The Twenty-Third Psalm

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Essay # 2 ENGL 2340 04 Professor: Ashley Dial The Twenty-third Psalm Thesis: This literary work of Hebrew poetry is by far one of the most famous and well known biblical poems in history. According to Merriam Webster’s definition a psalm is “a sacred song or poem used in worship”. The purpose of this work is to examine how the literary analysis of the poem contributes to the uncovering of the meaning of Psalm 23. Psalm 23 is divided into six verses that for the purpose of this essay I will consider them as six stanzas. The translation used is King James Version written in 1611. The original Hebrew is not divided as the English version, it is one unit. About the author: The biblical King David of Israel was ruler of Israel for 40 years between approximately 1010 and 970 B.C. As a young boy he was…show more content…
There are two examples of personification “thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” stanza 4; “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me” stanza 6. The setting is very symbolic “the green pasture... still waters” in stanza 2 constitutes an incredible contrast with what I saw while visiting Israel last summer. The rocky soil and the dryness, the lack of obvious water sources, the mountains with their turns and twists and in the midst of that the sheep and the shepherd. On stanza 3 “the path of righteousness” and stanza 4 “the valley of the shadow of death” with their own symbolism and finally leaving the more rural setting we have “thou preparest a table before me” stanza 5 and “I will dwell in the house of the Lord” in stanza 6. The speaker is most likely David and in this psalm he is not the Shepherd but he represents the sheep. The theme: This poem is about the relationship between the Shepherd (God) and the sheep (man). A relationship based on trust, humility, and total confidence in God’s plan and leadership. It is about
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