I have a question relating to the use of "shall" in the Bible. Before asking this question I read the entire Wikipedia article on Shall and will, and have ended up more confused than when I began. There have been some answers on here that attempt to cover the basic difference, but the topic is so complicated and with so many subtle exceptions that no short answer could explain all the differences. Further, there are so many interpretations of "shall" that:
The legal reference Words and Phrases dedicates 76 pages to summarizing hundreds of lawsuits that centered around the meaning of the word shall.
From Wikipedia article, original source plainlanguage.gov
And that NASA, the US Department of Defense, the International Organization for Standardization and various others have specifically given their own definition of the word.
Shall and will: Legal and technical use
However my specific question should be easier to handle, as it particularly asks about one use in Psalm 23 from the Bible. In the King James Version it says:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In the Contemporary English Version it's written as:
I will never be in need.
And in others, such as the New International Version it isn't even in the future tense:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing
I take the "I shall not want" to mean "I will not be lacking".
However a few lines lower in the same psalm it says:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil
Since to me the two lines seem to be saying "I will not be lacking" and "I will fear no evil", I'm curious as to why "shall" is used in the earlier verse, while "will" is used in the later verse given that to me they both seem to be an expression of the future (I don't see a difference).
I've found one rule which seems common:
There is nonetheless a traditional rule of prescriptive grammar governing the use of shall and will. According to this rule, when expressing futurity and nothing more, the auxiliary shall is to be used with first person subjects (I and we), and will is to be used in other instances.
Uses of shall and will in expressing futurity
However the subject in both verses is "I", so this rule doesn't apply.
The only thing I can think of is that the translators back in about 1604 - 1611 had intended something different from just expressing simple "futurity" in the earlier verse, maybe something akin to:
The Lord is my shepherd; [it is expected I will not be lacking].
However it's strange I can't find a translation to this effect, the other translation I quoted above says:
I will never be in need.
Is it because one is about desiring and the other is about fearing evil?
Maybe this question might be suited to a Bible site, but I believe the use of "shall" and "will" is really an English question.
If anyone has an idea of why the difference in the two verses, I'd appreciate any information.