Psalm 23 reads, 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. 2 The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. 3 You restore my soul, O Lord, and guide me along right pathways for your name’s sake. 4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall 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, and my cup is running over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The words above are the most well-known Psalm in the Bible. They are heard at funerals, recited by memory in times of distress, claimed as comfort and strength among the people of God far and near. One of the interesting things about this Psalm is the passive nature of the hearer/reader/recipient of the Lord’s tending. The grammar makes it clear that the effort expended for the sheep is expended by the Lord, or the one who shepherds.

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