For the music director; according to the tune “Morning Doe;” 2 a psalm of David.
I groan in prayer, but help seems far away. 4
22:2 My God, I cry out during the day,
but you do not answer,
and during the night my prayers do not let up. 5
22:3 You are holy;
you sit as king receiving the praises of Israel. 6
they trusted in you 8 and you rescued them.
22:5 To you they cried out, and they were saved;
in you they trusted and they were not disappointed. 9
people insult me and despise me. 13
“Commit yourself 18 to the Lord!
Let the Lord 19 rescue him!
and made me feel secure on my mother’s breasts.
from the time I came out of my mother’s womb you have been my God. 24
22:11 Do not remain far away from me,
for trouble is near and I have no one to help me. 25
powerful bulls of Bashan 27 hem me in.
like a roaring lion that rips its prey. 30
all my bones are dislocated;
my heart 32 is like wax;
it melts away inside me.
my tongue sticks to my gums. 34
a gang of evil men crowd around me;
like a lion they pin my hands and feet. 38
22:18 They are dividing up my clothes among themselves;
they are rolling dice 42 for my garments.
22:19 But you, O Lord, do not remain far away!
and from the horns of the wild oxen! 50
You have answered me! 51
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.
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 tn Heb “there is no silence to me.”
6 tn Heb “[O] one who sits [on] the praises of Israel.” The verb “receiving” is supplied in the translation for clarity. The metaphorical language pictures the
7 tn Heb “fathers.”
8 tn The words “in you” are supplied in the translation. They are understood by ellipsis (see the preceding line).
9 tn Or “were not ashamed.”
10 tn The grammatical construction (conjunction + pronoun) highlights the contrast between the psalmist’s experience and that of his ancestors. When he considers God’s past reliability, it only heightens his despair and confusion, for God’s present silence stands in stark contrast to his past saving acts.
11 tn The metaphor expresses the psalmist’s self-perception, which is based on how others treat him (see the following line).
12 tn Or “not a human being.” The psalmist perceives himself as less than human.
13 tn Heb “a reproach of man and despised by people.”
14 tn Or “scoff at, deride, mock.”
15 tn Heb “they separate with a lip.” Apparently this refers to their verbal taunting.
17 tn The words “they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons. The psalmist here quotes the sarcastic taunts of his enemies.
18 tn Heb “roll [yourself].” The Hebrew verb גלל here has the sense of “commit” (see Prov 16:3). The imperatival form in the Hebrew text indicates the enemies here address the psalmist. Since they refer to him in the third person in the rest of the verse, some prefer to emend the verb to a perfect, “he commits himself to the
19 tn Heb “Let him”; the referent (the
20 tn Heb “Let him”; the referent (the
sn This statement does not necessarily reflect the enemies’ actual belief, but it does reflect the psalmist’s confession. The psalmist’s enemies sarcastically appeal to God to help him, because he claims to be an object of divine favor. However, they probably doubted the reality of his claim.
22 tn Or “the one who pulled me.” The verb is derived from either גָחָה (gakhah; see HALOT 187 s.v. גחה) or גִּיחַ (giyakh; see BDB 161 s.v. גִּיחַ) and seems to carry the nuance “burst forth” or “pull out.”
23 tn Heb “upon you I was cast from [the] womb.”
24 tn Heb “from the womb of my mother you [have been] my God.”
sn Despite the enemies’ taunts, the psalmist is certain of his relationship with God, which began from the time of his birth (from the time I came out of my mother’s womb).
25 tn Heb “and there is no helper.”
26 sn The psalmist figuratively compares his enemies to dangerous bulls.
28 tn “They” refers to the psalmist’s enemies, who in the previous verse are described as “powerful bulls.”
30 tn Heb “a lion ripping and roaring.”
31 tn Heb “like water I am poured out.”
32 sn The heart is viewed here as the seat of the psalmist’s strength and courage.
33 tc Heb “my strength” (כֹּחִי, kokhiy), but many prefer to emend the text to חִכִּי (khikiy, “my palate”; cf. NEB, NRSV “my mouth”) assuming that an error of transposition has occurred in the traditional Hebrew text.
34 tn Cf. NEB “my jaw”; NASB, NRSV “my jaws”; NIV “the roof of my mouth.”
36 sn The imperfect verbal form draws attention to the progressive nature of the action. The psalmist is in the process of dying.
37 tn Or “for.”
38 tn Heb “like a lion, my hands and my feet.” This reading is often emended because it is grammatically awkward, but perhaps its awkwardness is by rhetorical design. Its broken syntax may be intended to convey the panic and terror felt by the psalmist. The psalmist may envision a lion pinning the hands and feet of its victim to the ground with its paws (a scene depicted in ancient Near Eastern art), or a lion biting the hands and feet. The line has been traditionally translated, “they pierce my hands and feet,” and then taken as foreshadowing the crucifixion of Christ. Though Jesus does appropriate the language of this psalm while on the cross (compare v. 1 with Matt 27:46 and Mark 15:34), the NT does not cite this verse in describing the death of Jesus. (It does refer to vv. 7-8 and 18, however. See Matt 27:35, 39, 43; Mark 15:24, 29; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24.) If one were to insist on an emendation of כָּאֲרִי (ka’ariy, “like a lion”) to a verb, the most likely verbal root would be כָּרָה (karah, “dig”; see the LXX). In this context this verb could refer to the gnawing and tearing of wild dogs (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV). The ancient Greek version produced by Symmachus reads “bind” here, perhaps understanding a verbal root כרך, which is attested in later Hebrew and Aramaic and means “to encircle, entwine, embrace” (see HALOT 497-98 s.v. כרך and Jastrow 668 s.v. כָּרַךְ). Neither one of these proposed verbs can yield a meaning “bore, pierce.”
40 tn Heb “they.” The masculine form indicates the enemies are in view. The referent (the psalmist’s enemies) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
41 tn Heb “they gaze, they look upon me.”
42 tn Heb “casting lots.” The precise way in which this would have been done is not certain.
43 tn Heb “O my strength.”
44 tn Heb “hurry to my help.”
45 tn Or “my life.”
46 tn The verb “save” is supplied in the translation; it is understood by ellipsis (see “deliver” in the preceding line).
47 tn Heb “my only one.” The psalmist may mean that his life is precious, or that he feels isolated and alone.
48 tn Heb “from the hand.” Here “hand” is understood by metonymy as a reference to the “paw” and thus the “claws” of the wild dogs.
50 tn The Hebrew term רֵמִים (remim) appears to be an alternate spelling of רְאֵמִים (rÿ’emim, “wild oxen”; see BDB 910 s.v. רְאֵם).
51 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.