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Psalms 22:21-27

Context

22:21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lion, 1 

and from the horns of the wild oxen! 2 

You have answered me! 3 

22:22 I will declare your name to my countrymen! 4 

In the middle of the assembly I will praise you!

22:23 You loyal followers of the Lord, 5  praise him!

All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!

All you descendants of Israel, stand in awe of him! 6 

22:24 For he did not despise or detest the suffering 7  of the oppressed; 8 

he did not ignore him; 9 

when he cried out to him, he responded. 10 

22:25 You are the reason I offer praise 11  in the great assembly;

I will fulfill my promises before the Lord’s loyal followers. 12 

22:26 Let the oppressed eat and be filled! 13 

Let those who seek his help praise the Lord!

May you 14  live forever!

22:27 Let all the people of the earth acknowledge the Lord and turn to him! 15 

Let all the nations 16  worship you! 17 

1 sn The psalmist again compares his enemies to vicious dogs and ferocious lions (see vv. 13, 16).

2 tn The Hebrew term רֵמִים (remim) appears to be an alternate spelling of רְאֵמִים (rÿemim, “wild oxen”; see BDB 910 s.v. רְאֵם).

3 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.

4 tn Or “brothers,” but here the term does not carry a literal familial sense. It refers to the psalmist’s fellow members of the Israelite covenant community (see v. 23).

5 tn Heb “[you] fearers of the Lord.” See Ps 15:4.

6 tn Heb “fear him.”

7 tn Or “affliction”; or “need.”

8 sn In this verse the psalmist refers to himself in the third person and characterizes himself as oppressed.

9 tn Heb “he did not hide his face from him.” For other uses of the idiom “hide the face” meaning “ignore,” see Pss 10:11; 13:1; 51:9. Sometimes the idiom carries the stronger idea of “reject” (see Pss 27:9; 88:14).

10 tn Heb “heard.”

11 tn Heb “from with you [is] my praise.”

12 tn Heb “my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.” When asking the Lord for help, the psalmists would typically promise to praise the Lord publicly if he intervened and delivered them.

13 sn Eat and be filled. In addition to praising the Lord, the psalmist also offers a thank offering to the Lord and invites others to share in a communal meal.

14 tn Heb “may your heart[s].”

15 tn Heb “may all the ends of the earth remember and turn to the Lord.” The prefixed verbal forms in v. 27 are understood as jussives (cf. NEB). Another option (cf. NIV, NRSV) is to take the forms as imperfects and translate, “all the people of the earth will acknowledge and turn…and worship.” See vv. 29-32.

16 tn Heb “families of the nations.”

17 tn Heb “before you.”



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