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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 22

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary

Introduction

Psalms 22:0

STROPHE DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASB NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
A Cry of Anguish and A Song of Praise The Suffering, Praise, and Posterity of the Messiah Prayer for Deliverance from Mortal Illness (A Lament) A Cry of Anguish and A Song of Praise The Suffering and Hopes of the Upright
MT Intro For the choir director; upon aijeleth hashshahar. A Psalm of David.
Psalms 22:1-5 Psalms 22:1-2 Psalms 22:1-2 Psalms 22:1-5 Psalms 22:1-2
Psalms 22:3-5 Psalms 22:3-5 Psalms 22:3-5
Psalms 22:6-8 Psalms 22:6-8 Psalms 22:6-8 Psalms 22:6-8 Psalms 22:6-8
Psalms 22:9-10 Psalms 22:9-11 Psalms 22:9-11 Psalms 22:9-11 Psalms 22:9-11
Psalms 22:11-18
Psalms 22:12-13 Psalms 22:12-13 Psalms 22:12-13 Psalms 22:12-13
Psalms 22:14-15 Psalms 22:14-15 Psalms 22:14-15 Psalms 22:14-15
Psalms 22:16-18 Psalms 22:16-18 Psalms 22:16-18 Psalms 22:16-18
Psalms 22:19-21 Psalms 22:19-21b Psalms 22:19-21a Psalms 22:19-21 Psalms 22:19-21
Psalms 22:21c Psalms 22:21-24
Psalms 22:22-24 Psalms 22:22-24 Psalms 22:22-24 Psalms 22:22-23
Psalms 22:24
Psalms 22:25-31 Psalms 22:25-26 Psalms 22:25-26 Psalms 22:25-26 Psalms 22:25-26
Psalms 22:27-28 Psalms 22:27-28 Psalms 22:27-28 Psalms 22:27-31
Psalms 22:29 Psalms 22:29-31 Psalms 22:29-31
Psalms 22:30-31

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS

A. Hermeneutical practice demands that modern interpreters take seriously the original author's intent as the beginning point in establishing a proper understanding of the meaning of any passage. This proves to be difficult in this psalm.

1. uncertainty of the inspiration of the MT introductions (i.e., not present in Dead Sea Scrolls)

2. the details do not fit the life of King David or any other OT person

3. the striking similarity to the experiences of Jesus on the cross (cf. Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34)

B. Therefore, how should modern interpreters classify this psalm?

1. typology (i.e., an event in the OT parallels an event in Jesus' life)

2. predictive prophecy

3. multiple fulfillment prophecy

4. historical account (in poetry) of the experience of an OT person

C. There are several unique elements that cannot be reconciled with an OT psalmist's historical setting.

1. crucifixion (i.e., “pierced,” see note at Psalms 22:16)

2. clothes gambled for by lot

3. rare assertion of the inclusion of the nations, Psalms 22:27

4. possible allusion to

a. eternal life, Psalms 22:26; Psalms 22:26c

b. affect on the departed, Psalms 22:29; Psalms 22:29

c. creation of a “seed” of faithful followers for generations to come

5. notice there is no call for vengeance or attack on the enemies

D. I will approach the psalm, as others, from a historical, grammatical, lexical orientation, but with an eye toward the death of Christ. I can do nothing less!

E. This psalm is quoted or alluded to in the NT in connection to Jesus' crucifixion. The NT is the proper lens to view the OT, not vice-versa! The NT (i.e., Jesus) is the ultimate revelation (cf. Matthew 5:17-48).

Psalms 22:1. Psalms 22:1 Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34

Psalms 22:2. Psalms 22:7 Matthew 27:39; Mark 15:29

Psalms 22:3. Psalms 22:8 Matthew 27:43

Psalms 22:4. Psalms 22:16 John 20:25

Psalms 22:5. Psalms 22:18 Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:24

6. Psalms 22:22 Hebrews 2:12

7. possibly Psalms 22:15 in John 19:28

Verses 1-5

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 22:1-5 1My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. 2O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. 3Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. 4In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them. 5To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed.

Psalms 22:1 There are repeated vocative type statements.

1. My God, my God, Psalms 22:1 (the doubling is for intensity)

2. O my God, Psalms 22:2 (Eloh, BDB 43)

3. O Lord, Psalms 22:19a (YHWH, BDB 217)

4. O You my help, Psalms 22:19b

The psalmist is calling on God in direct address with intensity and passion. They know each other!

Just a note about Jesus quoting the first part of this psalm from the cross, by that He meant (or an inspired gospel writer) for future readers to read the whole psalm. Quoting the first line was a way to denote a context on a Scripture scroll.

NASB, NKJV, NRSV, NJB“forsaken” TEV, JPSOA“abandoned”

This verb (BDB 736 I, KB 806, Qal perfect) means to leave or reject by abandoning. The perfect denotes the idea of a settled rejection. In several places the OT uses the term of YHWH rejecting His covenant people and promises (cf. Psalms 119:8; Isaiah 54:7; Jeremiah 7:12; Ezekiel 8:12), but thank God for Genesis 28:15 and the second line of Isaiah 54:7.

Notice the very personal aspect of this rejection or abandonment (i.e., “me,” cf. Matthew 27:46). The psalmist felt alone and betrayed by YHWH. He did not understand why. It was not because of any perceived sin (i.e., omission or commission).

The second line has no verbal. NKJV, NRSV, REB, JPSOA all add “Why are you. . .,” making it a question. The psalmist is “groaning” (BDB 980, cf. Job 3:24; Psalms 32:3). The Hebrew word can refer to the roar of a lion (cf. Job 4:10), but here to a human groan of psychological and physical pain and confusion, which fits this context best. The psalmist could not understand why the covenant God had rejected a faithful covenant person (cf. Psalms 22:2).

This terrible sense of alienation, loneliness, and spiritual confession is the result of the Fall (cf. Genesis 3:0). Mankind, made in YHWH's image and likeness (cf. Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3:8), has been damaged. The estrangement is terrible. In this case the sense of YHWH's silence is accentuated because the psalmist knew Him. The psalmist could not understand the silence from God and the vicious attack of others! But there was a purpose (i.e., the gospel, cf. Mark 10:45; 2 Corinthians 5:21)!

Psalms 22:2 The psalmist's persistent prayer goes unheard by God or at least He does not apparently respond (cf. Psalms 42:3; Psalms 88:1-2).

The second line of Psalms 22:2 is difficult to translate. Literally “there is no silence for me.” This could mean

1. he prays all night (NKJV, REB)

2. God remains silent

3. he finds no rest (LXX, TEV, JPSOA)

If this reflects Jesus' future experience, then the last night in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest fits best (cf. Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42).

Psalms 22:3-5 The psalmist describes God as

1. holy (cf. Psalms 99:9)

2. enthroned upon the praises of Israel (i.e., YHWH dwells between the wings of the Cherubim above the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies)

3. trusted in by the Patriarchs

a. they prayed, He delivered

b. they trusted and were not disappointed (i.e., there is historical precedent to trust in YHWH)

Verses 6-8

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 22:6-8 6But I am a worm and not a man, A reproach of men and despised by the people. 7All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying, 8”Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”

Psalms 22:6-8 In spite of Psalms 22:3-5 and God's faithful actions in the past to those who trusted in Him, the psalmist did not feel helped.

1. he felt like a worm, Psalms 22:6 (cf. Job 25:6; Isaiah 41:14)

2. he was reproached and despised by people, Psalms 22:6b

3. they sneered at him, Psalms 22:7 (see Matthew 27:39; Mark 15:29)

4. they mocked his faith and prayers, Psalms 22:8

a. commit (lit. “roll,” cf. Psalms 37:5; Proverbs 16:3) BDB 164, KB 193, Qal imperative (cf. Matthew 27:43)

b. let Him deliver him BDB 812, KB 930, Piel imperfect used in a jussive sense (cf. Matthew 27:43)

c. let Him rescue him BDB 664, KB 717, Hiphil imperfect used in a jussive sense

Verses 9-10

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 22:9-10 9Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts. 10Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb.

Psalms 22:9-10 The imagery of these verses is the predestined purpose of the righteous suffering servant.

1. sometimes an individual (used of Messiah in Isaiah 42:1 and of His death in Isaiah 52:13-12)

2. sometimes the collective people of YHWH (cf. Isaiah 41:8-9; Isaiah 42:18-19; Isaiah 46:3; Isaiah 49:1)

This is OT covenant language. It expresses the redemptive purposes of God for Israel (see Special Topic: YHWH's Eternal Redemptive Plan). The psalmist believed he had a purpose in God's plan and could not understand God's seeming abandonment (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21).

Psalms 22:9

NASB, REB“brought me forth” NKJV“took me out” NRSV“took me” NJB, JPSOA“drew me” LXX“cast from”

This participle (BDB 161, KB 189) occurs only here in the OT. Context gives us a general sense but the exact connotation must remain uncertain. However, the general meaning of the verse is clear.

YHWH is involved in a person's life even before birth (cf. Job 3:11; Psalms 139:13-16; Ecclesiastes 11:5; Jeremiah 1:5). Life begins with God! Humans are created by Him and for Him. See Special Topic: The Fatherhood of God.

Psalms 22:10 This verse is reflecting the concept of covenant acceptance by birth (i.e., circumcision). Israelites were born into the covenant people, however, true covenant faith and obedience were the confirming evidence of the reality of their faith. So many Israelites were not truly covenant people (i.e., disobedience to the covenant stipulations, idolatry)!

Verses 11-18

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 22:11-18 11Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help. 12Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me. 13They open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion. 14I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. 15My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death. 16For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. 17I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.

Psalms 22:11-18 This describes in poetic imagery the suffering of the psalmist. Many of the poetic details and parallelism turned out to be very literal of Jesus' rejection and crucifixion.

Psalms 22:11 “Be not far from me” This verb (BDB 934, KB 1221, Qal imperfect used in a jussive sense, cf. Psalms 22:19; Psalms 71:12) is used in an interpersonal sense, not a distance sense. The psalmist felt alone (“there is none to help,” cf. Isaiah 63:5) to face his enemies (i.e., bulls, lions, dogs, wild oxen). Notice the contrastwhen trouble is near the psalmist wants YHWH near also!

Psalms 22:12-13, Psalms 22:16-18 His enemies are described.

1. bulls have surrounded him, Psalms 22:12

2. lions have attacked him, Psalms 22:13 (i.e., opened wide their mouths, which is an idiom for a vicious attack)

3. dogs have surrounded him, Psalms 22:16

4. they stare at him

5. they pierced his hands and feet (cf. John 20:25; see note below)

6. they/I can count all my bones (i.e., [1] in the OT this may refer to the suffering man being just skin and bones, [2] he is dead, having been devoured by animals and only his bones are left or [3] in the NT this may refer to the detail that the two thieves' legs were broken to bring about their rapid death on crosses, but Jesus, by this time, had already died)

7. they divided his clothes by casting lots (cf. Matthew 27:35; Luke 23:34; John 19:24)

Psalms 22:14-15 This is highly figurative language. It is hard to pin down the exact allusion but the accumulative effect is a completely discouraged person in light of

1. YHWH's apparent absence even though the psalmist cries/groans day and night

2. the presence of violent enemies on every side

3. the possibility that the imagery is alluding to symptoms of sickness (cf. Isaiah 52:14) or even the early process of bodily decay before death (i.e., lit. “bones scattered about,” BDB 825, KB 962)

A striking, painful, surprising feeling from a faithful covenant follower!

Psalms 22:15

NASB, NKJV, RSV, LXX“strength” NRSV, NJB, NRSV, REB“mouth” TEV“throat” JPSOA“vigor”

The UBS Text Project gives the MT's “my strength” (כחי) an “A” rating (high probability). The NRSV, NJB, REB, and TEV reverse the consonants to produce “my palate” (חכי, KB 313, cf. Job 12:11; Job 20:13; Psalms 119:103; Psalms 137:6; Lamentations 4:4; Ezekiel 3:26).

NASB, NKJV, NRSV“jaws” REB“gums” TEV“the roof of my mouth” NJB“jaw” JPSOA“palate” LXX“throat”

This Hebrew word (BDB 544 II, KB 594) occurs only here in the OT. Therefore context, parallelism, and related roots must provide interpreters a possible meaning. But please note that just because we do not know the exact meaning of this word, still the general sense of the verse is obvious.

“You lay me in the dust of death” The “you” here must refer to YHWH. YHWH (i.e., the only causality in the universe) allowed the psalmist to approach death (i.e., imperfect verb, cf. Psalms 104:29).

This fits into the NT understanding of Jesus' vicarious, substitutionary death on our behalf as YHWH's predestined will (cf. Luke 22:22; Acts 2:23; Acts 3:18; Acts 4:28; 1 Peter 1:20).

Jesus was incarnated for several purposes.

1. fully reveal the Father

2. fully reveal His redemptive plan (i.e., the gospel)

3. die in our place, for our sin

4. show us what humans were created to be

It is crucial in interpreting these oblique OT texts to see the full and complete revelation of the NT. The NT is the perfect fulfillment of the OT (cf. Matthew 5:17-48). The story is fully understood only in Jesus, the Messiah!

Psalms 22:16

NASB, NKJV, RSV”they have pierced” NRSV“shriveled” (Akkadian root) TEV“tear at” LXX“gouged” or “dig” NJB, NEB“hack off” JPSOA (cf. Isaiah 38:13)“like lions (they maul, cf. Psalms 22:13)” REB (footnote)“bound” NET Bible“like a lion they pin”

This verse is not quoted directly in the NT Gospels related to Jesus' crucifixion. Several other verses of this Psalm are. The real question is “What does the Hebrew say?”

1. The UBS Text Project (p. 198) gives “like a lion” (כארי, BDB 71) a “B” rating.

2. The verb “dig,” “bore,” or “pierce” comes from רוכ, BDB 468 II (found only here).

3. “Bound” or “tie” comes from the Greek translation of Aquila, Symmachus, the Latin translation of Jerome, and two Hebrew MSS (cf. UBS Handbook, p. 221). They assume the root is רכן, BDB 501, KB 497, but there are no OT examples of it.

4. See a good technical note in Gleason Archer's Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, p. 37.

Usually this idea of being pierced refers to a violent death by sword or spear in battle (several different roots but two prophetically significant).

Psalms 22:1. Zechariah 12:10 BDB 201, KB 230 (cf. John 19:37; Revelation 1:7)

Psalms 22:2. Isaiah 53:5 BDB 319, KB 320

The ambiguity (i.e., rarity, only here in the OT) of this word allows it to function in an OT sense and a NT sense. This Psalm must have had meaning in its day but obviously points beyond to the vicarious, substitutionary atonement of Christ (i.e., nails pierced His hands and feet). The full meaning of many OT texts comes to light only in Christ (i.e., typology or direct prediction). I think it was Jesus Himself who showed these texts of His suffering and resurrection to the two on the road to Emmaus (cf. Luke 24:13-43) and they told the ones in the upper room. Just then He appeared to them and showed them His hands and feet (cf. Luke 24:36-43).

Psalms 22:14-15, Psalms 22:17 These verses describe how the suffering/attacked author feels.

1. I am poured out like water

2. all my bones are out of joint (i.e., this was one result of crucifixion)

3. my heart is like wax

4. my strength (or “palate”) is dried up (this possibly relates to Jesus taking some wine just before His last words, cf. Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29)

It is not certain how or if Psalms 22:17a relates to Psalms 22:14b. We are dealing with Hebrew poetic parallelism! Remember this is not prose. This is figurative language. Be careful of pushing details for theological purposes, unless it is done by an inspired NT author!

Psalms 22:16 “a band of evildoers” The word “band” (BDB 417) means gathering or assembly. A different word (BDB 874) is used of the same concept in Psalms 22:22 and 25. What a contrast between these two assemblies.

1. evil men with evil purposes gather together

2. godly men with witness and worship purposes gather together (cf. Psalms 1:5)

Which group do you want to be a part of?

Psalms 22:18 In the OT this would refer to the spoils of war being divided among the victors! Notice there is no parallel OT passage. In the NT it refers to the fact that the Roman soldiers who carried out the crucifixion were allowed to divide the condemned person's possessions among themselves as a payment for the extra duty.

Verses 19-21

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 22:19-21 19But You, O Lord, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance. 20Deliver my soul from the sword, My only life from the power of the dog. 21Save me from the lion's mouth; From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.

Psalms 22:19-21 Psalms 22:19 links to Psalms 22:11. The jussive (see note below) is followed by three imperatives of request.

1. hasten to my assistance BDB 301, KB 300, Qal imperative, cf. Psalms 38:22; Psalms 40:13; Psalms 70:1, Psalms 70:5; Psalms 71:12; Psalms 141:1

2. deliver my soul BDB 664, KB 717, Hiphil imperative

3. save me BDB 446, KB 448, Hiphil imperative

This strophe closes “You answered me” with a Qal perfect verb (BDB 772, KB 851) which implies that the psalmist has come to the conviction that YHWH is/will answer him (cf. Psalms 34:4; Psalms 118:5; Psalms 120:1).

Notice again how the psalmist characterizes his enemies.

1. the sword (i.e., “pierced” of possibly the bite of dogs, cf. Psalms 22:16)

2. paw of the dog (cf. Psalms 22:16)

3. the lion's mouth (cf. Psalms 22:13; Psalms 35:17)

4. the horns of the wild oxen (symbol of power, cf. Job 39:9-10)

Psalms 22:19 “be not far off” See note at Psalms 22:11.

Psalms 22:20 “from the sword” It is difficult to know exactly what problems/distresses/enemies the psalmist is facing.

1. sickness

2. rebellion

3. invasion

Because of the many links to Jesus' life, I think “sword” is figurative language (cf. Psalms 37:12-15).

Verses 22-24

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 22:22-24 22I will tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. 23You who fear the Lord, praise Him; All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel. 24For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.

Psalms 22:22-24 In a sense this strophe overlaps with Psalms 22:25-31. Both speak of witness and praise of YHWH in a worship setting (i.e., the assembly, Psalms 22:22; the great assembly, Psalms 22:25). The difference is the scope of the help.

Psalms 22:1. Ps. 2:22-24 the afflicted

Psalms 22:2. Psalms 22:25-31 the world

Psalms 22:22 There are two cohortative verbs.

1. I will tell BDB 707, KB 765, Piel cohortative

2. I will praise BDB 237, KB 248, Piel imperfect used in a cohortative sense

Psalms 22:23 Notice the parallelism.

1. you who fear the Lord

2. you descendants (lit., seed) of Jacob

3. you descendants of Israel

They are to

1. praise Him BDB 237, KB 248, Piel imperative

2. glorify Him BDB 457, KB 455, Piel imperative

3. stand in awe of Him BDB 158, KB 185, Qal imperative

Psalms 22:24 The reasons for the praise, glory, and awe to YHWH are

1. He has not despised (BDB 102, KB 117, Qal perfect) the afflicted

2. He has not abhorred (BDB 1055, KB 1646, Piel perfect) the afflicted

3. He has not hidden His face (BDB 711, KB 771, Hiphil perfect) from the afflicted

4. When the afflicted cried to Him for help, He heard (BDB 1033, KB 1570, Qal perfect)

The psalmist now feels YHWH has heard his cries for help and will respond (cf. Psalms 22:21, Psalms 22:22-24). This is a reversal of Psalms 22:1-2, Psalms 22:8, Psalms 22:11, Psalms 22:19.

Verses 25-31

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Psalms 22:25-31 25From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him. 26The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! 27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, And all the families of the nations will worship before You. 28For the kingdom is the Lord's And He rules over the nations. 29All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive. 30Posterity will serve Him; It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation. 31They will come and will declare His righteousness To a people who will be born, that He has performed it.

Psalms 22:25-26 The setting is a worship setting, probably the tabernacle/temple (i.e., “pay vows” and “eat and be satisfied”). The worshipers are characterized as “the afflicted” (BDB 776) from Psalms 22:24. They are the ones who

1. seek YHWH, Psalms 22:26 BDB 205, KB 233, Qal participle

2. praise YHWH, Psalms 22:26 BDB 237, KB 248, Piel imperfect

Psalms 22:26 “Let your heart live forever” This verb (BDB 310, KB 309, Qal jussive) reflects the common idiom used of the Kings of Israel/Judah. The psalmist is a king. There seems to be fluidity in Psalms 22:28-31 between the covenant God and His kingly representative (i.e., Messiah, cf. 2 Samuel 7:1-17).

Psalms 22:27 The universal emphasis is shocking and unmistakable.

1. all the ends of the earth (cf. Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 66:23; Jeremiah 16:19; Micah 5:4)

2. all the families of the nations (cf. Genesis 12:3; Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8)

Notice what the nations will do.

1. remember YHWH BDB 269, KB 269, Qal imperfect

2. turn to YHWH BDB 996, KB 1427, Qal imperfect (this verb is often used of repentance)

3. worship before You/Him BDB 1005, KB 295, Hishtaphel/Hithpalel imperfect, cf. Psalms 66:4; Psalms 86:9

Psalms 22:28 The reason for the universal emphasis is given. This has always been YHWH's desire. It is the clear implication of Genesis 1:26-27 and the theological assertion of monotheism!

1. The kingdom is YHWH's (cf. Psalms 47:7-9; Psalms 67:4; Obadiah 1:21; Zechariah 14:9)

2. He rules over the nations (cf. Psalms 47:8; 1 Chronicles 16:31)

Psalms 22:29 This verse is difficult to translate. Literally it would be

“all those in full vigor shall eat and prostrate themselves;

all those at death's door, whose spirits flag, shall bend the knee before Him” (JPSOA)

There is obviously a contrast between the wealthy and the poor/dying. The thrust of the verse is that everyone, everywhere will worship YHWH/His Messiah. Can we go so far as to see this verse as teaching an afterlife? In light of the NT's use of this Psalm as referring to Jesus' death, maybe so (cf. Luke 23:39-43).

One wonders if Psalms 22:29b has any connection to Philippians 2:10. The NT asserts that one day every knee shall bow.

1. the lost

2. the saved

This bowing in judgment is not an act of faith for the lost, but an acknowledgment of a fair judgment.

NASB, NKJV“even he who cannot keep his soul alive” NRSV“and I shall live for him” NJB“those who are dead” REB“But I shall live for his sake”

The MT is reflected in the NASB, which the UBS Text Project (p. 200) gives a “C” rating (considerable doubt). The LXX is reflected in the NRSV, which involves the emendation of two consonants.

Psalms 22:30-31 A new faith seed/family/descendant will come from the terrible suffering event. They will serve the Suffering One and declare His righteousness, i.e., innocence!

Psalms 22:31

NASB“He has performed itNKJV“He has done thisNRSV“he has done it” TEV“the Lord saved his people” NJB“he has fulfilled it” LXX, JPSOA, NRSV, REB“the Lord acted”

The verb (BDB 793, KB 889, Qal perfect) speaks of an accomplished task (cf. 1 Samuel 26:25; Daniel 8:24). In light of NT usage this refers to mankind's redemption on Calvary (cf. Romans 5:12-21), evidenced and verified by the empty tomb (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:1-28)!

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

1. Is this Psalm a prediction, a typology, or a multi-fulfillment prophecy?

2. List the possible connections between this psalm and Jesus' death.

3. The psalmist calls his adversaries by names of several animals. List them.

4. Why is there doubt about the word “pierced” in Psalms 22:16?

5. Explain the mood shift at Psalms 22:22.

6. Why is Ps. 2L27-29 so theologically significant?

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Psalms 22". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/psalms-22.html. 2021.
 
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