Psalms 22:21

21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.

Psalms 22:21 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 22:21

Save me from the lion's mouth
Either the devil, who is as a roaring lion, whom Christ overcame both in the garden and on the cross, and destroyed him and his works; or all his wicked enemies, especially the most powerful of them, who were in greatest authority, as the chief priests and elders; so rulers and civil magistrates, who are cruel and unmerciful, are compared to lions, ( Proverbs 28:15 ) ( 2 Timothy 4:17 ) ;

for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns;
some read this as a prayer like the former, "hear thou me" F12 that is, deliver me; but according to our version it expresses what God had done, that he had heard him and saved him; and is used as a reason or argument with him that he would regard also his other petitions: or it may have respect to what follows, that since God had heard him, and delivered him out of the hands of his most powerful enemies, therefore he would declare his name and praise him; for the unicorn being a very strong creature, and its strength lying much in its horn, with which it pushes and does mischief; see ( Numbers 23:22 ) ( Job 39:9-12 ) ( Deuteronomy 33:17 ) . Christ's strong and potent enemies are intended here; such as Satan and his principalities and powers, the sanhedrim of the Jews, Herod, Pontius Pilate, and others, from whose power he was freed when raised from the dead. According to Pliny F13, the monoceros, or unicorn, is the fiercest of wild beasts; in its body like a horse, it has the head of an hart and feet of an elephant, the tail of a bear, makes a great bellowing; has one black horn rising up in the middle of the forehead, of two cubits long; it is denied that it was ever taken alive, which agrees with ( Job 39:9 Job 39:10 ) ; (See Gill on Job 39:9) and (See Gill on Job 39:10).


F12 (yntyne) "exaudi me", Muis, Gejerus, Michaelis.
F13 Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 21.

Psalms 22:21 In-Context

19 But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!
20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
22 I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

Footnotes 1

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.