Psalm 23 Translations

Spreading The Truth One Byte At A Time

By Ron Bender© 2008, 2013

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The Lord Is My Shepherd

Psalm 23 is the most loved chapter in the Bible. It is probably the most famous poem ever composed. The only prayer that surpasses it is the Lord’s prayer. Untold millions of people over the millennia have found comfort, healing, wisdom, and guidance from praying Psalm 23.

How could David, a shepherd boy, put together such a masterpiece? It was the Holy Spirit who inspired his writing.

Countless Psalm 23 translations into English have been written. There are also many hymns, poems, and paraphrases that have been inspired by Psalm 23. I have gathered these Psalm 23 translations and other works on Psalm 23 because they are so fruitful for meditation and prayer. I’ve shared them with others and in groups.



A Fresh Paraphrase of Psalm 23

One morning when it was raining I laid in bed meditating on Psalm 23. As the rain drops fell I stared a Journey through many traslations of Psalm 23.Enjoy! Find a favorite and soak your soul in it!

A Soul Shepherding Psalm

The Lord Jesus is my Soul Shepherd
who meets all my needs and makes me smile.
He gets me to stop working and to relax
with him in his Father’s loving arms.
He takes me into a quiet place
to be still and know that he is God and I am loved.
He heals and rejuvenates my whole being
with his grace from the inside out.

He holds my hand at the crossroads
and walks me onto the path of life.
Even though I go through dark and difficult times
I don’t fear anything bad because you are with me.
You discipline me in love and converse patiently with me
to bring out the best in me.
You prepare a celebration to bless and honor me –
right in front of my enemies.

You anoint me with your Spirit to minister to others
out of the overflow of your love to me.
I can count on your generous favor and tender mercy
coming to me wherever I go.

I will live in the presence of Christ as his beloved
in all things and at all times.

Palm 23 Translations and Paraphrases

In these Psalm 23 translations and paraphrases David’s ancient Shepherd Psalm is given fresh wording that helps to bring out new insights and applications. I invite you to read slowly and prayerfully to let the Holy Spirit bring the Word of God to life for you and those you minister to!

Psalm 23: A Psalm for David

From The Holy Bible Douay-Rheims Version © 1609/1752/1899

The Lord  ruleth me: and I shall want nothing.
He hath set me in a place of pasture.
He hath brought me up, on the water of refreshment:
He hath converted my soul.
He hath led me on the paths of justice, for his own name’s sake.
For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me.

Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me.
Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it!
And thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

Psalm 23: A David Song

From The Moffatt Bible by James Moffatt © 1922

The Eternal Shepherds me, I lack for nothing;
he makes me lie in meadows green,
he leads me to refreshing streams,
he revives life in me.
He guides me by true paths, as he himself is true.
My road may run through a glen of gloom, but I fear no harm, for thou are beside me;
thy club, thy staff – they give me courage.

Thou art my host, spreading a feast for me, while my foes have to look on!
Thou hast poured oil upon my head, my cup is brimming over;
yes, and all through my life Goodness and Kindness waits on me,
the Eternal’s guest within his household evermore.

Psalm 23 for Children (and the Childlike!)

From The Living Bible. A paraphrase by Kenneth N. Taylor © 1971

Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!

He lets me rest in the meadow grass and leads me beside the quiet streams.
He restores my failing health.

He helps me do what honors him the most.

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.

You provide delicious food for me in the presence of my enemies

You have welcomed me as your guest; blessings overflow!

Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life,
and afterwards I will live with you forever in your home.

Psalm 23: A David Psalm

From The Message. A paraphrase by Eugene Peterson © 1994

God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.

Even when the way goes through Death Valley,
I’m not afraid when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.

Psalm 23 Hymns

These hymns based on the text of Psalm 23 have been sung for hundreds of years in the Church of Jesus Christ. They are early versions of Psalm 23 translations (paraphrases). Not only are these hymns theologically rich they are also heart warming. Even if you don’t know a hymn’s tune, reading it meditatively will make your heart sing!

My Shepherd will Supply my Need

From The Psalms of David by Isaac Watts © 1719

My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death
Thy presence is my stay;
One word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.

He Leadeth Me

By Joseph H. Gilmore © 1862

He leadeth me, O blessèd thought!
O words with heav’nly comfort fraught!
Whate’er I do, where’er I be
Still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

He leadeth me, He leadeth me,
By His own hand He leadeth me;
His faithful follower I would be,
For by His hand He leadeth me.

Sometimes mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, over troubled sea,
Still ’tis His hand that leadeth me.


Lord, I would place my hand in Thine,
Nor ever murmur nor repine;
Content, whatever lot I see,
Since ’tis my God that leadeth me.


And when my task on earth is done,
When by Thy grace the vict’ry’s won,
E’en death’s cold wave I will not flee,
Since God through Jordan leadeth me.


The King of Love my Shepherd Is

By Henry W. Baker © 1868

The King of love my Shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never,
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.

Where streams of living water flow
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill
With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;
Thy rod and staff my comfort still,
Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight;
Thy unction grace bestoweth;
And O what transport of delight
From Thy pure chalice floweth!

And so, through all the length of day,
Thy goodness faileth never;
Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise
Within Thy house forever.

Included in Masterpieces of Religious Verse, James Dalton Morrison, ed., New
York: Harper & Bros., 1948, p. 250.

Psalm 23 Poems

Countless famous writers and amateurs (like me!) have written poetic paraphrases of David’s psalm. Putting a passage of Scripture into your own wording is a delightful and powerful way to meditate on God’s Word. Sometimes this is done as a colloquial paraphrase to provide a fresh Psalm 23 translation for a particular culture or group.

The God of Love my Shepherd Is

In The Temple by George Herbert © 1633

The God of love my shepherd is,
And He that does me feed:
While He is mine, and I am His,
What can I want or need?

He leads me to the tender grass,
Where I both feed and rest;
Then to the streams that gently pass:
In both I have the best.

Or if I stray, He does convert
And bring my mind in frame:
And all this not for my dessert,
But for His holy name.

Yea, in death’s shady black abode
Well may I walk, not fear:
For You are with me; and Your rod
To guide, Your staff to bear.

Nay, you do make me sit and dine,
Ev’n in my enemies’ sight:
My head with oil, my cup with wine
Runs over day and night.

Surely Your sweet and wondrous love
Shall measure all my days;
And as it never shall remove,
So neither shall my praise.

God our Shepherd (Psalm 23 L.M.)

From The Psalms of David by Isaac Watts © 1719

My shepherd is the living Lord;
Now shall my wants be well supply’d
His providence and holy word
Become my safety and my guide.

In pastures where salvation grows
He makes me feed, he makes me rest;
There living water gently flows,
And all the food’s divinely blest.

My wandering feet his ways mistake,
But he restores my soul to peace,
And leads me for his mercy’s sake,
In the fair paths of righteousness.

Tho’ I walk thro’ the gloomy vale,
Where death and all its terrors are,
My heart and hope shall never fail,
For God my shepherd’s with me there.

Amidst the darkness and the deeps
Thou art my comfort, thou my stay;
Thy staff supports my feeble steps,
Thy rod directs my doubtful way.

The sons of earth and sons of hell
Gaze at thy goodness and repine
To see my table spread so well
With living bread and cheerful wine.

How I rejoice when on my head
Thy Spirit condescends to rest!
‘Tis a divine anointing shed
Like oil of gladness at a feast.

Surely the mercies of the Lord
Attend his household all their days;
There will I dwell to hear his word,
To seek his face, and sing his praise.

Psalm 23: 3rd Poem (S.M.)

From The Psalms of David by Isaac Watts © 1719

The Lord my shepherd is,
I shall be well supply’d;
Since he is mine, and I am his,
What can I want beside?

He leads me to the place
Where heavenly pasture grows,
Where living waters gently pass,
And full salvation flows.

If e’er I go astray,
He doth my soul reclaim,
And guides me in his own right way,
For his most holy name.

While he affords his aid,
I cannot yield to fear;
Tho’ I should walk thro’ death’s dark shade
My Shepherd’s with me there.

In spite of all my foes,
Thou dost my table spread,
My cup with blessings overflows,
And joy exalts my head.

The bounties of thy love
Shall crown my following days;
Nor from thy house will I remove,
Nor cease to speak thy praise.

Psalm 23 Recovery Version for use in 12 Step Groups

Author unknown:

The Lord alone is the Higher Power I need
For without him I can’t manage my life.
In his greener pasture my soul does feed;
In him I trust so I rest without strife.

I drink from the still waters of his love
Then I look close to see myself as he can.
When I fall I call for his help from above
And he restores me to my feet again.

He guides me to the path that’s right for me;
To all the other paths I will say no.
Though the path goes through a long dark valley
I won’t fear since he’s there to help me grow.

With his rod he disciplines me wisely
And helps me to set boundaries that protect.
With his staff he always guides me safely
And inspects me when I pass under it.

He leads me up to a mountain plateau
There are enemies there I must forgive.
His oil heals and anoints so I can go;
His cup overflows to me so I can give.

My steps back home I am able to retrace
Because he follows and has made me new.
In life’s journey I look to my Shepherd’s face
And he guides me to home all the way through.

23rd Psalm for Busy People

By Toki Miyashiro

The Lord is my Pace-setter, I shall not rush;
He makes me to stop and rest for quiet intervals.
He provides me with images of stillness, which restores my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency, through calmness of mind.

And His guidance is my peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day
I will not fret, for His presence is here.
His timelessness, His all-importance will keep me in balance.

He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity
By anointing my mind with His oils of tranquillity.
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruits of my hours,
For I shall walk in the pace of the Lord and dwell in His house forever.

“Japanese version of Psalm 23″ published in Guidepost Magazine

Psalm 23 for Working People

Author unknown:

The Lord is my real Boss, and I shall not want.
He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me.
He gently reminds me to pray and do all things
without murmuring and complaining.

He reminds me that He is my source and not my job.
He restores my sanity everyday and guides my decisions
that I might honor Him in all that I do.

Even though I face absurd amounts of e-mails, system
crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks, gossiping
co-workers, discriminating supervisors, and an aging body
that doesn’t cooperate every morning,
I still will not stop — for He is with me!
His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.

He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me.
He claims me as His own, even when the company threatens to let me go.
His Faithfulness and love is better than any bonus cheque.
His retirement plan beats any 401k there is!

When it’s all said and done, I’ll be working for Him a whole lot longer
and for that I bless his name!

Psalm 23: Native American Version

Author unknown

The great Father above me is the Shepherd Chief
and with Him I want not.
He throws me a rope
and the name of the rope is Love.
He draws me to where the grass is green
and the water is not dangerous
and I eat and I lie down satisfied.

Sometimes my heart is very weak and falls down
but he lifts me up
and draws me into a good road,
His name is wonderful.

Sometime, it may be very soon,
it may be longer, it may be a long, long time,
He will draw me into a place between the mountains.

It is dark there – but I will not draw back,
I will not be afraid,
for it is there between these mountains that the Shepherd will meet me
and the hunger I have felt in my heart all through this life will be satisfied.

Sometimes he makes His love-rope into a whip
but afterwards he gives a staff that I may lean on.
He puts his hand on my head and all tiredness is gone!
My cup he fills till it runs over.

What I tell you is true, I lie not.
These roads that are away ahead will stay with me
and afterward I will go to live in the big Tepee
and sit down with the Shepherd Chief forever. Forever.

Psalm 23 Aussie Version

From The Aussie Bible by Kel Richards © 2003

god is the station owner,
and i am just one of the sheep.
he musters me down to the lucerne flats,
and feeds me there all week.

when i’m feeling poorly,
and at something less than my peak,
he leads me to the restfulness,
of a coolabah shaded creek.

he teaches me not to break away,
not to be a loner;
he teaches me to stick with his mob,
and acknowledge him as my owner.

even when the droughts are bad,
and i cross the desert of death,
god is close beside me,
so close i can feel his breath.

god is the one who holds the map,
that gives me my direction,
and god is the one who guarantees,
provision for my protection.

although there are dingos in the hills,
and the paddocks are full of snakes,
god serves up a barbecue,
of beautiful t-bone steaks!

his patience and compassion,
and forgiveness fail me never;
and i’ll live with him in the homestead,
beyond the end of forever.

A Sailor’s 23rd Psalm

Author unknown

The Lord is my pilot; I shall not drift.
He lights me across the dark waters.
He steers me through the deep channels.
He keeps my log. He guides me by the
Star of Holiness for His Name’s sake.

As I sail through the storms and tempests
of life I will dread no danger; for You are
near me; Your love and care shelter me.

You prepare a haven before me in the Home-
land of Eternity; You quieten the waves
with oil; my ship rides calmly.

Surely sunlight and starlight shall be with
me wherever I sail, and at the end of my
voyaging I shall rest in the port of my God.


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