And He built His sanctuary [exalted] like the heights [of the heavens],
Like the earth which He has established forever.
He also chose David His servant
And took him from the sheepfolds;(A)
[a]From [b]tending the ewes with nursing young He brought him
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.(B)
- Psalm 78:71 The first impression one might receive from this passage is that God elevated David from the lowliest position in Israel to the highest. But the ancient rabbis said that God tested David’s skills and wisdom as a shepherd. For example, it is said that David held back the bigger sheep from the pasture and brought out the smaller ones first to graze on the tender grass. The rabbis represented God as saying, “He who knows how to shepherd the sheep, each one in proportion to its strength, shall come and shepherd My people.”
- Psalm 78:71 Lit following.