(Clarification: In this lesson, there were two mistakes in the printed lesson booklets. On page 51, in both the Discussion and the Comments and Application sections, I used the term “Jehovah El Roi.” The correct term in this lesson is “Jehovah Rohi.” If you are studying with a class that uses the booklets, you may want to point out the errors and give the correct term.

–Sis. Angela Gellenbeck)

Psalm 23:1 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. (See also Ezekiel 34:14.)

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

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Ezekiel 34:11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.

16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

MEMORY VERSE: For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. —I Peter 2:25

CENTRAL THOUGHT: The Lord Jesus Christ, as the Shepherd of Israel, was revealed unto David as Jehovah Rohi and extolled by Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel as the “one shepherd.” He was declared by Christ Himself as the Good Shepherd, who gave His life, that He might seek, restore, lead and feed His people, who are the sheep of His pasture.


Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd”: Jehovah Rohi, a combination of the personal name of God with the descriptive name of God. Depending on how the languages of the Bible are translated into English, some people say Jehovah; some say Yahweh. The Israelites didn’t pronounce God’s name at all, but instead used “Lord.” In writing, “Yahweh” was without vowels: YHWH. “Rohi, or Ro’i,” means to pasture, tend, or feed domestic animals. “Want”: to lack; need; be lacking; decrease; become empty.

Psalm 23:2 “Green pastures”: pleasant places; grassy homesteads. “Still waters”: waters of refreshment.

Psalm 23:3 “He restoreth my soul”: my soul (my spirit, when exhausted, weary or sad) He bringeth, or will bring back; He causes my life to return; He quickens me.

Isaiah 40:11 “He shall gently lead those that are with young”: “Ewes that are suckling their lambs require specially tender treatment” (Pulpit Commentary).


The concept of God watching His people, individually and as a whole, like a shepherd, beginning with Jacob (Israel) as he blessed Joseph’s sons in Genesis 48:15, is a common metaphor in the scriptures. David also personally applied it to his life, detailing the many aspects of a shepherd, no doubt from his own experiences in keeping the flocks of his father. Moses was a shepherd for his father-in-law’s sheep when God called him to tend a greater flock, the people of Israel. Isaiah gives a touching picture of the relationship, and Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Micah all prophesy of God’s dealings with wayward and scattered Israel as a shepherd with a flock.

In the New Testament, it was to shepherds that the angel messenger, accompanied by the angelic choir, appeared announcing the good tidings of the birth of the Savior in Bethlehem, the city of David, possibly near the very fields where he had kept his father’s flocks long before.

Jesus referred to the righteous as sheep and the unrighteous as goats, as he described the separation of saints and sinners at his return. He told Peter after His resurrection that his special call was to feed His sheep and lambs. John recorded Jesus’ description of the close relationship between the sheep and the true shepherd, in contrast to hirelings who didn’t care a thing about the sheep. Jesus described how He knows the sheep and names them, calls them by name, goes before them, leads them, provides them pasture, and lays down his life for them. He does this because the sheep are “His own.” The hireling runs away from the sheep in times of trouble when the wolves appear. Jesus also referred to “thieves and robbers,” strangers, who the sheep would not hear or follow, and who came to steal, kill and destroy. They had tried to climb up into the sheepfold “some other way” than the “door.”

Jesus declared that He was the door of the sheep. A shepherd leads his sheep into the sheepfold at night, and after putting them through the single opening in the four-walled enclosure, he lies down and his body is “the door.” No one can come in or go out, except they go through him. By this picture, Jesus was declaring that He is the only way to salvation; and as long as His flock remain in His fold nothing can harm them.

“But who are not his flock! Neither the backslider in heart, nor the vile Antinomian, who thinks the more he sins, the more the grace of God shall be magnified in saving him; nor those who fondly suppose they are covered with the righteousness of Christ while living in sin; nor the crowd of the indifferent and the careless, nor the immense herd of Laodicean loiterers; nor the fiery bigots who would exclude all from heaven but themselves, and the party who believe as they do” (Matthew Henry Commentary).

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. My Shepherd: From which scripture comes the name “Jehovah Rohi?”
  2. Gently Led: What is especially comforting about this scripture?
  3. David: Who fulfills the prophecy that David would once again rule God’s people?
  4. The Door: What is the only way into the sheepfold?


Throughout time there have been false shepherds and false Christs, those who would claim salvation came through following them—the thieves, robbers, strangers and hirelings who tried to have access to or harm the sheep. Jesus said they had tried to climb up some other way than the door, and that there was no other way, and no other door, than He Himself.

Jesus did something that no other prophet could do or has done to bring salvation to lost mankind. Paul mentioned that when he admonished the Corinthians not to claim, “I follow Paul.” Or, “I follow Apollos.” “Was Apollos crucified for you?” Paul asked. There is no other Savior than the Son of God Who laid down His life for the sheep. There was no other way to save them than the cross. There was no other, in earth or in heaven; no man, no angel; who could make that sacrifice. No man was worthy or sinless, as was Christ; no angel was God’s begotten, with both human and Divine parentage, as was Jesus Christ. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.” “It behooved Christ” to suffer, take on the body of man, be touched with human infirmities, be our brother in all things, and to become obedient unto death, “even the death of the cross.”

So Jesus came in by the door; that is, the door of the cross. Here again we have the name given to Jehovah, “Jehovah Rohi,” pointing directly to Jesus, and Him crucified. By the cross, He truly is our shepherd.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


“The Lord is my shepherd,” along with the other verses in Psalm 23 are some of the grandest truths penned by the Spirit of God. Oh, the comfort that David must have felt when these truths began to dawn upon his understanding! He knew what a shepherd was. He had laid his life on the line for his sheep when facing a bear and a lion who had come to devour. He had been there to find green pastures and good water for them. He loved and cared for them—and to think that the Lord watches over His people as a shepherd!

The Lord is able to open just the right door for us. He can open a niche; provide a job; reveal a source for making a living that matches our skill, our personality, our desires. He can turn the tide for us when it looks like we are overwhelmed and going under the waves of difficulty, trial, or cares. He promised to not let us be tempted above that which we are able to bear, but will with the temptation make a way of escape. He can lead us and help us in all of our decisions of life. He is able to pick us up and carry us in His arms when we are unable to walk. He can enlighten our understanding with good spiritual food that nourishes and strengthens the inner man.

“All we like sheep have gone astray.” There is a tendency in sheep and humans to stray and to fail to recognize danger. Jesus mentioned how the shepherd leaves the ninety and nine that are safe and seeks the one that has strayed off course. Looking back, I can see how the Lord sought me out when I had gotten off course.

Let us believe in these scriptures and believe in His love for us as individuals. Jesus is a personal Savior. I can testify with the Psalmist, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

—Bro. Bob Wilson