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A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

(The Shepherd Trilogy)

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  9,135 ratings  ·  712 reviews
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want…”

Travel the shepherd’s path to the green pastures and cool, refreshing waters of Psalm 23.

As a shepherd, Phillip Keller shares his insights into the life and character of sheep— and of the Good Shepherd who loves and cares for them. This beloved classic will give new meaning to the ageless Shepherd Psalm, enriching your trus
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 29th 2007 by Zondervan (first published January 1st 1970)
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Joanne Allen I can't remember if it was a tree but yes, it is the same as the older edition.…moreI can't remember if it was a tree but yes, it is the same as the older edition.(less)

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Zachary McIntire
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teaching
It has actually been a few years since I read this book, but having recently recommended it to a friend, it occurred to me that I should add it to my shelf. If I had to rate the Christian teaching books I've read in my life, in terms of how much of the material "stuck with me," and how often I've referred to it later in my own writing and speaking, this book would be very near the top.

When it comes to understanding the full significance of the shepherd/sheep analogy, used in Scripture for the r
Dec 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
learned so much about sheep behavior and how similarly dumb sheep and I are
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed how the author likened his time as a sheep farmer to David’s time being a shepard.

I also liked the way that sheep husbandry was likened to parts of Psalm 23.
K.J. Ramsey
Feb 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’ll keep this review simple. This book is a must-read.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was a wonderful, inspirational book!! I could recommend it to anyone I know. The author, Phillip Keller, wholeheartedly sets out to completely make you understand what each part of Psalm 23 truly means. That passage of scripture is one that we all know by heart, but after reading this book you'll view those 6 verses in a whole new light.

* It reminded me that I belong to Him, even with my sinful downfalls.
* It made me think about how we really are like sheep, trustfully following our Sheph
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Bible makes numerous analogies, regarding Gods people as sheep, and he as the Shepherd. Jesus was, for example the good shepherd, who layed down his life for his sheep.

No analogy is perfect. Still some analogies are a better fit than others. As W. Phillip Keller abundantly illustrates in his book, the Bible's Shephed/Sheep analogy is one of the best, and the lovely and beloved Psalm 23 perhaps its most sublime discourse.

But most people nowadays, have only passing familiarity with the life
Josh Miller
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book! It will change the way you will read Psalm 23. In matter of fact, it will change the way you view Jesus, our Shepherd, and His interaction with us, His sheep!
Ruth Meyer
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the insights from this book on how involved it is to be a shepherd and the time and effort one must put into the task to care for sheep. It made me consider in a new light the analogy Jesus uses of Himself as the Good Shepherd and us as His sheep. However, I don’t know that all the connections Keller makes from Psalm 23 are necessarily intended. Some might be literally lost in translation from Hebrew to English. For example, he connects Psalm 23:5 (“Thou prepares a table before me...”) ...more
Cara Putman
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book that deepened my understanding of this beloved psalm.
Maridith Lane
Jun 01, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Continually there flows out to me His goodness and His mercy, which, even though I do not deserve them, come unremittingly from their source—His own heart of love.”
Aaron Carlberg
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was written in 1970 and you can really feel that in the tone of text and analogies...some things seem a bit stale and over worked, but that is simply because many of these analogies have been used by preachers over the past 4 decades. I am sure when he wrote them they were fresh and new.

Having said that, this small little book holds much wisdom for all believers. If you are a pastor, deacon, elder, or minister and have people under your care, you will get a better picture of the type o
My grandma told me about this book countless times when I was much younger, and it has always interested me; yet for some reason I never read it until now.

The Lord brought it to my mind again at an event I attended a few days ago, and it so "happened" that my mom had just set it out on our coffee table a few days earlier. So I picked it up to begin reading.

The Lord's timing is perfect, of course. This book is just what I needed to read right now. It perfectly corresponds to so many things I ha
Keegan Moore
May 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book has made Psalm 23 so much sweeter, more beautiful, and more comforting to me than I ever imagined. Now, I can see more clearly what Jesus meant (and what it means for me) when He said, “I am the Good Shepherd.” I’m blown away by the blessing it is to be under His tender love and care forever.
This is my favorite quote from the book:
“But the person who is willing to pocket his pride, to take a backseat, to play second fiddle without a feeling of being abused or put upon has gone a long
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, reassuring and edifying book. Digging into the 23rd Psalm and reading through a shepherd’s eye brings new understanding. I recommend both the print and Audible narrated by the author.
Allison Anderson Armstrong
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought I knew this Psalm but what a difference it makes to read it from the shepherds vantage point! I am so stunned how much I really didnt comprehend, and it was so interesting to learn about the various aspects of shepherding and apply them to Gods care for us, his silly sheep.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are some interesting insights in this devotional book. As the title shows, this is a work of eisegesis rather than exegesis. Sometimes Keller's insights clarify the Scripture, but other times I felt that he overstepped his bounds. For instance, at one point he says "the thought uppermost in the writer's mind was that the animal should be free of scabs." At another point he writes, "All this sort of thing was in the back of David's mind as he penned these lines." There is simply no way of k ...more
Laura Ralston
I appreciate how simple and down to Earth this is. Most religious commentaries dive deep into analysis with historical connections and literary references; this breaks down each phrase literally as it pertains to sheep. I've always glossed over certain portions of Psalm 23, for example, I thought "You anoint my head with oil" was strictly a ceremonial practice, but I couldn't have been more wrong as it is also a common practice to protect sheep from potentially deadly fleas. The more you know... ...more
Valerie Kyriosity
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
The Shepherd is goooooooood.

The sheep are stooooooooopid.
Apr 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: apologetics
Psalm 23 is probably the most familiar chapter of the Bible. It has comforted countless mourners and encouraged innumerable weary believers. What were some of the images that David had in mind when he penned those words of praise? Would knowing the daily interaction of sheep and their shepherd make this Psalm even more meaningful? Phillip Keller thinks so. As a sheep rancher, he was daily surrounded by the same dangers, joys, and struggles. He shares the insights he gained over the years with us ...more
Lucy Fifield
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was amazing. I have on multiple times been compared to a sheep, and never before has it made so much sense as when Keller explained sheep habits and how they illustrate our own behavior and reaction to God's relationship to us. Each chapter picked apart a phrase in Psalm 23- my favorite chapter being the one about walking through the valley of death.
I recommend this to everyone!
(I also learned several weird but fascinating facts about sheep, to learn more you'll have to read this yours
William O'Neal II
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the most timely spiritual books I’ve ever read. The author (a shepherd) goes into great detail and depth of Psalm 23 and provides such a clear understanding of the imagery written by David. The Psalm means so much more and helps me to see God as a Shepherd who cares intimately for His sheep.
Kelly Muzyka
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING. 10/10!!!!!!! My favorite book to recommend. Such a refreshing and encouraging deeeep dive into a passage of scripture. If you need something to read while spending time with the Lord you should pick this up and read a chapter a day. So good.
Rachel Harp
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet book that brings deeper insight to Psalm 23, helping the reader to rejoice in Jesus as the Good Shepherd and the care, concern, attentiveness, and affection He embodies
Janet Cline
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This little book was awesome. I am going to reread it!
Caroline Mixon
Feb 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Simply beautiful look at Psalm 23. I am so thankful for this in depth look at what David meant of God’s care & our need for a good shepherd. Psalm 23 was always a favorite of mine, but this book has made me treasure it even more. A short read, but I will definitely be re-reading it.
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
A good little read. Deb said it best.
Natalie Herr
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this look at Psalm 23 from the perspective and wisdom of a shepherd. An excellent companion for studying Psalm 23 or Jesus as shepherd in general. So many sweet reminders and thoughtful encouragements for godly living and peace in Christ.
Amanda Tero
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I could quote half of the perhaps I'll just say you should read it. I have never known much about a sheep's life (I heard a few lessons by Dr. Larry Guthrie), so reading about how Psalm 23 directly applies to the year of a sheep's life (and, in turn, how it applies to believers with Jesus as our Shepherd), was really good! I finished the book with a "Wow!" Chapters 9 and 11 were probably the ones that stood out to me--talking about the rod and staff and then "surely goodness and mercy ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent resource for better understanding this most special of Psalms. We're studying Psalm 23 in church so I thought having a "shepherd's" perspective would provide some valuable insight. It didn't take me long to find why Keller's book is so much loved and appreciated.

Keller takes us on the annual journey of his sheep from the days spent on the seaside home ranch (I'd never want to leave) up through the valleys, to the tablelands and back down again. We get to understand the dynam
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
A compelling fresh look at Psalm 23 from the perspective of a sheep rancher that grew up around tribal shepherds in the middle-east. He starts chapter 1 asking “The Lord! But who is the Lord? What is His character? Does He have adequate credentials to be my Shepherd — my manager — my owner?” and more than answers those and many more questions. God is God and He is in charge if I give Him control of my life or not.

I agree with his statement “One of the calamities of Christianity is our tendency t
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Weldon Phillip Keller (1920-1997) wrote more than thirty-five books on Christian subjects, including his most popular book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 The son of missionary parents in Kenya, Keller grow up in Africa before becoming a world citizen as a photographer, agronomist, and author. His books have over two million copies in print.

Other books in the series

The Shepherd Trilogy (3 books)
  • A Shepherd Looks at the Good Shepherd and His Sheep
  • A Shepherd Looks At The Lamb Of God

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