Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Psalms 23:2


He takes me to lush pastures, 1  he leads me to refreshing water. 2 


Job 34:29; Ps 46:4; Isa 8:6; Isa 30:23; Isa 49:9,10; Eze 34:13,14; Re 7:17; Re 21:6; Re 22:1,17

NET © Notes

tn Heb “he makes me lie down in lush pastures.” The Hiphil verb ????????????? (yarbitseniy) has a causative-modal nuance here (see IBHS 445-46 §27.5 on this use of the Hiphil), meaning “allows me to lie down” (see also Jer 33:12). The point is that the shepherd takes the sheep to lush pastures and lets em eat and rest there. Both imperfect verbal forms in v. 2 are generalizing and highlight the psalmist’s typical experience.

tn Both genitives in v. 2 indicate an attribute of the noun they modify: ??????? (deshe’) characterizes the pastures as “lush” (i.e., rich with vegetation), while ???????? (mÿnukhot) probably characterizes the water as refreshing. In this case the plural indicates an abstract quality. Some take ???????? in the sense of “still, calm” (i.e., as describing calm pools in contrast to dangerous torrents) but it is unlikely that such a pastoral scene is in view. Shepherds usually watered their sheep at wells (see Gen 29:2-3; Exod 2:16-19). Another option is to take ???????? as “resting places” and to translate, “water of/at the resting places” (i.e., a genitive of location; see IBHS 147-48 §9.5.2e).

sn Within the framework of the metaphor, the psalmist/sheep is declaring in v. 2 that his shepherd provides the essentials for physical life. At a deeper level the psalmist may be referring to more than just physical provision, though that would certainly be included.

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