Psalm 22:12

12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.

Read Psalm 22:12 Using Other Translations

Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!

What does Psalm 22:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Psalms 22:12

Many bulls have compassed me
By whom are meant the chief priests, elders, Scribes, and Pharisees, among the Jews, and Herod and Pontius Pilate among the Gentiles, comparable to bulls for their fierceness, rage, and fury against Christ, ( Psalms 2:1 Psalms 2:2 ) ; and for their pushing at him with their horns of power and authority, and for their trampling him under their feet, his person and offices; these compassed him about at his apprehension, arraignment, trial, and condemnation; and there were many of them to one child, Jesus:

strong [bulls] of Bashan have beset me round;
Bashan was a very fruitful country, in which cattle of various sorts, and bulls among the rest, were fed and fattened; see ( Deuteronomy 32:14 ) ( Ezekiel 39:18 ) ; bulls are noted for their strength in other writers F1. Hence great men, who abounded in riches and power, and used them to the oppression of the poor, are compared to the kine of Bashan, ( Amos 4:1 ) ; and a very fit name this was for the kings and princes of the earth; for Caiaphas, Annas, and the chief priests, that lived upon the fat of the land, who beset Christ around, and employed all their power and policy to take him and bring him to death; nor is it unusual with Heathen writers F2 to compare great personages to bulls.


F1 "Fortes tauri", Virgil. Georgic. l. 1. v. 65. Ovid. Metamorph. l. 9. Fab. 1.
F2 Homer. Iliad. 2. v. 48. Horat. Satyr. l. 1. Satyr. 3. v. 110.
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