Psalms 22

A Cry of Anguish and a Song of Praise.

1 1My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? 2Far from my deliverance are the words of my 3groaning.
2 O my God, I 4cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest.
3 Yet 5You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon 6the praises of Israel.
4 In You our fathers 7trusted; They trusted and You 8delivered them.
5 To You they cried out and were delivered; 9In You they trusted and were not disappointed.
6 But I am a 10worm and not a man, A 11reproach of men and 12despised by the people.
7 All who see me 13sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they 14wag the head, saying,
8 "Commit yourself to the LORD; 15let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him."
9 Yet You are He who 16brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts.
10 Upon You I was cast 17from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb.
11 18Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is 19none to help.
12 Many 20bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of 21Bashan have encircled me.
13 They 22open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring 23lion.
14 I am 24poured out like water, And all my 25bones are out of joint; My 26heart is like wax; It is melted within me.
15 My 27strength is dried up like a potsherd, And 28my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You 29lay me in the dust of death.
16 For 30dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They 31pierced my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones. 32They look, they stare at me;
18 They 33divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O LORD, 34be not far off; O You my help, 35hasten to my assistance.
20 Deliver my soul from 36the sword, My 37only life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the 38lion's mouth; From the horns of the 39wild oxen You 40answer me.
22 I will 41tell of Your name to my brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 42You who fear the LORD, praise Him; All you descendants of Jacob, 43glorify Him, And 44stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.
24 For He has 45not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He 46hidden His face from him; But 47when he cried to Him for help, He heard.
25 From You comes 48my praise in the great assembly; I shall 49pay my vows before those who fear Him.
26 The afflicted will eat and 50be satisfied; Those who seek Him will 51praise the LORD. Let your 52heart live forever!
27 All the 53ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the 54families of the nations will worship before You.
28 For the 55kingdom is the LORD'S And He 56rules over the nations.
29 All the 57prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who 58go down to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who 59cannot keep his soul alive.
30 60Posterity will serve Him; It will be told of the Lord to 61the coming generation.
31 They will come and 62will declare His righteousness To a people 63who will be born, that He has performed it.

Images for Psalms 22

Psalms 22 Commentary

Chapter 22

Complaints of discouragement. (1-10) With prayer for deliverance. (11-21) Praises for mercies and redemption. (22-31)

Verses 1-10 The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of God's withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God, pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual desertions are the saints' sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" is the language of a heart binding up its happiness in God's favour. This must be applied to Christ. In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soul before God when he was upon the cross, ( Matthew 27:46 ) . Being truly man, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through such great sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declared the holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpest sufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which he would be continually praised by his Israel, more than for all other deliverances they received. Never any that hoped in thee, were made ashamed of their hope; never any that sought thee, sought thee in vain. Here is a complaint of the contempt and reproach of men. The Saviour here spoke of the abject state to which he was reduced. The history of Christ's sufferings, and of his birth, explains this prophecy.

Verses 11-21 In these verses we have Christ suffering, and Christ praying; by which we are directed to look for crosses, and to look up to God under them. The very manner of Christ's death is described, though not in use among the Jews. They pierced his hands and his feet, which were nailed to the accursed tree, and his whole body was left so to hang as to suffer the most severe pain and torture. His natural force failed, being wasted by the fire of Divine wrath preying upon his spirits. Who then can stand before God's anger? or who knows the power of it? The life of the sinner was forfeited, and the life of the Sacrifice must be the ransom for it. Our Lord Jesus was stripped, when he was crucified, that he might clothe us with the robe of his righteousness. Thus it was written, therefore thus it behoved Christ to suffer. Let all this confirm our faith in him as the true Messiah, and excite our love to him as the best of friends, who loved us, and suffered all this for us. Christ in his agony prayed, prayed earnestly, prayed that the cup might pass from him. When we cannot rejoice in God as our song, yet let us stay ourselves upon him as our strength; and take the comfort of spiritual supports, when we cannot have spiritual delights. He prays to be delivered from the Divine wrath. He that has delivered, doth deliver, and will do so. We should think upon the sufferings and resurrection of Christ, till we feel in our souls the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.

Verses 22-31 The Saviour now speaks as risen from the dead. The first words of the complaint were used by Christ himself upon the cross; the first words of the triumph are expressly applied to him, ( Hebrews 2:12 ) . All our praises must refer to the work of redemption. The suffering of the Redeemer was graciously accepted as a full satisfaction for sin. Though it was offered for sinful men, the Father did not despise or abhor it for our sakes. This ought to be the matter of our thanksgiving. All humble, gracious souls should have a full satisfaction and happiness in him. Those that hunger and thirst after righteousness in Christ, shall not labour for that which satisfies not. Those that are much in praying, will be much in thanksgiving. Those that turn to God, will make conscience of worshipping before him. Let every tongue confess that he is Lord. High and low, rich and poor, bond and free, meet in Christ. Seeing we cannot keep alive our own souls, it is our wisdom, by obedient faith, to commit our souls to Christ, who is able to save and keep them alive for ever. A seed shall serve him. God will have a church in the world to the end of time. They shall be accounted to him for a generation; he will be the same to them that he was to those who went before them. His righteousness, and not any of their own, they shall declare to be the foundation of all their hopes, and the fountain of all their joys. Redemption by Christ is the Lord's own doing. Here we see the free love and compassion of God the Father, and of our Lord Jesus Christ, for us wretched sinners, as the source of all grace and consolation; the example we are to follow, the treatment as Christians we are to expect, and the conduct under it we are to adopt. Every lesson may here be learned that can profit the humbled soul. Let those who go about to establish their own righteousness inquire, why the beloved Son of God should thus suffer, if their own doings could atone for sin? Let the ungodly professor consider whether the Saviour thus honoured the Divine law, to purchase him the privilege of despising it. Let the careless take warning to flee from the wrath to come, and the trembling rest their hopes upon this merciful Redeemer. Let the tempted and distressed believer cheerfully expect a happy end of every trial.

Cross References 63

  • 1. Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34
  • 2. Psalms 10:1
  • 3. Job 3:24; Psalms 6:6; Psalms 32:3; Psalms 38:8
  • 4. Psalms 42:3; Psalms 88:1
  • 5. Psalms 99:9
  • 6. Deuteronomy 10:21; Psalms 148:14
  • 7. Psalms 78:53
  • 8. Psalms 107:6
  • 9. Isaiah 49:23
  • 10. Job 25:6; Isaiah 41:14
  • 11. Psalms 31:11
  • 12. Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 53:3
  • 13. Psalms 79:4; Isaiah 53:3; Luke 23:35
  • 14. Matthew 27:39; Mark 15:29
  • 15. Psalms 91:14; Matthew 27:43
  • 16. Psalms 71:5, 6
  • 17. Isaiah 46:3; Isaiah 49:1
  • 18. Psalms 71:12
  • 19. 2 Kings 14:26; Psalms 72:12; Isaiah 63:5
  • 20. Psalms 22:21; Psalms 68:30
  • 21. Deuteronomy 32:14; Amos 4:1
  • 22. Job 16:10; Psalms 35:21; Lamentations 2:16; Lamentations 3:46
  • 23. Psalms 10:9; Psalms 17:12
  • 24. Job 30:16
  • 25. Psalms 31:10; Daniel 5:6
  • 26. Joshua 7:5; Job 23:16; Psalms 73:26; Nahum 2:10
  • 27. Psalms 38:10
  • 28. John 19:28
  • 29. Psalms 104:29
  • 30. Psalms 59:6, 7
  • 31. Matthew 27:35; John 20:25
  • 32. Luke 23:27, 35
  • 33. Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:24
  • 34. Psalms 22:11
  • 35. Psalms 70:5
  • 36. Psalms 37:14
  • 37. Psalms 35:17
  • 38. Psalms 22:13
  • 39. Psalms 22:12
  • 40. Psalms 34:4; Psalms 118:5; Psalms 120:1
  • 41. Psalms 40:10; Hebrews 2:12
  • 42. Psalms 135:19, 20
  • 43. Psalms 86:12
  • 44. Psalms 33:8
  • 45. Psalms 69:33
  • 46. Psalms 27:9; Psalms 69:17; Psalms 102:2
  • 47. Psalms 31:22; Hebrews 5:7
  • 48. Psalms 35:18; Psalms 40:9, 10
  • 49. Psalms 61:8; Ecclesiastes 5:4
  • 50. Psalms 107:9
  • 51. Psalms 40:16
  • 52. Psalms 69:32
  • 53. Psalms 2:8; Psalms 82:8
  • 54. Psalms 86:9
  • 55. Psalms 47:7; Obadiah 21; Zechariah 14:9; Matthew 6:13
  • 56. Psalms 47:8
  • 57. Psalms 17:10; Psalms 45:12; Habakkuk 1:16
  • 58. Psalms 28:1; Isaiah 26:19
  • 59. Psalms 89:48
  • 60. Psalms 102:28
  • 61. Psalms 102:18
  • 62. Psalms 40:9; Psalms 71:18
  • 63. Psalms 78:6

Footnotes 23

Chapter Summary

To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, a Psalm of David. The only thing observable in the title of this psalm is the sense of the words "Aijeleth Shahar," left untranslated; which, according to some of the Jewish {g} interpreters, is the name of a musical instrument; to which our version inclines; and a learned Jew {h} says, it is the instrument which the mourning women used on account of distress which was sudden, not known till it came, as a man does not think of the morning till he sees it. "Aijeleth" with him has the signification of mourning, as "Eli" in Joel 1:8; and "Shahar," as in Isaiah 47:11; so tyla and tyyla are used in the Misnah {i} for a mourning woman; and with others it is the beginning of a song to the tune of which the psalm was set {k} but I rather think the words express the subject matter of the psalm, and that they may be rendered, concerning "Aijeleth Shahar"; which signify, either according to the Chaldee paraphrase, "the daily morning sacrifice"; or, as some Jewish writers {l} observe, the "morning star"; or, according to the Septuagint, "the morning help" {m}; or rather "the morning hind"; or "hind of the morning": but who should be designed hereby is the question. The Jews would have any rather than the Messiah; some say Esther {n}, who so seasonably and readily appeared for the Jews in distress, and was the means of their deliverance; but there is not one word in the psalm that agrees with her; and there are some things which were manifestly spoken of a man, and not a woman, Psalm 22:8; others say David {o}, when he fled from Saul, or, as others, from Absalom: but the disjointing the bones of this person, the piercing his hands and feet, parting his garments, and casting lots on his vesture, mentioned in Psalm 22:14; were never fulfilled in him. Others {p} would have the congregation of Israel in captivity intended; but it is plain that a single person is spoken of throughout; and he is manifestly distinguished from others, from his brethren, from the congregation, from the seed of Jacob and Israel, Psalm 22:22; and, indeed, no other than the Messiah can be meant: and of this there ought to be no doubt with Christians, when Psalm 22:1 is compared with Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:8 with Matthew 27:43; Psalm 22:18 with Matthew 27:35; Psalm 22:22 with Hebrews 2:12; and the Jews themselves sometimes say, that by "Aijeleth Shahar" is meant the Shechinah {q}, or the divine Majesty; and in what way soever these words are rendered, they agree with Christ: he is the antitype of "the daily morning sacrifice," the Lamb of God, who continually takes away the sin of the world; and very fitly is he so called in the title of a psalm which speaks so much of his sufferings and death, which are a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of his people; he is "the bright and morning star," Revelation 22:16; the dayspring from on high, the sun of righteousness, and light of the world: he had "morning help" in his very infancy, when his life was sought for by Herod; and had early and seasonable help and assistance in the acceptable time, and in the day of salvation, and early in the morning was he raised from the dead, and had glory given him: but as the words are better rendered "the morning hind," this suits with Christ, who is frequently compared to a roe or a young hart, Song of Solomon 2:9; and he may be compared to a "hind" for its lovingness to its mate and young, Proverbs 5:19; the love of Christ to his church and people being very strong and affectionate, and passing knowledge; and also for its loveliness and goodliness, Genesis 49:21; Christ being exceeding amiable and lovely, and fairer than the children of men; likewise for its gentleness and harmlessness, Christ being meek and lowly, holy and harmless; and for its antipathy to serpents, there being an enmity between Christ, the seed of the woman, and the serpent and his seed; for its being hunted by dogs, as Christ was by Herod, by the Scribes and Pharisees, by Judas, and the band of soldiers; see Psalm 22:16; for its being fit for food, Deuteronomy 14:5; and as it is said to be the fitter for being hunted, Christ's flesh being meat indeed, and the more suitable to faith, as being sacrificed for us; and for its long life it is said to have, Christ, though once dead, being alive again, and living for evermore; to which may be added its great swiftness, expressive of the readiness of Christ to comply with his Father's proposals and do his will; to come into this world in the fulness of time, and set about the work he came to do; to deliver up himself into the hands of his enemies, and lay down his life for his people; and of his haste to help them in distress, and visit them with his gracious presence, and to appear a second time to them unto salvation. He may be called the hind of "the morning," looking lovely and beautiful as the morning, and swift and cheerful as the hind when it rises from its rest, and runs its course; or because of his being hunted in the morning of his infancy by Herod; or because it was early in the morning the chief priests consulted to take away his life; and as early also he rose from the dead, when God made his feet like hinds feet, and set him on his high places, Psalm 18:33. The ancient Christian writers generally understood it of Christ wholly. Justin Martyr {r} says, the whole psalm is spoken of Christ; and Tertullian observes {s}, that it contains the whole passion, or all the sufferings of Christ. The late Mons. Fourmont {t}, the elder, professor of the Oriental languages in the university of Paris, has a very singular notion, that this psalm was written by Jeremiah, when he was drawn up from the dungeon, and is a history of his life and sufferings, in which he was a type of Christ.

{g} Jarchi, Kimchi, & Abendana in loc. {h} Leo Mutinens. Shilte Hagibborim, fol. 5. 1. {i} Misn. Celim, c. 15. 6. & 16. 7. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. {k} Aben Ezra in loc. {l} Vide Kimchium & Abendauam in loc. {m} So Menachem in Jarchi, and others in Kimchi & Abendana in loc. {n} R. R. in Jarchi in loc. {o} In Kimchi in loc. {p} Kimchi & Ben Melech in loc. {q} Zohar in Lev. fol. 5. 4. & Imre Binah in ib. {r} Dialog cum Tryphone, p. 325. {s} Adv. Judaeos, c. 10. {t} In hunc Psalm. M. S. penes me, fol. 8. 9.

Psalms 22 Commentaries

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