Die Bibel


Psalms 23 : The 23rd Psalm


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1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth 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 for ever.

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Haupterklärung(en) aus den Werken Swedenborgs:

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 273

Weitere Verweise Swedenborgs zu diesem Kapitel:

Arcana Coelestia 57, 650, 3384, 3696, 4715, 4876, 5120, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 50, 383, 485, 672

Referenzen aus Swedenborgs unveröffentlichten Werken:

Apocalypse Explained 71, 220, 375, 482, 662, 727, 960

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  Spirituelle Themen:

Sprung zu ähnlichen Bibelversen

Exodus 15:27

Psalms 27:4, 31:4, 34:10, 11, 92:11, 106:8, 109:21

Proverbs 4:11

Isaiah 40:11, 43:2

Jeremiah 31:25

Ezekiel 34:14

John 10:11, 14

Revelation 7:17

Bedeutungen biblischer Begriffe

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

The Writings tell us that shepherds represent those who lead and teach others, using knowledge and true ideas to help people reach the goodness of...

'Want of spiritual nourishment,' denotes a lack of knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom.

Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

The meaning of "leading" people in the Bible is pretty straightforward, though obviously it is about leading people in spiritual things, not natural ones. When...

These days we tend to think of "roads" as smooth swaths of pavement, and judge them by how fast we can drive cars on them....

The word "righteous" has taken on a bit of negative shading in modern language. That may be because we hear it most often as part...

It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

To walk in the Bible represents living, and usually means living according to the true things taught to us by the Lord -- to "walk...

Shadow of death
'The shadow of death' has respect to the states of people in hell, who are in the falsities of evil.

Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

'Wickedness' signifies evil, and 'iniquity' signifies falsities.

When the Bible talks about someone being comforted or consoled, it generally means that they are being offered ideas that will help bring them to...

Food and drink in the Bible represent the desire to be loving and the understanding of how to be loving, gifts that flow from the...

In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

Oil – typically olive oil – was an extremely important product in Biblical times, for food preparation, medicinal ointment and for burning in lamps. As...

In regular language, "mercy" means being caring and compassionate toward those who are in poor states. That's a position we are all in relative to...

The basic meaning of "follow" in the Bible is pretty obvious if we consider what it means to "follow the Lord." That obviously doesn't mean...

The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

Videos der Swedenborg-Stiftung

Die hier gezeigten Videos werden mit freundlicher Genehmigung unserer Freunde der Swedenborg-Stiftung zur Verfügung gestellt. Sie können hier mehr über sie erfahren: swedenborg.com.

The Meaning of the 23rd Psalm

We explore the comfort, protection, and safety which God promises us on our spiritual journey, especially when we're undergoing spiritual struggles.

Can You Dwell in the House of the Lord?

The Bible talks about dwelling in “the house of the Lord.” But what does that really mean?

How to Get a Home in Heaven - Swedenborg & Life

What are the houses like in heaven? And how do we get one? We explore the spiritual living conditions of the afterlife and how we can work on our heaven house right now.

Hilfsmittel für Eltern und Lehrer

Die hier aufgelisteten Artikel werden mit freundlicher Genehmigung unserer Freunde in der General Church oft he New Jerusalem zur Verfügung gestellt. Sie können ihre gesamte Bibliothek durchsuchen, indem Sie dieser Link folgen.

 A Shepherd and His Sheep
Use oil pastels or wax crayons to make a picture of shepherd, then use a sponge (cut into the shape of a lamb) to make little lambs around him.
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 Blessings: Good Tidings of Great Joy
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Blessings: Unto Us a Child Is Born
Blessings to say at mealtime.
Activity | Ages over 7

 Experiencing the Twenty-third Psalm
Explore the meaning of each phrase in Psalm 23, then help children experience it using their five senses.
Activity | Ages up to 10

 Following the Lord Our Shepherd
Use magnets to picture members of a family following the Lord as the shepherd.
Project | Ages up to 10

 Lord Is My Shepherd Diorama
Make a simple diorama to help remember the Lord's unceasing care.
Project | Ages 4 - 10

 Memory Verse: God Meant It for Good
Activity | Ages 4 - 14

 Out of the Forest
A story showing how the Lord leads as described in the 23rd Psalm.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 Quotes: The Lord Is My Shepherd
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Rainbow Method of Learning the 23rd Psalm
Use the colors of the rainbow to help you learn the sequence of this psalm. 
Activity | Ages 4 - 10

 Ribbon Bookmark to Embroider
Embroider a satin ribbon with the words: "The Lord is my Shepherd" and pictures of a shepherd's staff and a little lamb.
Project | Ages over 7

 Shepherd and His Sheep Diorama
Project | Ages 7 - 17

 Talking with Your Child About the Twenty-Third Psalm
Article | Ages over 18

 The Good Shepherd
Worship Talk | Ages 4 - 7

 The Good Shepherd
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 The Lord Is My Shepherd
The Lord with His flock all around Him.
Coloring Page | All Ages

 The Lord Is My Shepherd
Print and display this lovely poster of the Twenty-third Psalm with an illustrative color border.
Picture | Ages over 7

 The Lord Is My Shepherd
"The teaching that the Lord is our Shepherd is a powerful and comforting one. The relationship between the sheep and their shepherd involves a sense of trust and security.
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 The Lord Is Our Shepherd
Color picture of the Lord our Shepherd.
Picture | Ages up to 14

 The Lord’s Rod and Staff
This family talk explains what the Lord's rod and staff are in our lives, and how He uses them to comfort us. 
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Shepherd Rescuing His Sheep
Project | Ages 11 - 17

 The Stream of Providence Game
This game is about the Lord leading us toward His heavenly sheepfold. 
Activity | Ages 11 - 14

 The Twenty-third Psalm
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Twenty-third Psalm Book
Illustrate the literal meaning of the psalm or its application to life. 
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 The Twenty-third Psalm Calligraphy with Illustrations
Project | Ages 7 - 14

 Twenty Third Psalm
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 9 - 12

 Two Roads
Spiritual tasks offer a reflection on a Biblical story and suggest a task for spiritual growth.
Activity | Ages over 18

 Understanding the Twenty-third Psalm
An outline showing parts of the Psalm 23 with suggestions for explaining them to children.
Activity | Ages 4 - 10



The 23rd Psalm      

Durch Mr. Brian P. David

The Lord as Shepherd, by Nana Schnarr

The 23rd Psalm is one of the best-known and most-loved literary works in the world, and it may well be the best poem ever written. It is also a fine example of the power of figurative language: We read deep things into the vision of ourselves as sheep, led to green pastures and good water by a kind shepherd. It’s empowering to feel the confidence to go fearlessly into the valley of the shadow of death, and to feel the love and caring of a table prepared by the Lord and a cup so full it overflows.

What people don’t know, however, is that this language actually has precise internal meanings, and that when we see them there is an even deeper beauty in the poem. That’s because what it actually describes is the path to heaven, and the fierce desire the Lord has to lead us there.

The first step is to let the Lord be our shepherd – to accept His teaching and His leadership. The green pastures and the still waters represent the things He will teach us for the journey. Then He begins working inside is, setting our spiritual lives in order, so that we desire to do what’s good and to love one another. That’s represented by restoring our souls and leading us in the paths of righteousness.

But we will still face challenges. We still live external lives, out in the world, and we are subject to desires that arise in those externals, in our bodily lives. That’s the valley of the shadow of death. But the rod and staff represent truth from the Lord on both external and internal levels, ideas that can defend us against those desires.

And if we keep following, the Lord will prepare a table for us – a place inside us that he can fill with love (the anointing oil) and wisdom (the overflowing cup). Thus transformed, we can enter heaven, with love for others (“goodness”) and love from the Lord (“mercy”) and can love and be loved to eternity.

One of many beautiful things about this is the fact that it is the Lord who really does all the work. In the whole text, the only action taken by the sheep is walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Other than that, they follow the Lord, trust the Lord, accept the blessings of the Lord. And that is really true! In external states (in the valley) we might seem to be doing the work ourselves, but internally, spiritually, we simply need to give ourselves to the Lord and let Him bless us.

The underlying idea here is that the Lord created us so that He could love us, in loving us wants us to be happy, knows that our greatest happiness will come from being conjoined to Him in heaven, and Himself wants nothing more than to be conjoined to us. So everything He does, in every moment of every day for every person on the face of the planet, is centered on the goal of getting that person to heaven. He wants each and every one of us in heaven more than we are capable of imagining. We just need to cooperate.

(Verweise: The Apocalypse Explained 375 [34], 727 [2]; The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 273)

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Apocalypse Explained (Whitehead translation)      

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71. And His voice as the voice of many waters, signifies Divine truth in ultimates. This is evident from the signification of a "voice" when it is from the Lord, as being Divine truth (see Arcana Coelestia 219, 220, 3563, 6971, 8813, 8914, and above, n. 55; and from the signification of "waters," as being the truths of faith, and also the knowledges of truth (of which see n. 2702, 3058, 5668, 8568, 10238); and since the knowledges of truths are in ultimates, "the voice as the voice of many waters," because it is said of the Lord, signifies Divine truth in ultimates. (That knowledges and scientifics are of the external or natural man, because they are in the light of the world, thus in ultimates, see Arcana Coelestia 5212, and in general, New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 51.) As it is not yet known that "waters" in the Word signify the truths of faith and the knowledges of truth, I would like, since this signification may possibly appear remote, to show here briefly that this is what is meant in the Word by "waters." This, moreover, is necessary, because without a knowledge of what "waters" signify, it cannot be known what baptism signifies, nor the "washings" in the Israelitish church so frequently referred to. "Waters" signify the truths of faith, as "bread" signifies the good of love. "Waters" and "bread" have this signification because things that pertain to spiritual nourishment are expressed in the sense of the letter by such things as belong to natural nourishment; for bread and water, which include in general all food and drink, nourish the body, while the truths of faith and the good of love nourish the soul. This also is from correspondence, for when "bread" and "water" are read of in the Word, angels, because they are spiritual, understand the things by which they are nourished, which are the goods of love and the truths of faith.

(Verweise: Arcana Coelestia 219-220; Revelation 1:15; The Apocalypse Explained 55)

[2] But I will cite some passages from which it may be known that "waters" signify the truths of faith, likewise the knowledges of truth. Thus in Isaiah:

The earth is full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).

In the same:

Then with joy shall ye draw waters out of the fountains of salvation (Isaiah 12:3).

In the same:

He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, bread shall be given him, and his waters shall be sure (Isaiah 33:15-16).

In the same:

The poor and the needy seek water, but there is none; their tongue faileth for thirst. I will open rivers upon the heights, and will place fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness into a pool of waters, and the dry land into a going forth of waters; that they may see, and know, and consider, and understand (Isaiah 41:17, 18, 20).

In the same:

I will pour waters upon him that is thirsty, and streams upon the dry ground; I will pour My spirit upon thy seed, and My blessing upon thine offspring (Isaiah 44:3).

In the same:

Thy light shall arise in the darkness, and thy thick darkness be as the noonday; that thou mayest be like a watered garden, and like a going forth of waters, whose waters shall not prove false (Isaiah 58:10-11).

In Jeremiah:

My people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew out for themselves pits that hold no water (Jeremiah 2:13).

In the same:

Their nobles sent their little ones for water; they came to the pits and found no waters; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded (Jeremiah 14:3).

In the same:

They have forsaken Jehovah, the fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 17:13).

In the same:

They shall come with weeping, 1 and with supplications will I lead them; I will lead them unto fountains of waters, in the way of right (Jeremiah 31:9).

In Ezekiel:

I will break the staff of bread, and they shall eat bread by weight and with carefulness; and they shall drink water by measure and with astonishment; that they may want bread and water, and be desolated, a man and a brother, and pine away for their iniquities (Ezekiel 4:16-17; 12:18-19; Isaiah 51:14).

In Amos:

Behold the days come, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but for hearing the Word of Jehovah. They shall wander from sea to sea, they shall run to and fro, to seek the Word of Jehovah, and shall not find it; in that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst (Amos 8:11-13).

In Zechariah:

In that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:8).

In David:

Jehovah is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He will lead me to the waters of rest (Psalms 23:1-2).

In Isaiah:

They shall not thirst, He will cause waters to flow out of the rock for them, and He will cleave the rock, that the waters may flow out (Isaiah 48:21).

In David:

O God, early will I seek Thee; my soul thirsteth, I am weary without waters (Psalms 63:1).

In the same:

Jehovah sendeth His word, He maketh the wind to blow, that the waters may flow (Psalms 147:18).

In the same:

Praise Jehovah, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens (Psalms 148:4).

In John:

When Jesus came to the fountain of Jacob, a woman of Samaria came to draw water; Jesus said to her, Give Me to drink. If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldest ask of Him, and He would give thee living water. The woman said unto Him, From whence hast Thou living water? Jesus said to her, Everyone that drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him shall not thirst for ever; and the water that I shall give him shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up unto everlasting life (John 4:7-15).

In the same:

Jesus said, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (John 7:37-38).

In Revelation:

I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely (Revelation 21:6).

And in another place:

The angel showed unto him a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb (Revelation 22:1).

And again:

The spirit and the bride say, Come. He that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come. And he that wisheth, let him take the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17).

(Verweise: Isaiah 41:17-18; John 4:6-14; Psalms 147:18-19)

[3] These passages have been cited that it may be known that in the Word "waters" signify the truths of faith, consequently what is meant by the water of baptism, about which the Lord thus teaches in John:

Except a man be born of water and of the spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).

"Waters" here are the truths of faith, and "spirit" a life according to them (see New Jerusalem and Its Heavenly Doctrine, n. 202-209seq.). Because it had not been known that "waters" signified the truths of faith, and that all things that were instituted among the sons of Israel were representative of spiritual things, it was believed that by the washings that were prescribed for them their sins were wiped away; yet this was not at all the case; those washings only represented purification from evils and falsities by means of the truths of faith and a life according to them (see Arcana Coelestia 3147 Arcana Coelestia 3147[1-10], 5954, 10237, 10240). From this it is now clear that by "the voice," which was "as the voice of many waters," is meant Divine truth; as likewise in Ezekiel:

Behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east, and His voice was like the voice of many waters; and the earth was enlightened by His glory (Ezekiel 43:2).

And in David:

The voice of Jehovah is upon the waters, Jehovah upon many waters (Psalms 29:3).

And in the following words in Revelation:

I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters (Revelation 14:2).

[4] I know that some will wonder why "waters" are mentioned in the Word, and not the truths of faith, since the Word is to teach man about his spiritual life; and since, if the expression the truths of faith had been used, instead of "waters," man would have known that the waters of baptism and of washings contribute nothing to the purifying of man from evils and falsities. But it is to be known, that the Word in order to be Divine, and at the same time useful to heaven and the church, must be wholly natural in the letter, for if it were not natural in the letter there could be no conjunction of heaven with the church by means of it; for it would be like a house without a foundation, and like a soul without a body, for ultimates enclose all interiors, and are a foundation for them (see above, n. 41). Man also is in ultimates, and upon the church in him heaven has its foundations. For this reason the style of the Word is such as it is; and as a consequence, when man from the natural things that are in the sense of the letter of the Word thinks spiritually, he is conjoined with heaven, and in no other way could he be conjoined with it.


1. The Latin has "weeping and with weeping," the Hebrew "weeping and with supplication," as also found in Apocalypse Explained 239, 483; Arcana Coelestia 3325.


(Verweise: John 4:6-14; Psalms 147:18-19; Revelation 1:15; The Apocalypse Explained 41)

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Referenzen aus Swedenborgs unveröffentlichten Werken:

Apocalypse Explained 60, 67, 84, 118, 119, 126, 131, 183, 261, 275, 329, 395, 411, 419, 475, 518, 537, 594, 629, 644, 645, 854, 1033, 1076, 1215

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Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for their permission to use this translation.