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Psalm 23:4 (NASB)

Even though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

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Bible Commentary

Psalm 23:4 is a Bible verse from one of the most famous Psalms, where David is voicing his understanding of God’s nearness and compassion even through times of deep sorrow and death.

No matter what we are going through, God’s Presence is with us. He never leaves us. Psalm 139 describes His omnipresence.

However, that may be little comfort to you if you do not believe in His compassion and love toward you. If there is ever a time when we might seek the Face of God (even if we haven’t known Him before), it is when we are desperate.


The reference for the word “valley” in Psalm 23:4 is: deep darkness. That is an effective way to describe a time of great sorrow or pain. The word “shadow” is defined as: gloom or that which causes gloom.

The word “death” in Hebrew means: shade of death, grave, calamity. Webster’s dictionary defines it as: end or destruction. There is also a reference for the word “evil,” which is “harm.”


Of course, we would associate evil with harm, but David says in Psalm 23:4 there is no reason to fear death, evil or harm because God’s Presence never leaves us. He is not only with us, but in us (Ephesians 4:6).

And being in us, He can take over when we are too weak to carry on. The power of His Holy Spirit sustains us and gives us strength in times of deep sorrow, death or loss.

Unlocking the Truth - Death

Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

We may look at others who have experienced a devastating loss, and wonder how they carry on. Christ strengthens us and upholds us through perilous times, even in death.

The “rod” spoken of in Psalm 23:4 in Hebrew means: a stick; a scepter, which is defined as a staff held by a ruler as a symbol of sovereignty. And “staff” in Hebrew means: support, sustenance or walking stick.


God reminds us that He is sovereign in our lives and in all circumstances, yet He strengthens, supports and carries us when we are unable to move.

When everything has spun out of our control and we feel helpless or hopeless, God is in complete control. Everything is in His hand.


Even before we look to Him for help and recognize His sovereignty, His grace gives us great comfort and peace, which is beyond all understanding.

Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Study the Bible verse of Psalm 23:4 to know the comfort, strength and peace of Christ in times of death and sorrow.

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