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

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.

Letters & Conversations
February 6, 2023

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.