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Reading 6 "The Lord is my shepherd...."

‪  •  Psalms 22(23)  •   Ψαλμοὶ ΚΒʹ   •   Psalmi ΧΧΙΙ • תהוימ כג




Sinaiticus Psalm 23


  Image of Codex Sinaiticus (just Psalm 22) courtesy of the University of California Berkely Ebind project. Bibliorum Codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus : III: Veteris Testamenti Pars Posterior, St. Petersburg, 2262  


The Greek Psalm 22, (23 in the Masoritic and Protestant traditions) is a fairly close rendering of the Hebrew. But there are a number of places where the versions of the Greek OT differ significantly from the Hebrew (OG=Old Greek; TH=Theodotion; Σ=Symmachus; A=Aquila; O=Origen's rescension). Fields' 'Hexapla of Origen' (and the reading notes) highlight these differences. The text of the Hebrew is very consistent, and few alternate Hebrew readings present themselves, although there are a number of readings where it seems the Greek translator either misunderstood the Hebrew text or had a different Hebrew text in front of him.

The Lord called 'shepherd' draws upon one of the oldest epithets of God in the Hebrew tradition (cf. Gen 49.24). The poet takes the ancient epithet of God as a starting point, but then develops its metaphorical content.... This metaphor is employed in various psalms (e.g. 82.8; 77.21; 95.7). Psalm 23 is the most personal adaptation of this metaphor. The background of the Exodus and God's provisions are seen in this psalm, and the psalm draws on passages such as Deut. 2.7; Ex. 15:13 and Num 10.33. The NT draws upon the echoes of the Exodus and redemption in the psalms; those echoes are transformed into echoes of the redemption won by the shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep (John 10:11). (Craigie, WBC 19, p. 206ff ad passim).

Psalms 23 (LXX 22) is radically a psalm of trust, containing no actual plea. It manifests the same hopefulness that Ps. 22 eventually affirms, but it expresses itself in symbols, and it is even more difficult to tie down to a particular meaning or context.’ The preciousness of the psalm derives in large part from its lyricism, which is part of what also makes us unable to tie it down. It leaves itself open to many applications. Although the “I” envisaged by the psalm maybe an ordinary individual, it is open to being appropriated by a leader such as a king3 or a Second Temple leader, or by the community as a whole in any period. (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament, Psalms. Goldengay vol. 1, p. 345).


Resources for Psalm 22


*Content yet to be created.












Greek Texts



Psalm 22 Rahlfs Text

  Greek text is from Alfred Rahlfs' Septuaginta, © 1935 Deutche Bibelstiftung, Stuttgart. Parsings provided the the CCAT project at the University of Pennsylvania. Read other Psalms online at  


Modern Greek

Ψαλμὸς ΚΒʹ 

1 <<Ψαλμος του Δαβιδ.>> Ο Κυριος ειναι ο ποιμην μου· δεν θελω στερηθη ουδενος.
2 Εις βοσκας χλοερας με ανεπαυσεν· εις υδατα αναπαυσεως με ωδηγησεν.
3 Ηνωρθωσε την ψυχην μου· με ωδηγησε δια τριβων δικαιοσυνης ενεκεν του ονοματος αυτου.
4 Και εν κοιλαδι σκιας θανατου εαν περιπατησω, δεν θελω φοβηθη κακον· διοτι συ εισαι μετ' εμου· η ραβδος σου και η βακτηρια σου, αυται με παρηγορουσιν.
5 Ητοιμασας εμπροσθεν μου τραπεζαν απεναντι των εχθρων μου· ηλειψας εν ελαιω την κεφαλην μου· το ποτηριον μου υπερχειλιζει.
6 Βεβαιως χαρις και ελεος θελουσι με ακολουθει πασας τας ημερας της ζωης μου· και θελω κατοικει εν τω οικω του Κυριου εις μακροτητα ημερων.

Imported from the CrossWire Bible Society's "The Sword Project" Bible Modules from the Unbound Bible by Biola University


Vocabulary and Parsing Aids


Versification Issues

The chapter number of LXX Psalm 22 is different in the Greek and Latin than in the traditional Protestant English and Hebrew texts which number this as Psalm 23. The reason is that the Greek counts Psalm 9 and 10 as a single psalm. See the Wikipedia article on the Psalms for further information. The verse numbering is also different between the three versions for verse 1, where the Protestant versions do not include the title as verse 1. The Greek and Latin count the title/epithet as part of verse 1. The verse numbering for the rest of LXX Psalm 23(MT 23) is identical in all versions. The NETS translation shows both numberings.

Brenton and Mozley use the traditional Protestant chapter numbering Psalm 23.

Hebrew Aids


Latin Translations






Songs based on Psalm 23 (LXX Psalm 22)




SIS 549/SOF 621

I stand in awe


P&W 835

I am carried


SIS 414/P&W 40/SOF 549

The steadfast love of the Lord


TIS 659

The Lord is my shepherd



Because the Lord's my shepherd

music   lyrics   mp3 snippet

P&W 621/SCE 329/TIS 685

The power of your love


HS/SCE 602/P&W 718/ATO 352

Your love keeps following me


HS/SCE 221/ATW 470

In your hands (I'm so secure)



Nothing deeper

music   lyrics

DMAC/GBEAT2 - 134    kids!

Where's Woollie?

music  lyrics   mp3

Taken from Together to Celebrate: Contemporary Christian Music resources for Worship


Also see on Psalm 23 under the section Hymns

Images from Psalters

Still Looking for images of Psalm 23 in particular; send me a note, if you have access to any.

For a list of Psalters see . Also look under the "Book of Hours" Most of these medieval manuscripts are in Latin. I'm sure there must be some in Greek also. Many are on the Psalms of Degrees (119-133 in the Septuagint, also called Song of Ascents) or Penitential Psalms (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142 in the Septuagint numbering). The Psalms we are reading are Psalms 1, 8, 19(18), 21(22), 22(23), 23(24), 26(27), 31(32), 33(34), and 50(51).

The British Library has many images of the Psalms and Psalters. There are 73 images of pages of "Illuminated" Psalms and Prayer books. Finding images of a specific Psalm is not as easy as on would first think. There are many images of Psalm 1, Psalm 6, Psalm 51(50), and others, but not many for the Psalms we are reading. The British Library files can be found at
Luttrell Psalter:

The recently discovered and published Macclesfield Psalter can be found at the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Macclesfield Psalter:

Special Bibliography



Byzantine and Greek Orthodox Resources

Still Looking, send me a note, if you have access to any.

English Translations

(English translations are provided using appropriate copywrite permissions and allowances. They are provided so you can "check" your translation; If you are truly interested in learning Greek, you will refer to them after you have done your translation).

NETS (New English Translation of the LXX - a more literal rendering)

EOB (Eastern Orthodox Bible)

Brenton's 1859 Translation



NETS Psalm 22


 Psalm 22(23)
1 A Psalm. Pertaining to Dauid.
(1) The Lord shepherds me, and I shall lack nothing.
2 In a verdant place, there he made me encamp;
       by water of rest he reared me;
3     my soul he restored.
   He led me into paths of righteousness
      for his name’s sake.
4 For even if I walk in the midst of death’s shadow,
     I will not fear evil, because you are with me;
     your rod and your staff—they comforted me.
5 You prepared a table before me over against
     those that afflict me;
     you anointed my head with oil,
     and your cup was supremely intoxicating.
6 And your mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life,
     and my residing in the Lord’s house is for length of days.


(New English Translation of the Septuagint © 2007 - International Organization for the Septuagint and Cognate Studies - published by Oxford University Press. Buy from Amazon - or use the CCAT-SAS-UPENN online access. The NETS is one of the most valuable LXX English book next to Lust's lexicon of the Septuagint because the English matches Rahlfs Greek text (almost always). Buy the NETS if you can.)



Brenton's 1859 Translation

Psalm 22


(Brenton uses the traditional Protestant numbering of Psalm 23; The Greek and Catholic/Latin numbering number this as Psalm 22)

A Psalm of David.

23:1 The Lord tends me as a shepherd, and I shall want nothing. 2 In a place of green grass, there he has made me dwell: he has nourished me by the water of rest. 3 He has restored my soul: he has guided me into the paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, even if I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of evils: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, these have comforted me. 5 Thou has prepared a table before me in presence of them that afflict me: thou hast thoroughly anointed my head with oil; and thy cup cheers me like the best wine. 6 Thy mercy also shall follow me all the days of my life: and my dwelling shall be in the house of the Lord for a very long time.

  From the translation by Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton, 1859. Courtesy of E.C. Marsh  


The Eastern / Greek Orthodox Bible


Psalm 23 MT =22 LXX


A Psalm of David
23:1 The Lord tends me as a shepherd,
     There is nothing I shall want* (alt. reading 'lack')
2 In a place of green grass, there he has made me dwell:
     he has nourished me by resting waters.
3 He has restored my soul:
     he has guided me into the paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake.
4 Yes, even if I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death,
     I will not be afraid of evils:
     for you are with me; [with] your rod and your staff,
     these have comforted me.
5 You have prepared a table before me
     in presence of those who afflict me:
     you have completely anointed my head with oil;
     your cup cheers me like the best wine.
6 Your mercy also shall follow me all the days of my life:
     and my dwelling shall be in the house of the Lord
     for length of days.

  The Eastern Orthodox Bible (Psalms translated by Peter Papoutsis(?)) used with permission .  


Template for sending in Translations

The template for Psalm 22 is as follows --(You do not need to delete any of the lines beginning with the pound sign (#) as the collation software ignores those lines. Make sure to replace XXX with your initials followed by your translation):

Reading 6 Template: Psalms 22 (Entire Psalm) Due June 20 2009 Midnight CST (=8:00 A.M. Sunday, June 21 GMT)

Notes on the Greek Text

Notes are on a separate page. When published, they can be found at the link location.

Psalm 22 Reading Notes