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Christians - "Thy Rod and thy staff"

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by michel, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Psalm
    23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. ​
    Defender's notes.(The shepherd of this best-loved psalm is the Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:11-16,27-30). In addition to the incomparable message of the psalm (there is no greater chapter in the Bible on the believer's security) there are remarkable internal structures helping to denote its divine inspiration. For example, note the following pattern of references to the Shepherd: One reference to "the LORD" in Psalm 23:1. Two references to "He" in Psalm 23:2. Three references to "He" in Psalm 23:3. Three references to "Thou" in Psalm 23:4. Two references to "Thou" in Psalm 23:5. One reference to "the LORD" in Psalm 23:6.)

    23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.



    23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.



    23:4 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.



    23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.



    23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.​
    What do you understand by "Thy rod and thy staff" ? I have an uneducated personal idea, but I would be glad for some 'scholarly' input .:)
     
  2. Mister_T

    Mister_T Forum Relic
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    Well I'm no scholar, but I think "Thy rod and thy staff" is a symbolic way of saying that God keeping you in check brings you peace and comfort. The rod and the staff are tools used by the shepard to keep his sheep safe and happy. When a sheep starts to wander away from the goodness and saftey of the pasture, The shepard (who is far wiser than the sheep and knows what's best for him/her) will use his rod and staff to bring them back. And when he does this, the sheep are left with a feeling of peace and comfort. :D
     
  3. sojourner

    sojourner Annoyingly Progressive Since 2006

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    The rod and staff that "keeps us in check," as you put it, are the Law and statues of Israel.
     
  4. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    I was just thinking about this the other day.

    Rod = Word of God, the Bible, who's author is Jesus Christ
    Staff = Sacrifice of God the Son, Jesus Christ
     
  5. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    Isaiah 11: 4

    "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked."
     
  6. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    A shepherd's rod was a club approximately three feet long, with a knob on one end. It was used to beat wolves away from the herd.

    A staff, sometimes called a rod, is longer, it was used for walking, resting, or for guiding sheep.
     
  7. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    Isaiah 14: 5

    "The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers."
     
  8. FFH

    FFH Veteran Member

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    Isaiah 28: 27

    "For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin, but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod."

    The way I understand it is the fitches, or cummin plants, are beaten with a staff and then the cummin seed falls out and then the cummin are crushed with a rod, which is then used as a condiment.

    Staff = Jesus Christ was beaten and bruised.

    Rod = Jesus Christ crushed the head of Satan with his word and his testimony.
     
  9. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    It occurred to me that it might be a reference to the trinity (in that the psalm is addressed to God).....and that the rod and the staff might be The holy spirit and Jesus Christ. But, from what I have read, there is no hint of it having been interpreted that way in anything I have read.
     
  10. Endless

    Endless Active Member

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    I don't know whether i would be inclined to interpret the 'rod and the staff' as being symbolic for something.
    Staff for guiding and rescuing, rod for protection but also for discipline. I think those concepts are those that the psalmist wanted to get across - not that the staff and rod were symbolic for anything other than the uses the sheperd had for them.

    Out of interest the reason i say that the rod was for discipline is because if the shepherd had a stubborn sheep that kept wondering off and getting lost he would use the rod to break that sheep's leg. He would then reset the sheep's leg, binding it. That sheep would then stay and be carried by the shepherd until the leg was healed. Once healed the sheep would never stray from the shepherd again, not because he had his leg broken by the shepherd, but because the sheep spent so much time with the shepherd during the healing process.

    I think we can apply that to us as humans too - sometimes terrible things happen to us and we cannot understand why. These times will either draw us closer to God or repell us from him. But when we draw closer to him in these times, our relationship with him blossoms so much more - so when we come through it we are closer to God as a result.
    I also like to quote this verse from Isaiah:

    I often wondered when reading God's word what the treasures of darkness were - it sounded a bit too much like the 'dark side' to me :) Until i realised that the darkness refers to times in our lives which are dark, the secret places also refers to these really hard times because not many other people we know are going through what we are. So it is in the times of real darkness, real difficulty that if we turn to God he will teach us 'treasures and hidden riches' that only those going through these things can learn. But only if we draw near to God in these times - just like breaking the sheep's leg made the sheep spend more time with the shepherd.
    So if your leg has been broken, make sure you spend all of the time with the shepherd until it is healed - there's treasure to be found even in the darkest of times :)
     
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