down into the grass! It means "creates the opportunity for."
  • Don't be put off by all the old-fashioned diction. That's just the King James Version for you.

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