[b-hebrew] Psalm 23

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Mon Feb 18 23:35:21 EST 2013

Dear Karl,

Thank you for your remarks.

1.    Since Pss 22 & 24 are Messianic, I was thinking that Ps 23 would possibly (probably?) be Messianic. (Yes, I know what happens when I "assume").

2.    Regarding the "shepherd." Besides the use of the "evil/wicked shepherds" in Ezek 34, I would add Jeremiah 23, Zechariah 11 - The Two Shepherds, Zechariah 13 - The Struck Shepherd and Scattering of the Sheep. The NT would be John 10 (as you mentioned) and I Pet 5. David is calling YHWH "My Shepherd." The "king of a nation is frequently referred to as a "shepherd." Thus, David is calling YHWH = KING. This appears to be similar, but not the same, as Ps 110:1, "My LORD (YHWH), said to my Lord (ADONAI)."

3.    $BB listed in HALOT and BDB as the Polel of $UB. Thus, "restore," but I find it interesting that instead of "He restores my soul (life)" it appears  that "He returns my soul (life or life force)" seems to fit the idea of "repentance" as $UB is normally translated in the prophets (Ezekiel especially) referring to one who turns from evil and turns to God and the "path of righteousness." I do not know, but the jury is still out. I will look at the references you gave.

4.    That is what I was thinking. I know that the majority of exegetes within the Christian exegetical/theological tradition interpret it with Christ as the Shepherd, but I need to see how the other side, the LXX, the Jewish interpretative tradition, 2nd Temple, DSS, and Rabbinic would have taken it.

When preparing a sermon or exegetical paper, I first want to understand not only the genre (in this poetry/wisdom literature), but also the language, grammar, historical,  cultural context, etc., before moving into the application. I do not want to "spiritualize" it when the context does NOT allow for that. Application does NOT mean interpretation. That is one rule of hermeneutics that is frequently violated and leads to all source of trouble and misapplication.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III
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