The Bible


Psalms 23 : The 23rd Psalm



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.

    Study the Inner Meaning




         Photo by Gretchen Keith

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 we're going to wait for Him to go for a walk and tag along; it means we're going to do the things He said and believe the things He tells us in the Bible. We're going to follow Him by making His precepts a part of our lives.

That same idea applies to other cases. When people in the Bible follow something, it means they are making that spiritual thing (whatever spiritual thing is described) a part of their lives. And the order of the language can even be reversed: sometimes things are described as following people (as in Psalm 23: "surely goodness and mercy will follow me..."), which again means that people are making those spiritual qualities a part of their lives.

(References: Apocalypse Explained 383, 864; Arcana Coelestia 9251; Psalms 23:6)