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Psalm 23:1

ESV The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
NIV A psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
NASB The Lord is my shepherd, I will not be in need.
CSB A psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need.
NLT The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
KJV A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
NKJV {A Psalm of David.} The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

What does Psalm 23:1 mean?

These words are some of the most-frequently quoted in the entire Old Testament. Even those unfamiliar with the Bible may recognize this verse, which has been used in countless ways over the ages.

In this verse David expresses his confidence in the Lord as his shepherd. The word for "LORD" in this verse is from a Hebrew term known as the tetragrammaton. This is four letters: yodh, he, waw, he; in English these are essentially YHWH. This is often transliterated as Yahweh or even Jehovah. This is the biblical name of the covenant-keeping God of Israel.

David knew by personal experience that Yahweh shepherds His people. He cares for all their needs. When he was a shepherd boy, David cared for his sheep, making sure all their needs were met. In similar fashion the Lord cared for David. David lacked nothing. Believers, too, can be sure the Lord, the Good Shepherd, meets all our needs. He listens to our prayers, and if we call on Him, we will receive His grace and help in a time of need (Hebrews 4:14–16).

An interesting name for the Lord is found in Genesis 22:14. Abraham had been commanded by God to take Isaac and sacrifice him. When Isaac inquired of his father Abraham where the lamb was for the burnt offering, Abraham told him the Lord would provide the sacrifice. As Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son, the angel of the LORD stopped him. Abraham had demonstrated his faith in God. The Lord provided a ram that was caught in a thicket by its horns as a sacrifice instead. Abraham promptly sacrificed the ram and called the site of the sacrifice, Jehovah-Jireh, meaning "The Lord will provide."
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