But I [am] a worm, and no man
Christ calls himself a worm, not because of his original, for he was not of the earth earthy, but was the Lord from heaven; nor because of his human nature, man being a worm, and the Son of Man such, ( Job 25:6 ) ; and because of his meanness and low estate in that nature, in his humiliation; nor to express his humility, and the mean thoughts he had of himself, as David, his type, calls himself a dead dog, and a flea, ( 1 Samuel 24:14 ) ; but on account of the opinion that men of the world had of him; so Jacob is called "a worm", ( Isaiah 41:14 ) ; not only because mean in his own eyes, but contemptible in the eyes of others. The Jews esteemed Christ as a worm, and treated him as such; he was loathsome to them and hated by them; everyone trampled upon him and trod him under foot as men do worms; such a phrase is used of him in ( Hebrews 10:29 ) ; there is an agreement in some things between the worm and Christ in his state of humiliation; as in its uncomeliness and disagreeable appearance; so in Christ the Jews could discern no form nor comeliness wherefore he should be desired; and in its weakness, the worm being an impotent, unarmed, and defenceless creatures, hence the Chaldee paraphrase renders it here "a weak worm"; and though Christ is the mighty God, and is also the Son of Man whom God made strong for himself, yet mere was a weakness in his human nature and he was crucified through it, ( 2 Corinthians 13:4 ) ; and it has been observed by some, that the word (telwt) here used signifies the scarlet worm, or the worm that is in the grain or berry with which scarlet is dyed; and like, is scarlet worm did our Lord look, when by way of mockery be was clothed with a scarlet robe; and especially when he appeared in his dyed garments, and was red in his apparel, as one that treadeth in the wine fat; when his body was covered with blood when he hung upon the cross, which was shed to make crimson and scarlet sins as white as wool. When Christ says he was "no man", his meaning is, not that he was not truly and really man, for he assumed a true body and a reasonable soul; he partook of the same flesh and blood with his children, and was in all things made like unto his brethren, excepting sin; but that he was a man of no figure, he bore no office, and had no title of honour; he was not a Rabbi, nor a member of the Jewish sanhedrim; he had no share of government, either in the civil or ecclesiastic state; he was a carpenter's son, and a carpenter; nor was he treated as a man, but in the most inhuman manner; he was despised and rejected of men, he was called a madman, and said to have a devil;
a reproach of men;
he was reproached by men, as if he had been the worst of men; the reproaches of God and of his people all fell on him, insomuch that his heart was broken with them; see ( Psalms 69:7-12 Psalms 69:19 Psalms 69:20 ) ; and it was reckoned a reproach to men to be seen in his company, or to be thought to belong to him, and be a disciple of his; hence some, who believed he was the Messiah, yet would not confess him, because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God, ( John 12:42 John 12:43 ) ;
and despised of the people;
rejected with contempt as the Messiah, refused with scorn as the stone of Israel, disallowed of men, and set at nought by them; by "the people" are meant the people of the Jews, his own people and nation; which contempt of him they signified both by gestures and words, as in the following verses.
(When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. F24 What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding his precious blood that he might "bring many sons unto glory" (( Hebrews 2:10 ) )! He died for us, that we might live through him! ( Psalms 22:6 ) describes such a worm and gives us this picture of Christ. (cf. ( Isaiah 1:18 ) ) Editor.)
F24 Dr. Henry Morris, "Biblical Basis for Modern Science", p. 73. Baker Book House, 1985.