What is the background of Psalm 23?

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Psalm 23 has been called the psalm of psalms. It is one of the best-known passages in the Bible. David, who was familiar with the role and responsibility of a shepherd, wrote the psalm. Psalm 23 has been called the pearl of the Psalms. 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. David acknowledged that the Lord was his shepherd. He confidently stated, "The Lord is my shepherd." He had no other shepherd. He had no other master. His allegiance was to God alone. Shepherd is an intimate metaphor. A shepherd lives with his flock. He serves as protector, provider, and physician to his flock. The word "want" means "to lack" or "suffer need." Only the Lord can satisfy the deepest needs in the lives of men. Only the Lord, the Shepherd who is always alert to the needs of His flock, can correctly and adequately shepherd the lives of His own so that they can proclaim, "I shall not want." Note: Phillip Keller, in his book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, comments: "It is a tragic truth that ... more
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