Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The Hebrew word here translated “rod” has a long history. Its meanings include rod, scepter, and weapon. It does not refer to a “walking stick” as we often see this depicted in drawings. The rod is the shepherd’s primary offensive weapon for protecting the flock from enemies, whether the threats are wild animals or human thieves. A shepherd’s rod is about two and a half feet long with a mace-like end that the shepherd embeds heavy pieces of iron. When used as a weapon it becomes intimidating and deadly.
The rod and staff mentioned in Psalm 23, verse 4 represents God’s defense and His divine guidance. His rod is used to drive off our enemy, Satan and his minions. God’s staff is used as guidance to the flock and to lift them back on the pathway when they fell.
People like sheep…
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