Psalm 23:4, The Valley of Death

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.

//Today’s verse comes from the most beloved psalm in the Bible. It begins The Lord is my shepherd, and commences to tell of the rest and safety of the sheep in the shepherd’s care.

It turns out that there actually is a “valley of the shadow of death” in Palestine, and every shepherd knows of it. It’s just south of the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Kenneth Bailey in The Good Shepherd, page 47, quotes Reverend M. P. Krikorian:

I had the good fortune of having at least a passing view of this valley. … It is a very narrow defile through a mountain range where the water often foams and roars, torn by jagged rocks. … The path plunges downward … into a deep and narrow gorge of sheer precipices overhung by frowning Sphinx-like battlements of rocks, which almost touch overhead. Its side walls rise like the stone walls of a great cathedral. .. The valley is about five miles long, yet it is not more than twelve feet at the widest section of the base. …. The actual path, on the solid rock, is so narrow that in places the sheep can hardly turn around in case of danger. … In places gullies seven and eight feet have been washed.

A descriptive image, isn’t it?

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