And remember, this is metaphoric/symbolic/illustrative/figurative languageâ€”we are the sheep in this analogy, and the LORD God is the Shepherd. So in order to rightly understand Psalm 23:4 we have to precisely determine what the valley of the shadow of death is referring to in this metaphor. And how did the sheep even get into the valley?
And what is the purpose of the rod and staff â€” what did the Shepherd use these tools for? And then how does their use on a sheep carry over and what does it represent on how the Lord would use them to provide us with comfort?