Psalm 23:4, Thy Rod and Staff

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

//I recall as a child wondering about this verse. What could possibly be comforting about the rod and staff? Who likes getting beat with a rod?

In case anyone else wonders about this verse, let’s put the phrase in context. The psalmist says rod and staff are a comfort when walking through the valley of the shadow of death. They presumably remove the fear of evil. But how?

The shepherd’s staff had a hook on the end, which he could use to snag a wayward sheep and bring it back from danger. The rod was carried not to correct the sheep but to defend against enemies. It was a long wooden pole with often a metal tip to protect against wild animals.

Both are symbols of God’s care and protection.

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