corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.11.21
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 22

 

 

Verse 1

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

Title. - Upon Aijaleth Shahar - margin, 'the hind of the morning.' The hind, or roe, is the enigmatical emblem of one persecuted to death (Isaiah 13:14). The hind is the emblem of loveliness, Song of Solomon 2:9; and among the Arabians, of innocence. The persecutors are similarly designated by such terms as 'bulls, lions, dogs;' so that we naturally look for such a designation of the persecuted one as shall correspond. The unusual Hebrew, ejaluthi, "my strength" (Psalms 22:19), probably refers to the Aijeleth, 'hind,' which, void of strength itself, seeks it from Yahweh. The addition 'of the morning' implies prosperity dawning after suffering, as in Messiah's case, note, Psalms 22:21.-The sufferer's complaint turned into thanksgiving for the blessed result of His sufferings to the Church, and to all nations. He complains that He is forsaken and His continual cry disregarded, though the Holy One had never before confounded them that trusted in Him (Psalms 22:1-10); still He believes in spite of adverse appearances, and prays (Psalms 22:11); His trouble, His renewed prayer, "Be not far from me," ending in assurance of being heard (Psalms 22:12-21); blessed result; His praise among His brethren; the seed of Jacob glorify God; His praise in the great congregation; the meek satisfied; eternal life; all the ends of the world converted: His righteousness declared to all generations (Psalms 22:22-31.)

My God, my God - the cry of Messiah on the cross close upon the ninth hour, after the supernatural darkness had lasted almost three hours from the sixth hour. Instead of sebachtaniy, of the Chaldee Targum, the Hebrew has the form 'Hazabtani.' Christ's faith laid hold of God as His God, even when the Father withdrew His manifested presence, on account of our sins, which were imputed to Him. The answer to His question is contained in Hebrews 5:8-9. The expressive repetition THRICE (Psalms 22:1-2) of the cry, "my God," implies that the Sufferer clung firmly to this truth, that God was still His God, in spite of all appearances to the contrary. This was His antidote to despair, and the pledge that God would yet interpose as His Deliverer. The "why" implies conscious innocence of having given in Himself any ground why God should forsake Him. Believers can in a subordinate sense plead, amidst spiritual darkness, that God is their God by covenant of promise, and therefore cannot finally forsake them (Psalms 138:8).

So far from helping me. The holy sufferer thrice dwells on God's seeming distance from Him as His chief trial, here and in Psalms 22:11; Psalms 22:19.

Words of my roaring - i:e., loud complaint. The image is from the roaring of a wild beast in the agony of a severe wound (cf. Hebrews 5:7), beautifully answering in contrast to the roaring (the same Hebrew, shaa'ag (Hebrew #7580)) of His lion-like foes (Psalms 22:13). The more they roared for His destruction, the more He cried to His God.


Verse 2

O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

Thou hearest not - i:e., answered not.

Not silent. God's silence only stimulates Him the more not to be silent. So in the case of the woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22-23).


Verse 3

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

But thou art holy. He, in unshaken faith, proclaims God's holiness at the very time when God was seeming to disregard the cry of faith. Thou art holy, therefore will I trust thee, though I cannot see or feel thy presence. "Holy," as applied to God, primarily refers to the infinite separation whereby He is lifted above the weakness, and especially the sin of the creature. Compare Isaiah 6:1-3; Isaiah 6:5. So the idea of unapproachable majesty is closely allied to it (Isaiah 57:15). The idea of purity is the secondary notion, connected with which, here, is His truth or faithfulness to His trusting people.

Inhabitest the praises of Israel - i:e., sittest enthroned on them. The praises of His people in the sanctuary are the throne on which God sits (Psalms 80:1). Israel's praises here take the place of the cherubim, between which rested the Shekinah-glory.


Verse 4

Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

Our fathers trusted in thee. Since God is the same unchanging Yahweh at all times, in relation to His people, the sufferer pleads in faith that, as God helped the "fathers" who of old trusted in Him, He cannot but help His trusting child now. So may we, too, plead in our distresses (Psalms 44:1). The deliverance of the covenant people out of their Egyptian bondage (Exodus 12:26-27) is especially alluded to; also "all the loving-kindnesses of the Lord toward the house of Israel" on various occasions (Isaiah 63:7).

Were not confounded - i:e., were not put to the shame of disappointment. He repeats thrice "they trusted in thee," in order to mark the inseparable connection between trust in God and deliverance by God.


Verse 5

They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 6

But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

But I am a worm, and no man - (note Isaiah 52:14). "But I," in emphatic contrast to all the former servants of God, who 'trusted in God, and were not confounded.' Whenever we feel our worm-like nothingness, let us remember God's encouragement (Isaiah 41:14).

A reproach of men. So Isaiah 53:3, where Hengstenberg, translates, 'one who ceases from among men;' no longer regarded as a man; answering to the description of Messiah here, "and no man." "A reproach of men" - literally (Adam), of the whole human race: so abject is the sufferer's condition.


Verse 7

All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

They shoot out the lip - literally, 'they shoot out with their lips' [ paaTar (Hebrew #6362), to open, whence the Septuagint and the Vulgate take it, 'they spake with their lips']. They open their lips wide, to pour forth all insults (Isaiah 57:4).

They shake the head - a gesture implying that there is no hope for the sufferer, at whom they contemptuously sneer (Job 16:4; Psalms 44:14).


Verse 8

He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

He trusted. The Hebrew, "He trusted" (gol), is different from that in Psalms 22:4-5, and is literally, 'He rolled Himself and His case on the Lord;' even as He was "cast upon God from the womb" (Psalms 22:10). So Psalms 55:22. Hengstenberg makes it an imperative, 'commit (thy way) unto the Lord,' say they, alluding ironically to His life-motto. The English version is favoured by the Septuagint, and Matthew 27:43.

Deliver him - a different Hebrew word from the former "deliver him." The former "deliver" is the same as in Psalms 22:4 - literally, to cause, to escape (Psalms 71:2); the latter is to rescue ( y


Verse 9

But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.

Thou art he that took me. Here he asserts what he had before implied-namely, that God has had the same care for Him from his earliest being, and is as truly His God as He was the God of the fathers who trusted in Him (Psalms 22:4); and this is the ground of the prayer in Psalms 22:11, "Be not far from me." His mockers had taunted Him, as if His present misery showed the emptiness of the saying that God "delighted in Him" (Psalms 22:8). He takes as a blessed truth what they had spoken as an ironical sneer. Thou hast delighted in me, for thou art He that took me out of the wombs-literally, 'Thou (art) my breaking forth from ( gochiy (Hebrew #1518)) the womb:' the effect being put for the author of it: thou are the author of my going forth from the womb.

Make me hope The same Hebrew verb ( mabTiychiy (Hebrew #982)) as is translated "trusted" in Psalms 22:4-5; to this Make me hope. The same Hebrew verb ( mabTiychiy (Hebrew #982)) as is translated "trusted" in Psalms 22:4-5; to this He refers back: translate, 'Thou didst make me (or give me cause) to trust (even as "our fathers trusted in thee" of old) when I was upon my mother's breasts.' An infant cannot consciously trust in God. What the sufferer pleads is, the abundant cause for trust which God gave Him by loving care from earliest infancy. Thus, Messiah identifies Himself with Israel, whose ideal representative He was. Compare Isaiah 49:1-3. God took the nation up from its political infancy (Ezekiel 16:1-63; Hosea 11:1); and delivered it out of Egypt, even as He delivered the Antitype, Messiah out of the same land (Matthew 2:13-15). The 'trust' on Messiah's part, as also on the part of all His people, is a sure pledge of deliverance in the sorest troubles.


Verse 10

I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.

From the womb. The reference is to the parent receiving the child at birth (Genesis 30:3). 'I fell as it were into thy lap, stretched out to receive at my birth, when otherwise I should have died' (Hengstenberg).

Thou art my God - i:e., thou hast shown thyself to be "my God," by acts of love, from my conception and birth. God was His God "from the mother's belly;" God was His Father from everlasting. The "my God" at the close of the first part returns to the very point with which He opened in Psalms 22:1.


Verse 11

Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

Be not far from me. The NEARNESS of the trouble, which is all but sinking Him down, is mournfully contrasted with God being FAR off. With this verse He makes the transition from the first part and prepares for the second. It is not as if trouble was only now drawing near to Him; nay, it was actually upon Him-near to His inmost being. In such a crisis, when God is most needed to be very near, Messiah implores Him not to stand afar off (cf. Psalms 10:1).


Verse 12

Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

Many bulls - implying the strength and violence of His enemies, while he was as the gentle and weak 'hind' (title). Strong bulls of Bashan - a hilly region (afterward Batanea), east of Gilead, and north of Jordan, abounding in rich pasture, whence its cattle were famed. The word meant richness of soil. Their fat condition made them the more wanton; and the liberty which they enjoyed, of ranging on hills and in forests, gave them an untameable wildness.


Verse 13

They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

A ravening ... lion - i:e., a tearing lion: one tearing his victim in pieces, and "roaring" (note, Psalms 22:1) in exultation over his prey (Amos 3:4).


Verse 14

I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

Poured out like water. As in Psalms 22:12-13 He described His troubles from without, so here, and in Psalms 22:15, He describes His troubles from within. To be "poured out like water" is to be utterly dissolved as to strength. The Israelites at Mizpeh poured out water in token of their utter powerlessness (1 Samuel 7:6; 2 Samuel 14:14).

My bones are out of joint - through being distended on the cross; literally, 'all my bones have separated themselves' (from paarad (Hebrew #6504)) from one another: they scarcely cohere together.

My heart is ... melted - as is the case with one ready to sink (Joshua 7:5).

Like wax melting by the fire (Psalms 68:2), so Messiah's heart melted at the hot indignation of Yahweh against our sins and Him who bare them.


Verse 15

My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

My strength is dried up - My vital power is like the moisture speedily dried up in a "potsherd " or earthen My strength is dried up - My vital power is like the moisture speedily dried up in a "potsherd," or earthen vessel exposed to heat. The drying up of the vital juices of the body caused the excessive thirst which Christ felt on the cross (John 19:28).

My tongue cleaveth to my jaws - or 'to my palate' (Hengstenberg); the effect of the parched state of his mouth (Lamentations 4:4). and thou hast brought me into the dust of death-literally, 'thou hast brought me to belong to l


Verse 16

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

Dogs have compassed me. "Dogs" are peculiarly savage in the East; they prowl about the streets without any owner, and eagerly devour any offal (cf. Psalms 22:20).

They pierced my hands and my feet. So the Septuagint [ooruxan], Ethiopic, Arabic Vulgate, and Syriac translate [ kaa'


Verse 17

I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

I may tell all my bones - rather, not merely I may, but 'I tell' or 'count all my bones;' answering to the heartless act of the enemy. They look and stare upon me , [ yir'uw (Hebrew #7200), with biy (H871a), expresses looking with delight at an object] - instead of turning away from so cruel a spectacle. His emaciation through long watchings and sufferings, caused His naked body on the cross to have the bones so protruding as to be visible alike to Himself and to His insulting enemies. So Job, the type (Job 33:21). The details as too minutely descriptive of Messiah, to admit of Hengstenberg's view, that the whole psalm was primarily written concerning the ideal of a righteous sufferer, and only secondarily of Christ.


Verse 18

They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

They part my garments ... - (Matthew 27:35; John 19:23-24). The "garments" [ b


Verse 19

But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

Be not thou far from me - resuming the key-note of his prayer in Psalms 22:1-11.

O my strength , [ '


Verse 20

Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. My soul from the sword; my darling. "The sword" was not literally drawn against Jesus, but is a figure for the instrument of death (2 Samuel 11:24-25); and as to Messiah (Zechariah 12:7). "My darling" is shown by the parallelism to mean "my soul." It is literally 'my only one' ( yachiyd (Hebrew #3173)), unique; even as Messiah was "the only-begotten of the Father" (Zechariah 12:10 - the same Hebrew); and as the Church is described by Him, my undefiled is but one" (Song of Solomon 6:9). Its unique preciousness is His plea why the Father should not give it up to "the power (literally, the band) of the dog." Luther explains it, 'my lonely one' - i:e., my spirit utterly deserted and left alone by everyone (cf. Psalms 142:4, end). As above in Psalms 22:11, He had said, there is none to help." I prefer the English version. So Psalms 7:5. "The dog" is the Jewish rabble; filthy and rabid, as "dogs" (Philippians 3:2). They are designated in the singular, "the dog," to imply their union in evil. Hands (Hebrew) are attributed to the dog-like rabble, as "the sword" is attributed to the Roman governor and soldiery.


Verse 21

Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me. Horsley proposed a distinctive pause between the prayer and the answer. But the English version emphatically, by the abrupt transition-the prayer gliding into the answer-marks the inseparable closeness of prayer and its annswer. So Isaiah 65:24; Daniel 9:21. The "lion" is Satan (2 Timothy 4:17). "Thou hast heard me" beautifully contrasts with the previous (Psalms 22:2) "thou hearest not;" God making the very words of His complaining to become the words of His thanksgiving. The translation [ reemiym (Hebrew #7214)], "unicorns," makes Scripture accountable for Ctesias', Aristotle's, and Pliny's account of a monstrous one-horned animal. Deuteronomy 33:17, margin, shows that Scripture assigns horns, not merely one horn, to the unicorn. Manasseh and Ephraim were as the two horns springing from the one head, Joseph, as the two horns on the great Reem (cf. Job 39:9). Some large species of the urus or wild ox, is probably the reem of the Bible, or else the buffalo. Caesar mentions a gigantic ox in the Hercynian forests ('Bell. Gall.' 6:

20), almost as large as an elephant, and so fierce as to spare neither man nor beast.


Verse 22

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

The blessed results of His deliverance (1), in regard to the spiritual Israel (Psalms 22:22-24).

I will declare thy name - i:e., thy power, faithfulness, and love, manifested in my deliverance.

Unto my brethren - the elect of Israel, "of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came" (Romans 9:5; Revelation 7:1-8): secondarily the spiritual Israel. In Psalms 22:27 He passes to the effect of His deliverance on all the Gentile "nations" hereafter. Here He speaks of His Israelite kinsmen, the believing remnant according to the election of grace (Romans 11:5). 'He is not ashamed to call' either "brethren" (Hebrews 2:11-12): He previously called the ancestors of Israel, "our fathers." In ... the congregation will I praise thee. "The congregation" of the elect hereafter shall realize that high ideal of perfect liturgy, of which the whole assembly of Israel (Leviticus 16:17) in past days was the type (Psalms 35:18; Psalms 40:9; cf. note, Psalms 22:25).


Verse 23

Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

Ye that fear the Lord, praise him. He here addresses all Israel as about hereafter truly to "fear the Lord." As leader of the Church's praises, He calls fourth thanksgivings in "the great congregation" to come.

And fear him. A different Hebrew word is used for "fear" in the close ( guwr (Hebrew #1481)) from that in the first sentence, "Ye that fear ( yir


Verse 24

For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

He hath not despised - in beautiful contrast to Psalms 22:6, 'I am despised of the people.' Though the people despised me, God 'hath not despised the afflicted one.'

Nor abhorred - though I was as "a worm" (Psalms 22:6).

Neither ... hid his face from him - for ever, though He did so for a time (Psalms 22:1-2; Psalms 10:1).


Verse 25

My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

My praise shall be of thee - literally, 'My praise shall be from thee,' as the starting-point of praise and its theme. In the great assembly, antitypical to that of all the tribes assembled for worship in Jerusalem at the great feasts (Deuteronomy 16:16). "The congregation" (Psalms 22:22) is that of the Jewish and Gentile elect. Here "the great congregation" seems to be that of all Israel when the whole nation shall turn to the Lord (Romans 11:26-32; 2 Corinthians 3:16). Here He realizes sensibly what He had spoken in faith, Psalms 22:3; His groanings no longer blending with the "praises."

I will pay my vows. At the feast of weeks, and that of tabernacles, both connected with the harvest (Deuteronomy 16:10-15), those who offered a "sacrifice of thanksgiving," invited their neighbours to a feast, and at it recounted the mercies of God to them. So also those who in distress had vowed certain sacrifices, on obtaining deliverance, invited to the covenant feast the widow, the orphan, and the poor (Deuteronomy 16:11; Deuteronomy 12:18), and there invited them to praise God with them.


Verse 26

The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

The meek shall eat - namely, "the meek" (or 'the poor' afflicted ones `anaawiym (Hebrew #6035), in contrast to "the fat," Psalms 22:29) who shall be invited to the perpetual feast of thanksgiving that the Messiah shall at last give (Isaiah 25:6-9).

Your heart shall live for ever - not with a mere transient quickening. Whoever has thoroughly eaten of the spiritual feast of Christ shall need no other spiritual food, but through it shall be nourished unto everlasting life (John 6:51).


Verse 27

All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

All ... shall remember, and turn unto the Lord. He passes to the conversion of all the Gentile nations, consequent on the conversion of all Israel. They shall then "remember" Him whom they have so long forgotten by apostasy, and shall turn to Him. The first step to repentance is that the sinner should recall to memory and ponder upon, his heavenly Father's love, and his own wicked folly. So the prodigal in Luke 15:17 (cf. Psalms 119:59; Ezekiel 16:61-63). 'The salvation of the Lord is so great, that it awakens the whole, pagan world out of its stupid insensibility' (Hengstenberg). It is not merely the deliverance vouchsafed to the holy sufferer, but also the salvation vouchsafed to the world through Him, which shall rouse the nations to "remember" God (Zechariah 12:10). The word "remember" does not imply knowledge of Messiah before, but their being brought by the Spirit's testifying of Christ to their hearts, to return to that God from whom their forefathers apostatized.

All kindreds - referring to the original promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3; Genesis 28:14).


Verse 28

For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.

The kingdom is the Lord's - though for a time Satan, on account of man's sin, usurps it as "prince of the world." What God really is, He must of necessity soon be acknowledged to be. That consummation shall be when Christ shall be manifested as "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:11-16).


Verse 29

All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

All they that be fat - not only the poor and. "meek" of this world, but the rich (as "fattest" is used, Psalms 78:31; an image from fat cattle, Ezekiel 34:20) shall "eat" of the spiritual feast (cf. Song of Solomon 5:1). The wealth of the rich cannot buy the one inestimable viand, without which they are spiritually destitute-the body and blood of Christ, by faith made the food of the soul. On the other hand, no degree of poverty, temporal or spiritual, excludes any from it. All alike are before God spiritually poor; to all alike God in Christ is spiritually "rich" (Romans 10:12).

Down to the dust - even as Christ was 'brought into the dust of death' (Psalms 22:15). They, too, like their Lord, and "together with" their Lord, shall be quickened at the resurrection ultimately (Isaiah 26:19; John 5:25; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22). So spiritually now (Psalms 143:7; Psalms 119:25).

Shall bow before him. His meritorious obedience and death shall be the ground of all, both these flourishing on earth, and those sleeping in the dust, being made to "bow before Him" (Philippians 2:6-11).

None can keep alive - `maketh alive.' Implying that alike Christ as man, and His spiritual "seed," owe their quickening out of "the dust" to the power of God. Christ was "put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit" (1 Peter 3:18). The Father raised Him with His right hand. Thus the connection with the context is: Alike the rich who enjoy the fullness of life, and the abject who lie dead in the dust, shall bow before Him, even as all draw all life from Him (Psalms 22:26, end); because none can quicken (so translate, as in Deuteronomy 32:39. "make alive") his own soul."


Verse 30

A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

A seed shall serve him - (Isaiah 53:10). As He is the "seed" long promised, so He has a "seed" which springs up from Him spiritually.

Accounted to the Lord. Though Christ had no natural offspring, the "seed" just mentioned 'shall be accounted (literally, declared: the same Hebrew, as "declare," Psalms 22:22) to the Lord for a generation' by adoption (Psalms 87:5).


Verse 31

They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

Declare his righteousness - i:e., God's faithfulness to His promises in delivering Messiah, and saving His seed. "They," the "seed" or "generation," "shall come" - i:e., go forth on the theater of the world (Hengstenberg).

That shall be born - `that shall have been (then) born'-namely, in the next generation (cf. Psalms 102:18).

That he hath done this - namely, that God hath completed redemption in the deliverance of Christ. That work was consummated virtually when the light of the Father's countenance returned upon Christ just before His death. In allusion to this verse, as He began with "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Psalms 22:1), so He ended with this, very word here used in the last verse of the psalm, "It is finished," or 'done' (John 19:30). The work was done or finished actually at the resurrection, when the Father declared Christ to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4).

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 22:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-22.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology