The Lord is my Shepherd

Here is a collection of translations of Psalm 23 (in the Hebrew-based count of Psalms, but Psalm 22 in the LXX-based count of Psalms), including a couple that are not widely available.

King James Version
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters:
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.
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.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
Thou anointest by head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord fore ever.

Jewish Publication Society, 1917
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul;
He guideth me in straight paths for His name’s sake.
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.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou hast anointed my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Charles Thomson, 1808
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall want nothing.
In a verdant pasture He hath fixed my abode.
He hath fed me by gently flowing water and restored my soul.
He hath led me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
For though I walk amidst the shades of death: I will fear no ills,
because Thou art with me:
Thy rod and Thy staff have been my comfort.
Thou hast spread a table before me;
in the presence of them who afflict me.
With oil Thou hast anointed my head;
and Thine exhilarating cup is the very best.
Thy mercy will surely follow me all the days of my life;
and my dwelling shall be in the house of the Lord
to length of days.

Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 1987
The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want.
In a place of green pasture, there hath He made me to dwell;
beside the water of rest hath he nurtured me.
He hath converted my soul,
He hath led me on the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they have comforted me.
Thou hast prepared a table before me in the presence of them that afflict me.
Thou hast anointed my head with oil,
and Thy cup which filleth me, how excellent it is!
And Thy mercy shall pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

de Vinck and Contos, 1993 (out of print; Alleluia Press address)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
In a verdant pasture, he has made me to dwell;
By restful waters, he has nourished me;
he has restored my soul.
He had guided me along righteous paths
for the sake of his name.
Yea, even if I should walk
in the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil,
for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff,
these have comforted me.
You have set up a table before me
in the presence of my oppressors.
You have anointed my head with oil,
your cup cheers me like the best wine.
And your loving mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
for a great number of days.

Albert Pietersma, 2000
The Lord shepherds me, and I shall lack nothing.
In a verdant place, there he made me tent;
by restful water he reared me;
he restored my soul.
He led me into righteous paths
for his name’s sake.
For even if I walk in the midst of death’s shadow,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff

2 Replies to “The Lord is my Shepherd”

  1. Thank you for such a thougthful post in giving us items that would otherwise be little read. The different translations were inspiring.
    I was especially touched by the last translation in this phrase: “And your steadfast love shall pursue me all the days of my life”.
    What a blessing!
    R

  2. You’re welcome, Robert. I’m still quite partial to the King James, and my second favorite above is the de Vinck and Contos, a subtle blend of the Hebrew and Greek that is intended for devotional, not intellectual purposes. It’s a real pity it’s so hard to find and out of print. It’s a lovely translation.

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