Shining a light on the weekly Bible Lessons published in the Christian Science Quarterly®
The Lord is my shepherd; . . . He restoreth my soul.
In ancient times, the shepherd metaphor typically pointed to royalty. In the Code of Hammurabi—the comprehensive collection of laws created long before the Psalmist’s era—the Babylonian king of that name called himself “the beneficent shepherd” and wrote, “In my bosom I carried the peoples of the land.” However, kings often neglected to provide for their subjects. God’s shepherding guarantees continuous protection and guidance.
According to one commentary, the reference to soul in this text “is not to the soul as wandering or backsliding from God, but to the life or spirit as . . . troubled, anxious, worn down with care and toil.” This writer adds that as Shepherd: “[God] brings back its vigor. He encourages it; . . . fills it with new joy.”
Resources cited in this issue
GT: Attridge, Harold W., ed. The HarperCollins Study Bible. Rev. ed. New York: HarperCollins, 2006; Barnes, Albert. Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible. New York, 1834–85. Also available at biblehub.com/commentaries.
Cit. 2: Barker, Kenneth L., John H. Stek, Walter W. Wessel, and Ronald F. Youngblood. NIV Study Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002; The Message, copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.
Cit. 3: Laymon, Charles M. The Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary on the Bible. Nashville: Abingdon, 1971.
Cit. 17: Walton, John H., and Craig S. Keener. NRSV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2019; Green, Joel B., et al., eds. The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Common English Bible, 2013.
Scriptural quotations marked International Children’s Bible are taken from the International Children’s Bible®. Copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scriptural quotations marked Common English Bible are taken from the Common English Bible, copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible.
Scriptural quotations marked Amplified® Bible are taken from the Amplified® Bible, copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.Lockman.org.
Scriptural quotations marked Contemporary English Version are taken from the Contemporary English Version, copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.
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Scriptural quotations marked New International Reader’s Version are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version™, NIrV™. Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Scriptural quotations marked New Century Version are taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
© 2023 The Christian Science Publishing Society. The design of the Cross and Crown is a trademark owned by the Christian Science Board of Directors and is used by permission. Bible Lens and Christian Science Quarterly are trademarks owned by The Christian Science Publishing Society. Unless otherwise indicated, all scriptural quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.