Psalm 23:4 - One Of The Crown Jewels Of Scripture - verse 4.

Psa. 23: One Of The Crown Jewels Of Scripture - verse 4.

Psa 23:4 (KJV)  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.

Psa 23:4 (CWR)  Even when I walk through a valley of frightful
shadows facing death, I will fear no evil, because you are with me. Your
rod and staff comfort me.

Psa 23:4 (TLB)  Even when walking through the dark valley of
death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding,
guiding all the way.

Valley of the shadow of death: are better translated "valley of
deep darkness." [New Bible Companion]

The valley of the shadow of death: does not, as sometimes
explained, imply that it is mere shadow, but is the Hebrew idiom for thee
blackest darkness; hence, a position surrounded by great perils and
deaths : also death itself in its gloomiest
aspect . (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

Psalm 23:4 is often misquoted by mentioning "a dark valley." But
the word "dark" is not there.  It says, "the valley of the shadow of
death." There can be no shadow in a dark place.  The fact that there is
a shadow shows that there is a light in the valley.  [Source

Merely A Shadow
David wrote, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of
death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me" (Ps. 23:4). As a
shepherd, David knew what it was like to walk alone through the dangers
that lurk in the shadows. But David knew something that you and I
must also realize: "shadows" can cause no harm. The shadow of a bear
cannot bite, the shadow of a lion cannot scratch, and the shadow of
death cannot conquer. In fact, a shadow can only harm us when we are
afraid of it, and our fear leads us to react in such a way that we harm
ourselves. When you know the Lord, death is only a shadow. It holds no
power; it is nothing to fear.... For those who know the Lord, death is
truly just a shadow. It is a defeated foe, a doorway to heaven.
[Passages Of Life SB]

The shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor
the shadow of a sword kill. [Matthew Henry Commentary]

It is but the shadow of death; there is no substantial evil in
it; the shadow of a serpent will not sting nor the shadow of a sword
kill.... it is a walk through it;.... they tremble at it no more than sheep
do that are appointed for the slaughter.... it kills the body, but
cannot touch the soul.... because the saints have God's gracious presence
with them in their dying moments; he is then at their right hand, and
therefore why should they be moved?... His word and Spirit shall comfort
them-- his rod and staff,... he will guide them with his rod and sustain
them with his staff. The gospel is called the rod of Christ's
strength , (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death:
God will lead and guide me in the path of righteousness, even though
that path lies through the darkest and most gloomy vale..... the word
is applicable to any path of gloom or sadness; any scene of trouble
or sorrow; any dark and dangerous way. Thus understood, it is
applicable not merely to death itself-- though it embraces that-- but to
any or all the dark, the dangerous, and the gloomy paths which we
tread in life: to ways of sadness, solitude, and sorrow. All along
those paths God will be a safe and certain guide. (Barnes' Notes)

The valley of the shadow of death: can refer to any distressing
time in our lives. The awareness of our own mortality often comes
with sickness, trials, and hardship. But the Lord, our Protector, can
lead us through these dark and difficult valleys to eternal life with
Him. [Nelson SB]

God alone can lead us through death to eternal life. Death casts
a frightening shadow over us because we are entirely helpless in
its presence. We can struggle with other enemies--pain, suffering,
disease, injury--but strength and courage cannot overcome death. It has
the final word. Only one person can walk with us through death's
dark valley and bring us safely to the other side--the God of life,
our shepherd. Because life is uncertain, we should follow this
shepherd who offers us eternal comfort. [Life Application SB]

I will fear no evil: The true friend of God HAS nothing to fear
in that dark valley. His great Shepherd will accompany him there,
and can lead him safely through, however dark it may appear. The
true believer has nothing to fear in the most gloomy scenes of life;
he has nothing to fear in the valley of death; he has nothing to
fear in the grave; he has nothing to fear in the world beyond.
(Barnes' Notes)

How marvelous then for us whom Scripture sees as sheep that God
presents Himself as our shepherd. He leads us, protects us, and because
He is always with us, we fear no evil. [Victor Bible Reader's

"I will fear no evil: for thou art with me." -- Psalm 23:4
Behold, how independent of outward circumstances the Holy Ghost
can make the Christian! What a bright light may shine within us when
it is all dark without! How firm, how happy, how calm, how peaceful
we may be, when the world shakes to and fro, and the pillars of the
earth are removed! Even death itself, with all its terrible
influences, has no power to suspend the music of a Christian's heart, but
rather makes that music become more sweet, more clear, more heavenly,
till the last kind act which death can do is to let the earthly
strain melt into the heavenly chorus, the temporal joy into the eternal
bliss! Let us have confidence, then, in the blessed Spirit's power to
comfort us. Dear reader, are you looking forward to poverty? Fear not;
the divine Spirit can give you, in your want, a greater plenty than
the rich have in their abundance. You know not what joys may be
stored up for you in the cottage around which grace will plant the
roses of content. Are you conscious of a growing failure of your
bodily powers? Do you expect to suffer long nights of languishing and
days of pain? O be not sad! That bed may become a throne to you. You
little know how every pang that shoots through your body may be a
refining fire to consume your dross--a beam of glory to light up the
secret parts of your soul. Are the eyes growing dim? Jesus will be your
light. Do the ears fail you? Jesus' name will be your soul's best
music, and his person your dear delight. Socrates used to say,
"Philosophers can be happy without music;" and Christians can be happier than
philosophers when all outward causes of rejoicing are withdrawn. In thee, my
God, my heart shall triumph, come what may of ills without! By thy
power, O blessed Spirit, my heart shall be exceeding glad, though all
things should fail me here below. Charles H Spurgeon

You are with me: The Good Shepherd is with us even in what seem
the most difficult and troubling situations. [Nelson SB]

Thou art with me. This is enough. The Christian needs nothing
more than the consciousness of God's presence. "Only Thee, only Thee,
none on earth but Thee." [SDA Commentary]

For thou art with me: His Saviour God is with him in that
valley, and will never leave him. Upon His arm he can lean, and by His
presence he will be comforted, until he emerges from the gloom into the
bright world beyond. All that is needful to dissipate the terrors of
the valley of death is to be able to say, "Thou art with me."
(Barnes' Notes)

That name therefore shall still be my strong tower, and shall
assure me that he who has led me, and fed me, all my life long, will
not leave me at last." (Matthew Henry's Commentary)

The fourth blessing from the Lord's leading is protection. If
one finds himself in a valley of deep darkness (or shadow of death),
he need not fear. The Lord is with him and will protect him.... David
was comforted by the Lord's presence and protection. Believers are
never in situations the Lord is not aware of, for He never leaves or
forsakes His people (cf. Heb. 13:5). [Bible Knowledge Commentary]

For thou art with me: present to faith, though not to sense.
(Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

God is revealed here not as one who changes bad times but as the
One who remains with His children throughout the bad times.
[Disciple SB]

Have you ever experienced a terrible sorrow that seems difficult
to reconcile with God's perfect love--a sorrow that comes crashing
down upon you, wrings from your soul its peaceful rest in the grace
of God, and casts it into a sea of darkness that is unlit by even
one ray of hope? Have you experienced a sorrow caused by unkindness,
when others cruelly mistreat your trusting heart, and you even begin
to wonder if there is really a God above who sees what is happening
yet continues to allow it?....
Human life is made of brightness and gloom, shadows and
sunshine, and dark clouds followed by brilliant rays of light. Yet through
it all, God's divine justice is accomplishing His plan, affecting
and disciplining each individual soul.
Dear friend, if you are filled with fear of the "thick and
dreadful darkness" because of God's dealings with humankind, learn to
trust His infallible wisdom, for it is equal to His unchanging
justice. And know that He who endured the "dreadful darkness" of Calvary
and the feeling of having been forsaken on the cross is ready to
accompany you "through the valley of the shadow of death" (Ps. 23:4) until
you can see the sun shining on the other side. F B. Meyer
The disciples thought that the angry sea separated them from
Jesus. In fact, some of them thought something even worse--they thought
that the trouble they were facing was a sign that He had forgotten
them and did not care about them.
O dear friend, that is when your troubles can cause the most
harm. The Devil comes and whispers to you, "God has forgotten you" or
"God has forsaken you," and your unbelieving heart cries out, as
Gideon once did, "If the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to
us?" Judg. 6:13). God has allowed the difficulty to come upon you, in
order to bring you closer to Himself. It has come not to separate you
from Jesus but to cause you to cling to Him more faithfully, more
firmly, and more simply. F S. Webster
We should abandon ourselves to God more fully at those times
when He seems to have abandoned us. Let us enjoy His light and
comfort when it is His pleasure to give it to us, but may we not attach
ourselves to His gifts. May we instead attach ourselves to Him, and when
He plunges us into the night, where pure faith is required, may we
still press on through the agonizing darkness. [Streams In The Desert
By Cowman]

Bring them here to me. (Matthew 14:18)
Do you find yourself at this very moment surrounded with needs,
and nearly overwhelmed with difficulties, trials, and emergencies?
Each of these is God's way of providing vessels for the Holy Spirit
to fill. If you correctly understand their meaning, you will see
them as opportunities for receiving new blessings and deliverance you
can receive in no other way.
The Lord is saying to you, "Bring them here to me." Firmly hold
the vessels before Him, in faith and in prayer. Remain still before
Him, and stop your own restless working until He begins to work. Do
nothing that He Himself has not commanded you to do. Allow God time to
work and He surely will. Then the very trials that threatened to
overcome you with discouragement and disaster will become God's
opportunity to reveal His grace and glory in your life, in ways you have
never known before. A. B. Simpson
My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches
in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 What a source-"God"! What a
supply-"his glorious riches"! What a channel-"Christ Jesus"! It is your
heavenly privilege to trust "all your needs" to "his glorious riches,"
and to forget "your needs" in the presence of "his ... riches." In
His great love, He has thrown open to you His exhaustive treasury.
Go in and draw upon Him in simple childlike faith, and you will
never again have the need to rely on anything else. C. H. M. [Streams
In The Desert By Cowman]

Surely I am with you always. (Matthew 28:20)
Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in
fear. Instead, as they arise look at them with the full assurance that
God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. Hasn't He kept you
safe up to now? So hold His loving hand tightly, and He will lead you
safely through all things. And when you cannot stand, He will carry you
in His arms. Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The
same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you
tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He
will give you His unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at
peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries. Francis de
Sales [Streams In The Desert By Cowman]

When God sends no answer and "the cloud remain[s]," we must
wait. Yet we can do so with the full assurance of God's provision of
manna, water from the rock, shelter, and protection from our enemies.
He never keeps us at our post without assuring us of His presence
or sending us daily supplies. from Daily Devotional Commentary
[Streams In The Desert By Cowman]

Rod, Staff: guards and guides his sheep. [Jamieson, Fausset, And
Brown Commentary]

Protects his sheep with his rod or club, and guides straying
sheep with his staff or crook. [Ryrie SB]

The "rod" (a short club used to fight off wild animals)
represents protection; the "staff" (a long shepherd's stick with a crook)
depicts guidance. [Believer's SB]

The shepherd's rod was a short club used to fend off wild
animals while the staff with its crook was used to direct the sheep. One
represents protection, the other guidance. Just like the shepherd, the Lord
protects and guides us, His sheep. . [Passages Of Life SB]

The shepherd's care is symbolized by the "rod" and the "staff"
(v. 4c). A shepherd carried a "rod" to club down wild animals (cf. 1
Sam 17:43; 2 Sam 23:21) and a "staff" to keep the sheep in control.
The rod and staff represent God's constant vigilance over his own
and bring "comfort" because of his personal presence and involvement
with his sheep.... We briefly considered the significance of the "rod"
and the "staff" as they symbolize his presence, protection, and
guidance. They summarize his shepherd role. [Expositors Bible Commentary]

Thy rod and thy staff: The Word of God is at once a prop to
support the child of God, and a defense against Satan and the powers of
darkness. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

Your rod and your staff they comfort me. Psa 23:4
At my father's house in the country, there is a little closet
near the chimney, where we keep the canes, or walking sticks, of
several generations of our family. During my visits to the old house, as
my father and I are going out for a walk, we often go to the cane
closet and pick out our sticks to suit the occasion. As we have done
this, I have frequently been reminded that the Word of God is a
During the war, when we were experiencing a time of
discouragement and impending danger, the verse "He will have no fear of bad
news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD" (Ps. 112:7) was a
staff to walk with on many dark days.
When our child died and we were left nearly brokenhearted, I
found another staff in the promise "Weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning" (Ps. 30:5).
When I was forced to be away from home for a year due to poor
health, not knowing if God would ever allow me to return to my home and
work again, I chose this staff, which has never failed: "For I know
the plans I have for you, . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm
you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jer. 29:11).
In times of impending danger or doubt, when human judgment seems
to be of no value, I have found it easy to go forward with this
staff: "In quietness and trust is your strength" (Isa. 30:15).And in
emergencies, when there has been no time for deliberation or for action, this
staff has never failed me: "He that believeth shall not make haste"
(Isa. 28:16 KJV). Abbott Benjamin Vaughan, in The Outlook
Martin Luther's wife said, "I would never have known the meaning
of various psalms, come to appreciate certain difficulties, or
known the inner workings of the soul; I would never have understood
the practice of the Christian life and work, if God had never
brought afflictions to my life." It is quite true that God's rod is like
a schoolteacher's pointer to a child, pointing out a letter so the
child will notice it. In this same way, God points out many valuable
lessons to us that we otherwise would never have learned. selected
[Streams In The Desert By Cowman]

For you . . . comfort me: The very center of the psalm; [NIV SB]

How could God's rod and staff bring comfort? (23:4) The shepherd
used his staff to guide the sheep, directing them and setting
boundaries for them. He also used his rod as a weapon against predators. By
guiding them into safe places and by fighting enemies, the shepherd's
rod and staff were a comfort for the sheep. [Quest SB]

An Encouraging Word
If we watch the sheep in a pasture, we will see them do an
interesting thing. Sometime during the day, each sheep, entirely on its own,
leaves the flock and trots over to the shepherd, one at a time. The
shepherd tenderly caresses the nose and ears, rubs the neck and head, and
whispers in its ear. Calmed, encouraged and reassured, the sheep goes
back to graze with the rest.
We also need such daily affirmation and reassurance from God.
When our souls are restored, they are revived and stimulated. We need
the caress, the rub, the "pep talk" from our shepherd. Unless we
hear an "encouraging word," we become fearful and frantic. --A. Philip
Parham Prayer: Good Shepherd, thank you for your loving words of
reassurance and restoration.  [Life Recovery Devotional SB]

(For one who is nearing death.) Lord, give ____________ victory
over fear as he/she approaches the valley of the shadow of death. May
he/she realize that you are with him/her, guarding and guiding all the
way. [Pocket Prayers by Robert Savage]


The Most Abundant Mammal
Psa 23:4 (KJV)  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.
What do you think is the most abundant mammal in the world? Is
it the dog or the cat? There are certainly a lot of them. Or is it
the mouse? Mice are everywhere! Well, it isn't the dog, or the cat,
or the mouse, or even rats. Let's give you some hints.
The most abundant mammal in the world prefers darkness, but
doesn't mind coming out in the daytime especially in the evening before
dark. There are many varieties of this animal, ranging in size from
about three inches long up to several feet in length, and their diet
primarily consists of insects (although they also eat small mammals,
fruit, and even the nectar from flowers). Have you figured out what the
animal is yet?
Here is the best and final clue: This mammal flies. That's right
- it's a bat. It is estimated that one out of every ten mammals in
the world is a bat. Can you imagine how many millions and millions
of them there must be?
You've heard the saying "Blind as a bat." No statement could be
more true and false at the same time. Although it is true that bats
don't see very well, if at all, sight as we know it is not so
important, because they can fly through the darkness just as successfully
as you and I can walk in the dark with a flashlight. Experiments
have shown that, in the dark, bats can recognize and avoid wires that
are only two thousandths of an inch in diameter.
Bats illustrate perfectly how to live by faith. By relying on
powers of perception given to them by the Creator, they can avoid all
danger and live quite safely in a situation that we find difficult.
When Jesus is in our heart He gives us the power to avoid the dangers
of this world of sin in just as sure a manner. We never need fear
the darkness of this world when Jesus is our friend--and He is our
friend. [Glimpses Of God's Love by J & P Tucker]