The PS 23
belong to Book I
of the Book of PS
composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom
and basic principles
of human action
, is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book I encompasses Psalms 1 to 41 . The PS 23
is divided into six verses.
The Psalms are poems-prayers
addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences
and religious conscience
. They portray the common man
, with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray
with God when we feel lost
or to express our gratitude
for some blessing received.
"There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel"; "The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord." - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan
Psalm 23 - The Good Shepherd
1 Psalm. From David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing,
in green meadows takes me to rest.
lead me to refreshing waters
and comfort my soul.
He guides me along the straight paths,
for his name's sake.
Even if I walk in dark valleys,
I fear no harm.
Because You are with me,
your rod and your staff give me courage.
prepare the table for me
in the sight of my enemies.
You perfumed my head with oil,
and my cup was overflowing.
Yes, kindness and mercy will accompany me
all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
through the days.
Meaning and interpretation
The Psalm 23
is considered a fine example of an individual psalm of trust in God
. To express the care
that God bestows on his people, he uses a metaphor that is particularly well suited to the traditional way of life of the Hebrews: pastoralism.
This Psalm conveys an atmosphere of peace
. At the same time, it shows that the role of those who lead
is to take care of their people
and ensure that nothing is lacking. The role of the shepherd is the metaphor that describes the role of kings, whose government is also expressed in the title of shepherd. This was the understanding that was made of the functions of the king among the peoples of the ancient East.
Just as rulers guide, care for and protect their peoples, so God does. By attributing this care equally to God means that if the king does not care enough, God will.
Based on the meanings suggested by the metaphor of the shepherd, the Psalmist describes the most significant personal and social care
that the shepherd God provides, namely satisfaction in the
face of enemies, happiness
and presence in temple celebrations
The Psalms of Praise
are hymns addressed, above all, to God. In this sense, the Bible continues the liturgical literature of neighboring and previous religions, where hymns
are the most common way for people to address the divinity
, especially in contexts of greater solemnity.
These Psalms were of great importance in the lives of biblical heroes. The preaching of the word of the prophets
or the teaching of wisdom
reflection appears closely linked to the cultural action of the people of Israel. They express, in a solemn
and simple way
, the believer's recognition of the efficacious presence of God
who saves his people, for he is mercy that lasts forever; it is a refuge from the dangers of life; it is joy and joy; it is prosperity that feeds its people; it is light in times of darkness and salvation on Earth and in eternal life.
The texts of the Book of Psalms oscillate between shout and praise, supplication and joy. Perhaps its authors understood that Man can only express his supplications, laments or thirst for revenge before God, if he is immersed in the spirit of praise
that sings life stronger than death
. Perhaps, beyond the scream, the lament or the anger, they realized that what moves these words is nothing but that life force that explodes in praise
when it comes out of violence or when it goes through death.
These hymns narrate, thus, the greatness
and the thanks
that flow from it. Examples of this are Ps 8; 19; 28; 33; 47; 65-66; 93; 96-100; 104-105; 111; 113; 117; 135; 146; 148-150. Hymns can also be addressed to the king
, focusing especially on the ceremony of royal enthronement, with every expectation of divine intervention for the well-being of the people
and the just ordering of the world
. In this case, the Psalms were performed at court parties, in the presence of the king, in celebrations for victory over enemies, among others. Some examples are Psalm 2; 18; 20; 21; 27; 51; 60; 61.
With the end of the monarchy, these Psalms were accentuating the messianic connotations
, which already had implicit. This is the case of Psalm 2; 18; 20-21; 45; 72; 89; 101; 110; 132; 144. The Psalms celebrating Jerusalem, which with the temple have a special connection to God, are also considered hymns. These are Ps 46; 48; 76; 84; 87; 122.
The Book of Psalms
The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God
The Psalms are prayer-poems
addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak with Him. Depicting the common man
, with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers
to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude
for some blessing received.
The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move
, awaken feelings
. In them, we can identify anguish
, deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words.
Written for different situations
, some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author's personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages.
The Book of Psalms
is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God
. The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation
The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine
The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer
is the power of the word
. Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer
. It is through it that we come into contact with our God within
and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life
. Prayer can produce miracles
, turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change
with ourselves and the world.
Each Psalm has an intention
that helps us meditate
and walk with our God
. For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence.
has the power to call the Spiritual Universe
full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace
, well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result.
can change our lives. It gives us tranquility
and spiritual strength
to face challenges. It helps us to meditate
on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment
for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love
. The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace
and communion with the higher energy