גַּם כִּי אֵלֵךְ בְּגֵיא צַלְמָוֶת לֹא-אִירָא רָע כִּי-אַתָּה עִמָּדִי שִׁבְטְךָ וּמִשְׁעַנְתֶּךָ הֵמָּה יְנַחֲמֻנִי
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me; Your rod and Your staff comfort me.
Where is the “valley of the shadow of death” referred to in this famous verse? Most commentators feel that David is speaking poetically but Rashi feels that David is referring to an actual event that occurred in a specific place. In I Samuel chapter 23, King Saul, who was pursuing David, almost caught him on a mountain in the wilderness of Zif. David only escaped because Saul was suddenly called away on urgent business. This was the closest of close calls that David had ever experienced and he was saved only by G-d’s timely intervention!