Judges through Poets 14a- Psalm Titles and Psalm 23

Psalm Titles

There are parallels between the Psalms and other areas of scripture. This would imply the authenticity of the Psalms. For example the content of Psalm 3 resembles the events in 2 Sam 15-17.

The NT writers are familiar with the superscriptions in the Psalms. For example Paul mentions Psalms 32 and 69 in Romans 4:6-8 and Romans 11:9-10 respectively. Paul speaks about David’s authorship although this is not mentioned in the Psalm.

Peter in Acts 2 attributes Psalm110 to David although Davidic authorship is not mentioned in the Psalm. See also Jesus in Mark 12 and Psalm 110.

The Psalm titles are included in the earliest versions of the Psalms. Septuagint (3C-2C BC) includes Psalm superscriptions. It is likely that Paul used this version. There are some minor variations to modern texts. This is likely to be due to Septuagint translators having a lack of understanding of musical notation.

Psalm 23

Pslams build up the conflict between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. They also provide comfort for believers through recording and encouraging us to trust in God’s goodness. Psalm 23 particularly demonstrates the goodness of God.


V1-4 The Great Metaphor

V5-6 The Shift in the Great Metaphor

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

[2] He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

[3] He restores my soul.

He leads me in paths of righteousness

for his name's sake.

[4] Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

[5] You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

[6] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD


(Psalm 23 ESV)

V1 David expresses that God is a Shepherd. David knows what Shepherd are like as he is a Shepherd. David knew that sheep are completely dependent on their shepherd. David is saying that he is totally trusting in God and relying on Him.

John 10:11 The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. This is the type of shepherd that God is.

Is 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray, everyone to his own way. But the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

If we are not content we have not fully come under God’s shepherding care.

V1 ‘I lack nothing’ –literal Hebrew.

David alludes to the exodus event throughout the Psalm. For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.

(Deuteronomy 2:7 ESV)

I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn off your feet. (Deuteronomy 29:5 ESV) As God provided for Israel in the wilderness, God will provide for David in his circumstances.

For a sheep to lie down he must be:

· Free of fear

· Free of friction with others

· Free of pests

· Free of hunger

(Phillip Keller)

The same is true for people and God.

Exodus 15:13- same word used for ‘abode’ (ESV) is the same Hebrew word used for pasture in v2.

He brings us to a resting place of waters’ literal translation of v2b

V3 God leads David on straight paths to the promised land. This verse describes sanctification.

[21] And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

(Exodus 13:21 ESV)

God leads us ‘for His names sake’ (v3c). God does all things for His own glory.

‘[16] But for this purpose I have raised you up [allowed you to stand], to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.’

(Exodus 9:16 ESV)

‘The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever’ Answer to question one of the Westminster Catechism.


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