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
22:2 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
22:4 In you our ancestors 7 trusted;
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
22:6 But I 10 am a worm, 11 not a man; 12
people insult me and despise me. 13
22:7 All who see me taunt 14 me;
they mock me 15 and shake their heads. 16
22:8 They say, 17
“Commit yourself 18 to the Lord!
Let the Lord 19 rescue him!
Let the Lord 20 deliver him, for he delights in him.” 21
22:9 Yes, you are the one who brought me out 22 from the womb
and made me feel secure on my mother’s breasts.
22:10 I have been dependent on you since birth; 23
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
22:12 Many bulls 26 surround me;
powerful bulls of Bashan 27 hem me in.
22:13 They 28 open their mouths to devour me 29
like a roaring lion that rips its prey. 30
22:14 My strength drains away like water; 31
all my bones are dislocated;
my heart 32 is like wax;
it melts away inside me.
22:15 The roof of my mouth 33 is as dry as a piece of pottery;
my tongue sticks to my gums. 34
You 35 set me in the dust of death. 36
22:16 Yes, 37 wild dogs surround me –
a gang of evil men crowd around me;
like a lion they pin my hands and feet. 38
22:17 I can count 39 all my bones;
my enemies 40 are gloating over me in triumph. 41
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!
You are my source of strength! 43 Hurry and help me! 44
22:20 Deliver me 45 from the sword!
Save 46 my life 47 from the claws 48 of the wild dogs!
22:21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lion, 49
and from the horns of the wild oxen! 50
You have answered me! 51
22:22 I will declare your name to my countrymen! 52
In the middle of the assembly I will praise you!
22:23 You loyal followers of the Lord, 53 praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
All you descendants of Israel, stand in awe of him! 54
22:24 For he did not despise or detest the suffering 55 of the oppressed; 56
he did not ignore him; 57
when he cried out to him, he responded. 58
22:25 You are the reason I offer praise 59 in the great assembly;
I will fulfill my promises before the Lord’s loyal followers. 60
22:26 Let the oppressed eat and be filled! 61
Let those who seek his help praise the Lord!
May you 62 live forever!
22:27 Let all the people of the earth acknowledge the Lord and turn to him! 63
Let all the nations 64 worship you! 65
22:28 For the Lord is king 66
and rules over the nations.
22:29 All of the thriving people 67 of the earth will join the celebration and worship; 68
all those who are descending into the grave 69 will bow before him,
including those who cannot preserve their lives. 70
22:30 A whole generation 71 will serve him;
they will tell the next generation about the sovereign Lord. 72
22:31 They will come and tell about his saving deeds; 73
they will tell a future generation what he has accomplished. 74
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 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.
16 sn Shake their heads. Apparently this refers to a taunting gesture. See also Job 16:4; Ps 109:25; Lam 2:15.
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
21 tn That is, “for he [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.
27 sn Bashan, located east of the Jordan River, was well-known for its cattle. See Ezek 39:18; Amos 4:1.
28 tn “They” refers to the psalmist’s enemies, who in the previous verse are described as “powerful bulls.”
29 tn Heb “they open against me their mouth[s].” To “open the mouth against” is a Hebrew idiom associated with eating and swallowing (see Ezek 2:8; Lam 2:16).
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.”
35 sn Here the psalmist addresses God and suggests that God is ultimately responsible for what is happening because of his failure to intervene (see vv. 1-2, 11).
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.”
39 tn The imperfect verbal forms in vv. 17-18 draw attention to the progressive nature of the action.
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.
49 sn The psalmist again compares his enemies to vicious dogs and ferocious lions (see vv. 13, 16).
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.
52 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).
53 tn Heb “[you] fearers of the
54 tn Heb “fear him.”
55 tn Or “affliction”; or “need.”
56 sn In this verse the psalmist refers to himself in the third person and characterizes himself as oppressed.
57 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).
58 tn Heb “heard.”
59 tn Heb “from with you [is] my praise.”
60 tn Heb “my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.” When asking the
61 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.
62 tn Heb “may your heart[s].”
63 tn Heb “may all the ends of the earth remember and turn to the
64 tn Heb “families of the nations.”
65 tn Heb “before you.”
66 tn Heb “for to the
67 tn Heb “fat [ones].” This apparently refers to those who are healthy and robust, i.e., thriving. In light of the parallelism, some prefer to emend the form to יְשֵׁנֵי (yÿsheney, “those who sleep [in the earth]”; cf. NAB, NRSV), but דִּשְׁנֵי (dishney, “fat [ones]”) seems to form a merism with “all who descend into the grave” in the following line. The psalmist envisions all people, whether healthy or dying, joining in worship of the
68 tn Heb “eat and worship.” The verb forms (a perfect followed by a prefixed form with vav [ו] consecutive) are normally used in narrative to relate completed actions. Here the psalmist uses the forms rhetorically as he envisions a time when the
69 tn Heb “all of the ones going down [into] the dust.” This group stands in contrast to those mentioned in the previous line. Together the two form a merism encompassing all human beings – the healthy, the dying, and everyone in between.
70 tn Heb “and his life he does not revive.”
71 tn Heb “offspring.”
72 tn Heb “it will be told concerning the Lord to the generation.” The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).
73 tn Heb “his righteousness.” Here the noun צִדָקָה (tsidaqah) refers to the Lord’s saving deeds whereby he vindicates the oppressed.
74 tn Heb “to a people [to be] born that he has acted.” The words “they will tell” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.