Psalm 23:3
He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Restoreth my souli.e., refresheth, recreateth, quickeneth.

For his name’s sake.—God’s providential dealings are recognised as in accordance with His character for great graciousness.

Psalm 23:3. He restoreth my soul — Hebrew, נפשׁי ישׁובב, naphshi jeshobeb, my soul he bringeth, or, will bring back, namely, from its errors or wanderings. No creature is more ready to go astray than a sheep, or more at a loss to find its way back. And all we like sheep have gone astray, and are still too prone so to do; to leave the right way of truth and duty, and to turn aside into by-paths. But when God shows us our errors, gives us repentance, and brings us back to our duty again, he restores our souls; and if he did not do so, we would wander endlessly and be undone. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness — In the plain, straight, and safe paths, in which the sheep of the Lord’s pasture are neither hurt, nor wearied, nor in danger of wandering. By his word and his providence he directs me to the right ways of truth and holiness, and by his Spirit he inclines and enables me to choose those ways, and to continue to walk therein; for his name’s sake — Not for any merit in me, but merely for the demonstration and glory of his mercy, faithfulness, and goodness.23:1-6 Confidence in God's grace and care. - "The Lord is my shepherd." In these words, the believer is taught to express his satisfaction in the care of the great Pastor of the universe, the Redeemer and Preserver of men. With joy he reflects that he has a shepherd, and that shepherd is Jehovah. A flock of sheep, gentle and harmless, feeding in verdant pastures, under the care of a skilful, watchful, and tender shepherd, forms an emblem of believers brought back to the Shepherd of their souls. The greatest abundance is but a dry pasture to a wicked man, who relishes in it only what pleases the senses; but to a godly man, who by faith tastes the goodness of God in all his enjoyments, though he has but little of the world, it is a green pasture. The Lord gives quiet and contentment in the mind, whatever the lot is. Are we blessed with the green pastures of the ordinances, let us not think it enough to pass through them, but let us abide in them. The consolations of the Holy Spirit are the still waters by which the saints are led; the streams which flow from the Fountain of living waters. Those only are led by the still waters of comfort, who walk in the paths of righteousness. The way of duty is the truly pleasant way. The work of righteousness in peace. In these paths we cannot walk, unless. God lead us into them, and lead us on in them. Discontent and distrust proceed from unbelief; an unsteady walk is the consequence: let us then simply trust our Shepherd's care, and hearken to his voice. The valley of the shadow of death may denote the most severe and terrible affliction, or dark dispensation of providence, that the psalmist ever could come under. Between the part of the flock on earth and that which is gone to heaven, death lies like a dark valley that must be passed in going from one to the other. But even in this there are words which lessen the terror. It is but the shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor the shadow of a sword kill. It is a valley, deep indeed, and dark, and miry; but valleys are often fruitful, and so is death itself fruitful of comforts to God's people. It is a walk through it: they shall not be lost in this valley, but get safe to the mountain on the other side. Death is a king of terrors, but not to the sheep of Christ. When they come to die, God will rebuke the enemy; he will guide them with his rod, and sustain them with his staff. There is enough in the gospel to comfort the saints when dying, and underneath them are the everlasting arms. The Lord's people feast at his table, upon the provisions of his love. Satan and wicked men are not able to destroy their comforts, while they are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and drink of the cup of salvation which is ever full. Past experience teaches believers to trust that the goodness and mercy of God will follow them all the days of their lives, and it is their desire and determination, to seek their happiness in the service of God here, and they hope to enjoy his love for ever in heaven. While here, the Lord can make any situation pleasant, by the anointing of his Spirit and the joys of his salvation. But those that would be satisfied with the blessings of his house, must keep close to the duties of it.He leadeth me beside the still waters - Margin, "waters of quietness." Not stagnant waters, but waters not tempestuous and stormy; waters so calm, gentle, and still, as to suggest the idea of repose, and such as prompt to repose. As applied to the people of God, this denotes the calmness - the peace - the repose of the soul, when salvation flows as in a gently running stream; when there is no apprehension of want; when the heart is at; peace with God.

He restoreth my soul - literally, "He causes my life to return." DeWette, "He quickens me," or causes me to live. The word soul" here means life, or spirit, and not the soul in the strict sense in which the term is now used. It refers to the spirit when exhausted, weary, or sad; and the meaning is, that God quickens or vivifies the spirit when thus exhausted. The reference is not to the soul as wandering or backsliding from God, but to the life or spirit as exhausted, wearied, troubled, anxious, worn down with care and toil. the heart, thus exhausted, He re-animates. He brings back its vigor. He encourages it; excites it to new effort; fills it with new joy.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness - In right paths, or right ways. He conducts me in the straight path that leads to Himself; He does not permit me to wander in ways that would lead to ruin. In reference to His people it is true:

(a) that He leads them in the path by which they become righteous, or by which they are "justified" before him; and

(b) that He leads them in the way of "uprightness" and "truth." He guides them in the way to heaven; His constant care is evinced that they "may" walk in that path.

For his name's sake - For His own sake; or, that His name may be honored. It is not primarily on their account; it is not solely that they may be saved. It is that He may be honored:

(a) in their being saved at all;

(b) in the manner in which it is done;

(c) in the influence of their whole life, under His guidance, as making known His own character and perfections.

Compare Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 48:9; Isaiah 66:5; Jeremiah 14:7. The feeling expressed in this verse is that of confidence in God; an assurance that he would always lead his people in the path in which they should go. Compare Psalm 25:9. This he will always do if people will follow the directions of His word, the teachings of His Spirit, and the guidance of His providence. No one who submits to Him in this way will ever go astray!

3. To restore the soul is to revive or quicken it (Ps 19:7), or relieve it (La 1:11, 19).

paths of righteousness—those of safety, as directed by God, and pleasing to Him.

for his name's sake—or, regard for His perfections, pledged for His people's welfare.

He restoreth, Heb. he bringeth it back; either,

1. From its errors or wandering; or,

2. Into the body, out of which it was even departing and fainting away. He reviveth or comforteth me. Compare Ruth 4:15 1 Samuel 30:12 Lamentations 1:11.

In the paths of righteousness; in straight, and plain, and safe paths, where the sheep is neither hurt, nor wearied, nor in danger of wandering. By his word he directs me to the right ways of truth, and holiness, and righteousness, and by his Spirit he inclines and enables me to choose them, and to continue to walk in them.

For his name’s sake; not for any worth in me, but merely for the demonstration and glory of his justice, and faithfulness, and goodness. He restoreth my soul,.... Either when backslidden, and brings it back again when led or driven away, and heals its backslidings; or rather, when fainting, swooning, and ready to die away, he fetches it back again, relieves, refreshes, and comforts with the discoveries of his love, with the promises of his word, and with the consolations of his Spirit, and such like reviving cordials; see Gill on Psalm 19:7;

he leadeth, he in the paths of righteousness; in the plain paths of truth and holiness, in which men, though fools, shall not err; in right ones, though they sometimes seem rough and rugged to Christ's sheep, yet are not crooked; there is no turning to the right hand or the left; they lead straight on to the city of habitation; and they are righteous ones, as paths of duty are, and all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord be; moreover, Christ leads his by faith, to walk on in him and in his righteousness, looking through it, and on account of it, for eternal life; see Proverbs 8:20; and all this he does

for his name's sake; for his own glory and the praise of his grace, and not for any merits or deserts in men.

He {b} restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the {c} paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

(b) He comforts or refreshes me.

(c) Plain or straight ways.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. He restoreth my soul] Renews and sustains my life. Cp. Psalm 19:7, note. Not as P.B.V. (after the LXX and Vulg.) he shall convert my soul.

he leadeth me] R.V., he guideth me: a word often used of God’s guidance of His people collectively (Exodus 15:13; Deuteronomy 32:12), and individually (Psalm 5:8; Psalm 27:11, &c.).

in the paths of righteousness] Usage is decisive in favour of rendering thus, and not, in straight paths. The word for righteousness nowhere retains its primary physical meaning of straightness. For paths cp. Psalm 17:5; and for the whole phrase, Proverbs 4:11; Proverbs 8:20; Proverbs 12:28.

for his name’s sake] In order to prove Himself such as He has declared Himself to be (Exodus 34:5 ff.).

3, 4. The shepherd’s care as guide and guardian.Verse 3. - He restoreth my soul; i.e. revives it and reinvigorates it when it is exhausted and weary (see the comment on Is. 19:7, where the same verb occurs). He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness. Which are also "paths of pleasantness and peace" (Proverbs 3:17). For his Name's sake. To magnify his Name as a gracious and merciful God. (Heb.: 22:28-32)The long line closing strophe, which forms as it were the pedestal to the whole, shows how far not only the description of the affliction of him who is speaking here, but also the description of the results of his rescue, transcend the historical reality of David's experience. The sufferer expects, as the fruit of the proclamation of that which Jahve has done for him, the conversion of all peoples. The heathen have become forgetful and will again recollect themselves; the object, in itself clear enough in Psalm 9:18, becomes clear from what follows: there is a γνῶσις τοῦ θεοῦ (Psychol. S. 346ff.; tr. pp. 407ff.) among the heathen, which the announcement of the rescue of this afflicted one will bring back to their consciousness.

(Note: Augustin De trinitate xiv. 13, Non igitur sic erant oblitae istae gentes Deum, ut ejus nec commemoratae recordarentur.)

This prospect (Jeremiah 16:19.) is, in Psalm 22:29 (cf. Jeremiah 10:7), based upon Jahve's right of kingship over all peoples. A ruler is called משׁל as being exalted above others by virtue of his office (משׁל according to its primary meaning equals Arab. mṯl, erectum stare, synonymous with כּחן, vid., on Psalm 110:4, cf. עמד Micah 5:3). In וּמשׁל we have the part., used like the 3 praet., without any mark of the person (cf. Psalm 7:10; Psalm 55:20), to express the pure praes., and, so to speak, as tempus durans: He rules among the nations (ἔθνη). The conversion of the heathen by that sermon will, therefore, be the realisation of the kingdom of God.

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