The 23rd Psalm copied an Egyptian text appealing to Osiris the Good Shepherd to lead the
deceased to the "green pastures" and "still waters" of the nefer-nefer land, to
restore the soul to the body, and to give protection in the valley of the shadow of death
"Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me."
A plea to God for help when we are beset by enemies around us. It can also be understood
as a plea for help in dealing with the enemies within us - enemies of our own true selves
who seek to frighten or seduce us away from our own true paths.
“But the ninetieth Psalm, selected to be read as a part of our Burial Service,
is entirely Pythagorean, and delivers the doctrine of the Metempsychosis too
particularly to be mistaken, or to admit of any other possible understanding.”
—Rev. Robert Taylor, Diegesis, pg. 221.
The Psalm is about the Jew's exile in Babylon. The Jews had been conquered by the Babylonoans
and taken them as prisoners out of Jeruselem to Babylon. The Babylonian soldiers taunted the defeated Jews--
"Sing us one of the songs of Zion," they urged. But the Jews could not sing. They
could weep and they could remember, but they could not sing. The God to whom their songs were
directed was in Jerusalem. "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a foreign land?" was their
Do the children really deserve this?