For the music director; according to the tune “Morning Doe;” 2 a psalm of David.
22:1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? 3
I groan in prayer, but help seems far away. 4
22:21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lion, 5
and from the horns of the wild oxen! 6
You have answered me! 7
1 sn Psalm 22. The psalmist cries out to the Lord for deliverance from his dangerous enemies, who have surrounded him and threaten his life. Confident that the Lord will intervene, he then vows to thank the Lord publicly for his help and anticipates a time when all people will recognize the Lord’s greatness and worship him.
2 tn Heb “according to the doe of the dawn.” Apparently this refers to a particular musical tune or style.
3 sn From the psalmist’s perspective it seems that God has abandoned him, for he fails to answer his cry for help (vv. 1b-2).
4 tn Heb “far from my deliverance [are] the words of my groaning.” The Hebrew noun שְׁאָגָה (shÿ’agah) and its related verb שָׁאַג (sha’ag) are sometimes used of a lion’s roar, but they can also describe human groaning (see Job 3:24 and Pss 32:3 and 38:8.
5 sn The psalmist again compares his enemies to vicious dogs and ferocious lions (see vv. 13, 16).
6 tn The Hebrew term רֵמִים (remim) appears to be an alternate spelling of רְאֵמִים (rÿ’emim, “wild oxen”; see BDB 910 s.v. רְאֵם).
7 tn Heb “and from the horns of the wild oxen you answer me.” Most take the final verb with the preceding prepositional phrase. Some understand the verb form as a relatively rare precative perfect, expressing a wish or request (see IBHS 494-95 §30.5.4c, d). However, not all grammarians are convinced that the perfect is used as a precative in biblical Hebrew. (See the discussion at Ps 3:7.) Others prefer to take the perfect in its usual indicative sense. The psalmist, perhaps in response to an oracle of salvation, affirms confidently that God has answered him, assuring him that deliverance is on the way. The present translation takes the prepositional phrase as parallel to the preceding “from the mouth of the lion” and as collocated with the verb “rescue” at the beginning of the verse. “You have answered me” is understood as a triumphant shout which marks a sudden shift in tone and introduces the next major section of the psalm. By isolating the statement syntactically, the psalmist highlights the declaration.