“Yahweh* is my shepherd; I will not lack for anything. In grassy pastures he makes me lie down; by quiet waters he leads me. ” – Psalm 23:1-2 (LXEB)
We look today at a very familiar verse from a version that is not so common. Such comfort and truth are packed in this Psalm and it is well worth returning to it over and over again. Living like a sheep can bring you incredible peace of mind! The shepherd in Old Testament times knew his sheep. He knew each one and understood what foods were best for them, what they needed to thrive, and what dangers there were that could harm them. God knows us this way too. In the Gospel of John 10: 11,14 Jesus declares Himself explicitly to be the good shepherd two times. It is by His very nature that our Good Shepherd laid down His life for us. It is a promise from Him. He declares that He knows His own sheep and they know Him. We have a relationship with Him. This gives us reason to have absolute trust in our Good Shepherd and to value the nourishment that comes from more than anything else in our lives or in the world. Jesus did not simply identify as our good shepherd. No. He is by nature our good shepherd and cares for us always.
* The name of God, as revealed in the Hebrew Scriptures, is YHWH (the closest English equivalents to the Hebrew letters). Ancient Hebrew did not have vowels, so the exact pronunciation of YHWH is uncertain. The vast majority of Hebrew and Christian scholars believe the name to be Yahweh, pronounced /ˈyä-wā/, with Yehowah, pronounced /yi-ˈhō-və/, being the second most popular possibility.
The Lexham English Bible (LEB) uses the “formal equivalence” method of translation, resulting in a quite literal rendering. Reviewers have gauged the Lexham English Bible as slightly more literal than the New American Standard. The publishers of the LEB have strived to be as transparent as possible in the translation process, providing interlinear versions that keep the Greek and Hebrew words in their original order as well as provide root words and define each word contextually and noncontextually.