Psalm 22 Commentary

Psalm 22 Commentary Bible Study

Psalm 22 Commentary Bible Study
Psalm 22 Commentary

Christian commentary on Psalm 22 differs from the Jewish commentary. While the Jewish commentary tries to explain the meaning of Psalm 22 as pertaining only to David, the sufferings described clearly exceed what David suffered during his life. For example, David's hands and feet were never "pierced" (Psalm 22:16), and nobody "cast lots" (Psalm 22:18) for David's clothes. A commentary that takes into consideration the entire Bible, however, reveals Psalm 22 to contain a detailed prophecy of how Jesus dies on the cross to pay the death penalty due for our sins (see John 3:16), including those highlighted below and explained further below (also see Isaiah 53 commentary).

PSALM 22:1-31   1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? 2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in You; they trusted, and You delivered them. 5 They cried to You, and were delivered; they trusted in You, and were not ashamed. 6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people. 7 All those who see Me ridicule Me; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” 9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb; you made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts. 10 I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother’s womb You have been My God. 11 Be not far from Me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have surrounded Me; strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. 13 They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it has melted within Me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded Me; the congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; 17 I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. 18 They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots. 19 But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me! 20 Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. 21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth and from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me. 22 I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. 23 You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He heard. 25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him. 26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! 27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. 28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s, and He rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and worship; all those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep himself alive. 30 A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation, 31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this."

When were Jesus' hands and feet "pierced" (Psalm 22:16)?
When He was nailed to the cross (see Crucify Him).

When were Jesus' bones "out of joint" (Psalm 22:14)?
When the Roman cross was raised vertical, gravity pulled Jesus' body downward and dislocated his shoulders out of joint (see Broken Legs).

Who divided Jesus' "garments" and "cast lots" for them (Psalm 22:18)?
The Roman soldiers who carried out the crucifixion: Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be...” (John 19:23-24 - see King of the Jews)

What "congregation of the wicked" (Psalm 22:16) enclosed Jesus?
The "chief priests ... scribes and elders" (Matthew 27:41) of Israel who stood around Jesus' cross after having manipulated Pilate to order His crucifixion (see Praetorium).

Who said, “He trusted in the Lord, ... let Him deliver Him” (Psalm 22:8)?
They did: "He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him ..." (Matthew 27:43)

When did Jesus' "tongue cling..." to His "jaw..." (Psalm 22:15)?
Just before He said on the cross, “I thirst!” (John 19:28, see Father, Forgive Them)

When did Jesus cry out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Psalm 22:1)?
Just before dying on the cross: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46)

What is meant by "I can count all my bones" (Psalm 22:17)?
Because the Roman soldiers did not break Jesus' legs as they had intended (see Broken Legs), Jesus' bone count remained the same before and after His crucifixion.

When was Jesus "poured out like water" (Psalm 22:14)?
When one of the Roman soldiers speared Jesus' dead body on the cross to confirm that He indeed had died: But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. (John 19:34)