Psalm 23
In the 23rd Psalm in the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
The Hebrew Bible is a term used by biblical scholars outside of Judaism to refer to the Tanakh , a canonical collection of Jewish texts, and the common textual antecedent of the several canonical editions of the Christian Old Testament...

/Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

, the writer (David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

) describes God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 as his Shepherd. The text, beloved by Jews and Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

s alike, is often alluded to in popular media and has been set to music.

The shepherd theme

Psalm 23 portrays God as a shepherd
A shepherd is a person who tends, feeds or guards flocks of sheep.- Origins :Shepherding is one of the oldest occupations, beginning some 6,000 years ago in Asia Minor. Sheep were kept for their milk, meat and especially their wool...

, feeding (verse 1) and leading (verse 3) his flock. The "rod and staff" (verse 4) are also the implements of a shepherd. Some commentators see the shepherd imagery pervading the entire psalm. J. Douglas MacMillan
J. Douglas MacMillan
J. Douglas MacMillan was a Christian minister in the Free Church of Scotland. MacMillan was born the youngest of six children, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Argyll. He was converted at the age of 21, and studied at the University of Aberdeen and at the Free Church College. After his ordination,...

 argues that "you prepare a table for me" in verse 5 refers to the "old oriental shepherding practice" of using little raised tables to feed sheep. Similarly, "you anoint my head with oil" may refer to an ancient form of backliner
Glossary of sheep husbandry
The raising of domestic sheep has occurred in nearly every inhabited part of the globe, and the variations in cultures and languages which have kept sheep has produced a vast lexicon of unique terminology used to describe sheep husbandry...

—the oil is poured on wounds, and repels flies. MacMillan also notes that "Goodness and mercy" in verse 6 remind him of two sheepdogs
Herding dog
A herding dog, also known as a stock dog or working dog, is a type of pastoral dog that either has been trained in herding or belongs to breeds developed for herding...

 coming behind the flock.

In Jewish tradition

A long tradition ascribes authorship of the psalm to King David, said in the Hebrew Scriptures to have been a field shepherd himself as a youth.

Psalm 23 is traditionally sung by Jews in Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 at the third Shabbat
Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until a few minutes after when one would expect to be able to see three stars in the sky on Saturday night. The exact times, therefore, differ from...

 meal on Saturday afternoon. It is also sung during the Yizkor service. Sephardic and some Hassidic Jews also sing during Friday afternoon services and as part of the Sabbath night and day meals. It is read at a cemetery funeral service instead of the traditional prayer during Jewish holidays.

The standard Hebrew text of the Bible used in Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 is the Masoretic text standardized between the seventh and tenth centuries CE.

In Christian tradition

For Christians the image of God as a shepherd evokes connections not only with David but with Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, described as "the Good Shepherd" in the Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

. The phrase about "the valley of the shadow of death" is often taken as an allusion to the eternal life given by Jesus.

Orthodox Christian
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

s typically include the Psalm in the prayers of preparation for receiving the Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...


The Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 inspired widespread efforts in western Europe to make biblical texts available in vernacular languages. One of the most popular early English versions was the Geneva Bible
Geneva Bible
The Geneva Bible is one of the most historically significant translations of the Bible into the English language, preceding the King James translation by 51 years. It was the primary Bible of the 16th century Protestant movement and was the Bible used by William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, John...

 (1557). The most widely recognized version of the psalm in English today is undoubtedly the one drawn from the King James Bible (1611).

The psalm is a popular passage for memorization and is often used in sermons.

Metrical versions

An early metrical version of the psalm in English was made in 1565 by Thomas Sternhold
Thomas Sternhold
Thomas Sternhold was an English courtier and the principal author of the first English metrical version of the Psalms, originally attached to the Prayer-Book as augmented by John Hopkins.-Life:...

. Other metrical versions to emerge from the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 include those from The Bay Psalm Book (1640) and a version influenced by Sternholm published in the Scottish Psalter (1650). The latter version is still encountered, with modernized spelling, in many Protestant hymn
A hymn is a type of song, usually religious, specifically written for the purpose of praise, adoration or prayer, and typically addressed to a deity or deities, or to a prominent figure or personification...

s. Other notable metrical versions include those by George Herbert
George Herbert
George Herbert was a Welsh born English poet, orator and Anglican priest.Being born into an artistic and wealthy family, he received a good education that led to his holding prominent positions at Cambridge University and Parliament. As a student at Trinity College, Cambridge, Herbert excelled in...

 and Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts
Isaac Watts was an English hymnwriter, theologian and logician. A prolific and popular hymnwriter, he was recognised as the "Father of English Hymnody", credited with some 750 hymns...


A traditional pairing puts a metrical version of the psalm with the hymn tune
Hymn tune
A hymn tune is the melody of a musical composition to which a hymn text is sung. Musically speaking, a hymn is generally understood to have four-part harmony, a fast harmonic rhythm , and no refrain or chorus....

 Crimond, which is generally attributed to Jessie Seymour Irvine
Jessie Seymour Irvine
Jessie Seymour Irvine was the daughter of a Church of Scotland parish minister who served at Dunottar, Peterhead, and Crimond in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She is referred to by Ian Campbell Bradley in his 1997 book Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns as standing "in a strong Scottish...

. This version, with its opening words "The Lord's My Shepherd", is probably the best-known amongst English-speaking congregations. Other melodies, such as Brother James' Air or Amazing Grace
Amazing Grace
"Amazing Grace" is a Christian hymn with words written by the English poet and clergyman John Newton , published in 1779. With a message that forgiveness and redemption are possible regardless of the sins people commit and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God,...

, are also used. Other tunes sometimes used include Belmont, Evan, Martyrdom, Orlington, and Wiltshire.

Use in funerals

In the twentieth century, Psalm 23 became particularly associated with funeral liturgies in the English-speaking world, and films with funeral scenes often depict a graveside recitation of the psalm. Official liturgies of English-speaking churches were slow to adopt this practice, though. The Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 of the Church of England has only psalms 39 and 90 in its order for the burial of the dead, and in the Episcopal Church
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

 in the United States, Psalm 23 was not used for funerals until the 1928 revision of the prayer book.

Liturgical and classical

  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    Johann Sebastian Bach
    Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity...

    , Cantata No.112 Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt BWV 112 (opening chorus)
  • James Leith Macbeth Bain
    James Leith Macbeth Bain
    James Leith Macbeth Bain was a Scottish hymn writer, religious minister and author who became known to his peers as Brother James...

    —hymn tune Brother James' Air
  • Lennox Berkeley
    Lennox Berkeley
    Sir Lennox Randal Francis Berkeley was an English composer.- Biography :He was born in Oxford, England, and educated at the Dragon School, Gresham's School and Merton College, Oxford...

     Op. 91, No. 1 (1975)
  • Leonard Bernstein
    Leonard Bernstein
    Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

    Chichester Psalms
    Chichester Psalms
    Chichester Psalms is a choral work by Leonard Bernstein for boy treble or countertenor, solo quartet, choir and orchestra...

    (Hebrew, in Part 2, together with Psalm 2
    Psalm 2
    Psalm 2 is the second Psalm of the Bible. It tells us that we can either defy God and perish, or submit to him and be blessed. Psalm 2 itself does not identify its author, but Acts 4:25-26 clearly attributes it to David.-In the original Hebrew:...

  • Anton Bruckner
    Anton Bruckner
    Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich harmonic language, complex polyphony, and considerable length...

    Psalm 22
    Psalm 22 (Bruckner)
    Bruckner's Psalm 22 is a composition for mixed choir, soloists , and piano in E flat major, opus WAB 34. It is a setting of the Psalm 23 in the modern liturgy....

     Der Herr regieret mich WAB 34 (circa 1852)
  • Paul Creston
    Paul Creston
    Paul Creston was an Italian American composer of classical music.Born in New York City to Sicilian immigrants, Creston was self‐taught as a composer. He was an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity, initiated into the national honorary Alpha Alpha chapter...

    Psalm XXIII (1945)
  • Herbert Howells
    Herbert Howells
    Herbert Norman Howells CH was an English composer, organist, and teacher, most famous for his large output of Anglican church music.-Life:...

    Hymnus Paradisi
    Hymnus Paradisi
    Hymnus Paradisi is a choral work by Herbert Howells for soprano and tenor soloists, mixed chorus, and orchestra. The work was inspired in part by the death of his son Michael in 1935. Howells wrote the work from 1936 to 1938, but then retained the music privately, without public performance...

  • Jessie Seymour Irvine
    Jessie Seymour Irvine
    Jessie Seymour Irvine was the daughter of a Church of Scotland parish minister who served at Dunottar, Peterhead, and Crimond in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She is referred to by Ian Campbell Bradley in his 1997 book Abide with Me: The World of Victorian Hymns as standing "in a strong Scottish...

    —hymn tune Crimond
  • Albert Hay Malotte
  • Clément Marot
    Clément Marot
    Clément Marot was a French poet of the Renaissance period.-Youth:Marot was born at Cahors, the capital of the province of Quercy, some time during the winter of 1496-1497. His father, Jean Marot , whose more correct name appears to have been des Mares, Marais or Marets, was a Norman from the Caen...

  • Kirke Mechem
    Kirke Mechem
    Kirke Mechem is an American composer. His first opera, Tartuffe, with nearly 400 performances in six countries, has become one of the most popular operas written by an American. He has composed more than 250 works in almost every form. In 2002, ASCAP registered performances of his music in 42...

  • George Rochberg
    George Rochberg
    George Rochberg was an American composer of contemporary classical music.-Life:Rochberg was born in Paterson, New Jersey. He attended the Mannes College of Music, where his teachers included George Szell and Hans Weisse, and the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Rosario Scalero and...

  • Miklós Rózsa
    Miklós Rózsa
    Miklós Rózsa was a Hungarian-born composer trained in Germany , and active in France , England , and the United States , with extensive sojourns in Italy from 1953...

  • John Rutter
    John Rutter
    John Milford Rutter CBE is a British composer, conductor, editor, arranger and record producer, mainly of choral music.-Biography:Born in London, Rutter was educated at Highgate School, where a fellow pupil was John Tavener. He read music at Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the...

    Requiem (Rutter)
    The Requiem by John Rutter is a musical setting of an adaptation of the Roman Catholic Requiem Mass, completed in 1985. The setting utilises a choir with an orchestral accompaniment, along with a soprano soloist. The Requiem was first performed on 13 October 1985 at Lovers' Lane United Methodist...

  • Franz Schubert
    Franz Schubert
    Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer.Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies , liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music...

    —version by Moses Mendelssohn
    Moses Mendelssohn
    Moses Mendelssohn was a German Jewish philosopher to whose ideas the renaissance of European Jews, Haskalah is indebted...

  • Randall Thompson
    Randall Thompson
    Randall Thompson was an American composer, particularly noted for his choral works.-Career:He attended Harvard University, became assistant professor of music and choir director at Wellesley College, and received a doctorate in music from the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music...

  • Virgil Thomson
    Virgil Thomson
    Virgil Thomson was an American composer and critic. He was instrumental in the development of the "American Sound" in classical music...

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

  • Charles Villiers Stanford
    Charles Villiers Stanford
    Sir Charles Villiers Stanford was an Irish composer who was particularly notable for his choral music. He was professor at the Royal College of Music and University of Cambridge.- Life :...

    —"The Lord is my Shepherd" (1886)
  • Alexander Zemlinsky
    Alexander von Zemlinsky
    Alexander Zemlinsky or Alexander von Zemlinsky was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher.-Early life:...

     Op. 14, (1910) for chorus and orchestra.


  • Garnet Silk
    Garnet Silk
    Garnett Silk , was a Jamaican reggae musician and Rastafarian, known for his emotive, powerful and smooth voice...

    —"Splashing Dashing" from the album Give I Strength
  • Jonathan Elias
    Jonathan Elias
    Jonathan Elias is a U.S. composer and record producer, known for his movie soundtracks, production for several pop and rock acts, and his award-winning advertising music including the PBS logo instrumental from October 1, 1984 to October 1, 1989....

    —"Forgiveness" from the album The Prayer Cycle
    The Prayer Cycle
    The Prayer Cycle is a choral/orchestral album by American film and television composer Jonathan Elias, and was released by Sony Classical Records in the United States on March 23, 1999.The project, recorded and mixed by co-producer R...

  • Duke Ellington
    Duke Ellington
    Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and big band leader. Ellington wrote over 1,000 compositions...

    —album Black, Brown and Beige with Mahalia Jackson
    Mahalia Jackson
    Mahalia Jackson – January 27, 1972) was an African-American gospel singer. Possessing a powerful contralto voice, she was referred to as "The Queen of Gospel"...

    , 1958
  • Keith Green
    Keith Green
    Keith Gordon Green was an American gospel singer, songwriter, musician, and Contemporary Christian Music artist originally from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, New York. Beyond his music, Green is best known for his strong devotion to Christian evangelism and challenging others to the same...

    —"The Lord is My Shepherd" from the album Songs For The Shepherd
    Songs For The Shepherd
    Songs for the Shepherd is the fifth album released by American piano, gospel singer Keith Green. It is the last album which had been completed prior to his death in a plane crash in July 1982...

  • Howard Goodall
    Howard Goodall
    210px|thumb|Howard Goodall at St. John the Baptist Church in Devon, United Kingdom, May 2009Howard Lindsay Goodall CBE is a British composer of musicals, choral music and music for television...

    —theme to The Vicar of Dibley
    The Vicar of Dibley
    The Vicar of Dibley is a British sitcom created by Richard Curtis and written for its lead actress, Dawn French, by Curtis and Paul Mayhew-Archer, with contributions from Kit Hesketh-Harvey. It aired from 1994 to 2007...

    , later covered by Katherine Jenkins
    Katherine Jenkins
    Katherine Jenkins is a Welsh mezzo-soprano. She is a classical-popular crossover singer who performs across a spectrum of operatic arias, popular songs, musical theatre and hymns.-Early life and education:...

     and The Choirboys
    The Choirboys (boyband)
    The Choirboys are an English boy band, made up of cathedral choristers. In 2005, a talent search was held to find a young chorister to bring choral music into the then current music scene, however, the judges could not decide which of its three finalists should be given the recording contract and...

  • Group 1 Crew
    Group 1 Crew
    Group 1 Crew is a Christian hip hop band signed to Fervent Records and Warner Bros. Records. They made their debut with their hit song "Can't Go On" on WOW Hits 2007. Soon after they released their first EP I Have a Dream . The band released their self-titled debut full-length studio album, Group 1...

    —"Forgive Me" from the album Group 1 Crew
    Group 1 Crew (album)
    Group 1 Crew is the first full-length studio album from Group 1 Crew. It was released on February 20, 2007 under Fervent Records, Curb Records, and Word Records.-Track listing:#"Love is a Beautiful Thing"#"No Plan B"#"A Lot in Common"#"Can't Go On"...

  • Christopher Wallace (The Notorious B.I.G.)
    The Notorious B.I.G.
    Christopher George Latore Wallace , best known as The Notorious B.I.G., was an American rapper. He was also known as Biggie Smalls , Big Poppa, and The Black Frank White .Wallace was raised in the Brooklyn borough...

    —"You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)" from the album Life After Death
    Life After Death
    Life After Death is the second and final studio album by American rapper The Notorious B.I.G., released March 25, 1997 on Bad Boy Records. A double album, it was released posthumously following his death on March 9, 1997 and serves as his final studio album...

  • Bobby McFerrin
    Bobby McFerrin
    Robert "Bobby" McFerrin, Jr. is an American vocalist and conductor. He is best known for his 1988 hit song "Don't Worry, Be Happy". He is a ten-time Grammy Award winner.-Life:...

    —"The 23rd Psalm" from the album Medicine Music
  • Dennis Brown
    Dennis Brown
    Dennis Emmanuel Brown was a Jamaican reggae singer. During his prolific career, which began in the late 1960s when he was aged eleven, he recorded more than 75 albums and was one of the major stars of lovers rock, a sub-genre of reggae...

    —"Here I Come" from the album Wolves and Leopards
  • E Nomine
    E Nomine
    E Nomine is a German musical project, formed in 1999, by producers Christian Weller and Friedrich "Fritz" Graner. Their music, which they call monumental dance, is an unusual combination of trance, techno, and vocals which closely resemble Gregorian singing and chanting...

    —"Psalm 23" from the album Das Testament
    Das Testament
    Das Testament is the debut album of German musical project, E Nomine, released in 1999. A digitally remastered version of the album was later released in late 2002, with nearly double the original number of tracks....

  • Dave Cousins
    Dave Cousins
    Dave Cousins has been the leader, singer and most active songwriter of Strawbs since 1967.-Career:...

    —"Lay Down
    Lay Down
    "Lay Down" is a song by English band Strawbs featured on their 1973 album Bursting at the Seams. It peaked at number 12 in the UK Singles Chart....

    " from the album Bursting at the Seams
    Bursting at the Seams
    Bursting at the Seams is a studio album by English band Strawbs. It contains their two most successful singles and reached number 2 in the UK Album Chart.-Side one:#"Flying" – 4:49#"Lady Fuchsia" – 3:59...

    , 1972
  • Pink Floyd
    Pink Floyd
    Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

    Sheep (song)
    "Sheep" is a song by the English band Pink Floyd. It was released on the album Animals in 1977. In 1974, it was originally titled "Raving and Drooling".-History:...

    " from the album Animals, 1977
  • Peter Tosh
    Peter Tosh
    Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh , was a Jamaican reggae musician who was a core member of the band The Wailers , and who afterward had a successful solo career as well as being a promoter of Rastafari.Peter Tosh was born in Grange Hill, Jamaica, an illegitimate child to a mother too young...

    —"Jah Guide" from the album Equal Rights
    Equal Rights (album)
    Equal Rights is an album by Peter Tosh. It was released in 1977 .-Track listing:All Songs by Peter Tosh except "Stepping Razor" by Joe Higgs#"Get Up, Stand Up" – 3:29 #"Downpressor Man" – 6:25...

    , 1977
  • Patti Smith Group—"Privilege (Set Me Free)
    Privilege (Set Me Free)
    "Privilege " is a song written by Mel London and Mike Leander, and released as a second single from Patti Smith Group 1978 album Easter.- Liner notes :The following is quoted from the album:- External links :*...

    " from the album Easter, 1978
  • Christian Death
    Christian Death
    Christian Death is an American deathrock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1979. The band was founded and fronted by Rozz Williams. Christian Death is most notable for their first album Only Theatre of Pain....

     - Psalm (Maggot's Lair) from album Path of Sorrows (1993)
  • Coolio
    Artis Leon Ivey Jr. , better known by the stage name Coolio, is an American musician, rapper, actor and record producer.-Late 80s:He recorded two singles in the late 80s, titled "Watcha Gonna Do" and "You're Gonna Miss Me"...

     feat. L.V.—"Gangsta's Paradise
    Gangsta's Paradise (song)
    "Gangsta's Paradise" is a rap song by Coolio featuring L.V.. The song was released on the Coolio album Gangsta's Paradise, as well as the Dangerous Minds soundtrack in 1995. Coolio was awarded a Grammy for the song/album...

    ", 1995
  • Colin Mawby
    Colin Mawby
    Colin Mawby is an English organist, choral conductor and composer.-Career:Mawby received his earliest musical education at Westminster Cathedral choir school, where he acted as assistant to George Malcolm at the organ from the age of 12. The boys performed 14 or 15 services a week and had 10 hours...

    —recording with Charlotte Church
    Charlotte Church
    Charlotte Maria Church is a Welsh singer-songwriter, actress and television presenter. She rose to fame in childhood as a classical singer before branching into pop music in 2005. By 2007, she had sold more than 10 million records worldwide including over 5 million in the United States...

    , 1998
  • Marilyn Manson
    Marilyn Manson
    Marilyn Manson may refer to:* Marilyn Manson , an American rock musician* Marilyn Manson , the American rock band led by the singer of the same name...

    —"In The Shadow Of The Valley Of Death" from the album Holy Wood
    Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)
    Holy Wood is the fourth studio album by American rock band Marilyn Manson, released in November 2000 through Nothing and Interscope Records. The album marked a return to the industrial and alternative metal style of the band's earlier efforts, after the modernized glam rock sound of Mechanical...

    , 2000
  • Dan Nichols
    Dan Nichols
    Daniel Nichols is a Jewish rock musician and founder of the band, E18hteen.-Biography:Dan Nichols was born in 1969 in Indiana. He attended Pike Township Schools in Indianapolis. He and his parents converted to Judaism when he was 7, and he attended Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation and camped at...

    —"Psalm 23" from the album Be Strong
    Be Strong
    "Be Strong" is a pop ballad written by Bridget Benenate, Matthew Gerrard, and Delta Goodrem, produced by Gerrard for Goodrem's second album Mistaken Identity . It was released as the album's fifth and final single in Australia as a digital download on 16 October 2005...

    , 2001
  • Lucinda Williams
    Lucinda Williams
    Lucinda Williams is an American rock, folk, blues and country music singer and songwriter. She recorded her first albums in 1978 and 1980 in a traditional country and blues style and received very little attention from radio, the media, or the public. In 1988, she released her self-titled album,...

    —"Atonement" from the album World Without Tears
    World Without Tears
    World Without Tears is Lucinda Williams' seventh album. It was released in 2003. It debuted at number 18 on the Billboard 200, selling about 54,000 copies in its first week...

    , 2003
  • Megadeth
    Megadeth is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California which was formed in 1983 by guitarist/vocalist Dave Mustaine, bassist Dave Ellefson and guitarist Greg Handevidt, following Mustaine's expulsion from Metallica. The band has since released 13 studio albums, three live albums, two...

    —"Shadow of Deth" from the album The System Has Failed
    The System Has Failed
    -Songs:* "Blackmail the Universe" has numerous quotes from the movie Thirteen Days, which was about the Cuban Missile Crisis.* "Die Dead Enough" was released as a single, and was originally set to be featured in the movie Saw, but it was not used for undisclosed reasons.* "The Scorpion" was...

    , 2004
  • OverClocked Remix
    OverClocked ReMix
    OverClocked ReMix, also known as OC ReMix and OCR, is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and paying tribute to video game music through arranging and re-interpreting the songs with new technology and software, as well as by various traditional means...

    —"Beneath the Surface (Aquatic Ambiance)" from Kong in Concert, 2004
  • Jon Foreman
    Jon Foreman
    Jonathan Mark Foreman is the lead singer, lead guitarist, main songwriter and co-founder of the alternative rock band Switchfoot. He started Switchfoot in 1996 with drummer Chad Butler and bassist Tim Foreman ....

    —"The House of God Forever" from the album Summer (Jon Foreman EP)
    Summer (Jon Foreman EP)
    Summer is the fourth and final installment in a comprehensive 4-EP acoustic collection released by Jon Foreman, the lead singer/songwriter of the San Diego rock band Switchfoot....

    and compilation Limbs and Branches
    Limbs and Branches
    Limbs and Branches is a compilation release from singer/songwriter Jon Foreman that was released October 28, 2008. It consists of a selection of songs from Foreman's previous solo EP releases, handpicked by Foreman and his fans, who were given a chance to vote for which songs to be included....

    , 2008
  • The Offspring
    The Offspring
    The Offspring is an American punk rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1984. Known as Manic Subsidal until 1986, the band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dexter Holland, lead guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, bassist Greg K. and drummer Pete Parada...

    —"Hammerhead" from the album Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, 2008
  • Tupac Shakur
    Tupac Shakur
    Tupac Amaru Shakur , known by his stage names 2Pac and Makaveli, was an American rapper and actor. Shakur has sold over 75 million albums worldwide as of 2007, making him one of the best-selling music artists in the world...

    -"So Many Tears
    So Many Tears
    "So Many Tears" is the second single from, and the fourth track on, Tupac Shakur's third studio album Me Against the World. It is known as one of Shakur's saddest and most soulful songs, as he was rapping about pain and suffering. The song's harmony is a sample from Stevie Wonder's "That Girl". The...

    " from the album Me Against The World
    Me Against the World
    Me Against the World is the third studio album by American hip hop artist Tupac Shakur. It was released March 14, 1995 on the Interscope Records label. The album was composed of un-used tracks from the Thug Life era, and from other studio sessions from 1993 to 1994...

    , 1995
  • Cissy Houston
    Cissy Houston
    Emily "Cissy" Houston is a Grammy Award–winning American soul and gospel singer. She led a very successful career as a backup singer for such artists as Elvis Presley, Mahalia Jackson, Wishbone Ash and Aretha Franklin, and is now primarily a solo artist...

    , (Whitney Houston
    Whitney Houston
    Whitney Elizabeth Houston is an American singer, actress, producer and a former model. Houston is the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records, and her list of awards include 1 Emmy Award, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among...

    's mother)—"The Lord is My Shepherd" from the "The Preacher's Wife: Original Soundtrack Album", 1996
  • Kanye West
    Kanye West
    Kanye Omari West is an American rapper, singer, and record producer. West first rose to fame as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records, where he eventually achieved recognition for his work on Jay-Z's album The Blueprint, as well as hit singles for musical artists including Alicia Keys, Ludacris, and...

    -"Jesus Walks" from the album The College Dropout
    The College Dropout
    The College Dropout is the debut album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released February 10, 2004, on Roc-A-Fella Records. It was recorded over a period of four years, beginning in 1999. Prior to the album's release, West had worked on rapper Jay-Z's The Blueprint , which showcased his...


Use in Media

  • In the film Van Helsing
    Van Helsing (film)
    Van Helsing is a 2004 American action horror film directed by Stephen Sommers. It stars Hugh Jackman as vigilante monster hunter Gabriel Van Helsing, and Kate Beckinsale...

    , the creature of Dr. Frankenstein recites parts of the psalm when brought to the vampires' Masquerade Ball.
  • In the film Jarhead
    Jarhead is a nickname for United States Marines personnel, due to their regulation high and tight haircutJarhead may also refer to:* Jarhead , US Marine Anthony Swofford's 2003 Gulf War memoir...

    , Jamie Foxx
    Jamie Foxx
    Eric Marlon Bishop , professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host. As an actor, his work in the film Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a...

    's character recites the verse, but with his twist.
  • In an episode in the second season of the ABC series Lost
    Lost (TV series)
    Lost is an American television series that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010, consisting of six seasons. Lost is a drama series that follows the survivors of the crash of a commercial passenger jet flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, on a mysterious tropical island...

    , Mr. Eko
    Mr. Eko
    Mr. Eko Tunde is a fictional character, played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje on the ABC television series Lost. He is introduced in the second season episode "Adrift" as one of the plane-crash survivors from the plane's tail section. Flashbacks reveal that he became the leader of a gang of guerrillas...

     recites the King James
    King James
    -Scottish:* James I of Scotland , nominal King of Scots from 1406 and reigned 1424–1437* James II of Scotland , King of Scots 1437–1460* James III of Scotland -Scottish:* James I of Scotland (1394–1437), nominal King of Scots from 1406 and reigned 1424–1437* James II of Scotland (1430–1460), King...

     version of the psalm.
  • At the end of the 1973 film The Wicker Man, Howie shouts out Psalm 23, as he is being engulfed in flames.
  • In the 1980 David Lynch film The Elephant Man
    The Elephant Man (film)
    The Elephant Man is a 1980 American drama film based on the true story of Joseph Merrick , a severely deformed man in 19th century London...

    , Merrick recites Psalm 23, revealing his intelligence.
  • Craig Bartlett
    Craig Bartlett
    Craig Michael Bartlett is an animator best known for writing for Rugrats and creating the television series Hey Arnold!.-Career:...

    's 1988 clay animation
    Clay animation
    Clay animation or claymation is one of many forms of stop motion animation. Each animated piece, either character or background, is "deformable"—made of a malleable substance, usually Plasticine clay....

     short Arnold Escapes from Church is about how a young boy might interpret the words of Psalm 23.
  • In the 1997 film "Titanic" it is recited while the ship is sinking.
  • In the 1999 film Deep Blue Sea
    Deep Blue Sea
    Deep Blue Sea is a 1999 science fiction horror film that stars Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, LL Cool J, and Samuel L Jackson. The film was directed by Renny Harlin and was released in the United States on July 28, 1999.- Plot :...

    , the character Preacher (played by LL Cool J
    LL Cool J
    James Todd Smith , better known as LL Cool J , is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor...

    ) recites a slightly modified version of this Psalm while attempting a rather risky plan.
  • In the 2010 film The Book of Eli
    The Book of Eli
    The Book of Eli is a 2010 American post-apocalyptic action film directed by the Hughes brothers, written by Gary Whitta, and starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson and Jennifer Beals....

    , Denzel Washington
    Denzel Washington
    Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama, St. Elsewhere, playing Dr...

    's character recites the Psalm.

External links

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