|<< Psalm 22 >>|
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Eli Eli Lama Asabtani
We have here a plaintive Psalm, whose deep complaints, out of the midst of the most humiliating degradation and most fearful peril, stand in striking contrast to the cheerful tone of Psalm 21:1-13 - starting with a disconsolate cry of anguish, it passes on to a trustful cry for help, and ends in vows of thanksgiving and a vision of world-wide results, which spring from the deliverance of the sufferer. In no Psalm do we trace such an accumulation of the most excruciating outward and inward suffering pressing upon the complainant, in connection the most perfect innocence. In this respect Psalm 69 is its counterpart; but it differs from it in this particular, that there is not a single sound of imprecation mingled with its complaints.
It is David, who here struggles upward out of the gloomiest depth to such a bright height. It is a Davidic Psalm belonging to the time of the persecution by Saul. Ewald brings it down to the time preceding the destruction of Jerusalem, and Bauer to the time of the Exile. Ewald says it is not now possible to trace the poet more exactly. And Maurer closes by saying: illue unum equidem pro certo habeo, fuisse vatem hominem opibus praeditum atque illustrem, qui magna auctoritate valeret non solum apud suos, verum etiam apud barbaros. Hitzig persists in his view, that Jeremiah composed the first portion when cast into prison as an apostate, and the second portion in the court of the prison, when placed under this milder restraint. And according to Olshausen, even here again, the whole is appropriate to the time of the Maccabees. But it seems to us to be confirmed at every point, that David, who was so persecuted by Saul, is the author. The cry of prayer אל־תרחק (Psalm 22:12, Psalm 22:20; Psalm 35:22; Psalm 38:22, borrowed in Psalm 71:12); the name given to the soul, יחידה (Psalm 22:21; Psalm 35:17); the designation of quiet and resignation by דומיה (Psalm 22:3; Psalm 39:3; Psalm 62:2, cf. Psalm 65:2), are all regarded by us, since we do not limit the genuine Davidic Psalms to Psalm 3:1 as Hitzig does, as Davidic idioms. Moreover, there is no lack of points of contact in other respects with genuine old Davidic hymns (cf. Psalm 22:30 with Psalm 28:1, those that go down to the dust, to the grave; then in later Psalms as in Psalm 143:7, in Isaiah and Ezekiel), and more especially those belonging to the time of Saul, as Psalm 69 (cf. Psalm 22:27 with Psalm 69:33) and Psalm 59 (cf. Psalm 22:17 with Psalm 59:15). To the peculiar characteristics of the Psalms of this period belong the figures taken from animals, which are heaped up in the Psalm before us. The fact that Psalm 22 is an ancient Davidic original is also confirmed by the parallel passages in the later literature of the Shı̂r (Psalm 71:5. taken from Psalm 22:10.; Psalm 102:18. in imitation Psalm 22:25, Psalm 22:31.), of the Chokma (Proverbs 16:3, גּל אל־ה taken from Psalm 22:9; Psalm 37:5), and of prophecy (Isaiah, Isaiah 49:1, Isaiah 53:1; Jeremiah, in Lamentations 4:4; cf. Psalm 22:15, and many other similar instances). In spite of these echoes in the later literature there are still some expressions that remain unique in the Psalm and are not found elsewhere, as the hapaxlegomena אילוּת and ענוּת. Thus, then, we entertain no doubts respecting the truth of the לדוד. David speaks in this Psalm, - he and not any other, and that out of his own inmost being. In accordance with the nature of lyric poetry, the Psalm has grown up on the soil of his individual life and his individual sensibilities.
There is also in reality in the history of David, when persecuted by Saul, a situation which may have given occasion to the lifelike picture drawn in this Psalm, viz., 1 Samuel 23:25. The detailed circumstances of the distress at that time are not known to us, but they certainly did not coincide with the rare and terrible sufferings depicted in this Psalm in such a manner that these can be regarded as an historically faithful and literally exact copy of those circumstances; cf. on the other hand Psalm 17:1-15 which was composed at the same period. To just as slight a degree have the prospects, which he connects in this Psalm with his deliverance, been realised in David's own life. On the other hand, the first portion exactly coincides with the sufferings of Jesus Christ, and the second with the results that have sprung from His resurrection. It is the agonising situation of the Crucified One which is presented before our eyes in Psalm 22:15 with such artistic faithfulness: the spreading out of the limbs of the naked body, the torturing pain in hands and feet, and the burning thirst which the Redeemer, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, announced in the cry διψῶ, John 19:28. Those who blaspheme and those who shake their head at Him passed by His cross, Matthew 27:39, just as Psalm 22:8 says; scoffers cried out to Him: let the God in whom He trusts help Him, Matthew 27:43, just as Psalm 22:9 says; His garments were divided and lots were cast for His coat, John 19:23., in order that Psalm 22:19 of our Psalm might be fulfilled. The fourth of the seven sayings of the dying One, Ἠελί, Ἠελί κ. τ. λ., Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34, is the first word of our Psalm and the appropriation of the whole. And the Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrews 2:11., cites Psalm 22:23 as the words of Christ, to show that He is not ashamed to call them brethren, whose sanctifier God has appointed Him to be, just as the risen Redeemer actually has done, Matthew 28:10; John 20:17. This has by no means exhausted the list of mutual relationships. The Psalm so vividly sets before us not merely the sufferings of the Crucified One, but also the salvation of the world arising out of His resurrection and its sacramental efficacy, that it seems more like history than prophecy, ut non tam prophetia, quam historia videatur (Cassiodorus). Accordingly the ancient Church regarded Christ, not David, as the speaker in this Psalm; and condemned Theodore of Mopsuestia who expounded it as contemporary history. Bakius expresses the meaning of the older Lutheran expositors when he says: asserimus, hunc Psalmum ad literam primo, proprie et absque ulla allegoria, tropologia et ἀναγωῇ integrum et per omnia de solo Christo exponendum esse. Even the synagogue, so far as it recognises a suffering Messiah, hears Him speak here; and takes the "hind of the morning" as a name of the Shechı̂na and as a symbol of the dawning redemption.
To ourselves, who regard the whole Psalm as the words of David, it does not thereby lose anything whatever of its prophetic character. It is a typical Psalm. The same God who communicates His thoughts of redemption to the mind of men, and there causes them to develop into the word of prophetic announcement, has also moulded the history itself into a prefiguring representation of the future deliverance; and the evidence for the truth of Christianity which is derived from this factual prophecy (Thatweissagung) is as grand as that derived from the verbal prediction (Wortweissagung). That David, the anointed of Samuel, before he ascended the throne, had to traverse a path of suffering which resembles the suffering path of Jesus, the Son of David, baptized of John, and that this typical suffering of David is embodied for us in the Psalms as in the images reflected from a mirror, is an arrangement of divine power, mercy, and wisdom. But Psalm 22 is not merely a typical Psalm. For in the very nature of the type is involved the distance between it and the antitype. In Psalm 22, however, David descends, with his complaint, into a depth that lies beyond the depth of his affliction, and rises, with his hopes, to a height that lies far beyond the height of the reward of his affliction. In other words: the rhetorical figure hyperbole (Arab. mubâlgt, i.e., depiction, with colours thickly laid on), without which, in the eyes of the Semite, poetic diction would be flat and faded, is here made use of by the Spirit of God. By this Spirit the hyperbolic element is changed into the prophetic. This elevation of the typical into the prophetic is also capable of explanation on psychological grounds. Since David has been anointed with the oil of royal consecration, and at the same time with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the kingship of promise, he regards himself also as the messiah of God, towards whom the promises point; and by virtue of this view of himself, in the light of the highest calling in connection with the redemptive history, the historical reality of his own experiences becomes idealised to him, and thereby both what he experiences and what he hopes for acquire a depth and height of background which stretches out into the history of the final and true Christ of God. We do not by this maintain any overflowing of his own consciousness to that of the future Christ, an opinion which has been shown by Hengstenberg, Tholuck and Kurtz to be psychologically impossible. But what we say is, that looking upon himself as the Christ of God, - to express it in the light of the historical fulfilment, - he looks upon himself in Jesus Christ. He does not distinguish himself from the Future One, but in himself he sees the Future One, whose image does not free itself from him till afterwards, and whose history will coincide with all that is excessive in his own utterances. For as God the Father moulds the history of Jesus Christ in accordance with His own counsel, so His Spirit moulds even the utterances of David concerning himself the type of the Future One, with a view to that history. Through this Spirit, who is the Spirit of God and of the future Christ at the same time, David's typical history, as he describes it in the Psalms and more especially in this Psalm, acquires that ideal depth of tone, brilliancy, and power, by virtue of which it (the history) reaches far beyond its typical facts, penetrates to its very root in the divine counsels, and grows to be the word of prophecy: so that, to a certain extent, it may rightly be said that Christ here speaks through David, insofar as the Spirit of Christ speaks through him, and makes the typical suffering of His ancestor the medium for the representation of His own future sufferings. Without recognising this incontestable relation of the matter Psalm 22 cannot be understood nor can we fully enter into its sentiments.
The inscription runs: To the precentor, upon (after) the hind of the morning's dawn, a Psalm of David. Luther, with reference to the fact that Jesus was taken in the night and brought before the Sanhedrim, renders it "of the hind, that is early chased," for
Patris Sapientia, Veritas divina,
Deus homo captus est hor matutin.
This interpretation is certainly a well-devised improvement of the ὑπὲρ τῆς ἀντιλήπσεως τῆς ἑωθινῆς of the lxx (Vulg. pro susceptione matutina), which is based upon a confounding of אילת with אילות (Psalm 22:20), and is thus explained by Theodoret: ἀντίληψις ἑωθινὴ ἡ τοῦ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν ἐπιφάνεια. Even the Midrash recalls Sol 2:8, and the Targum the lamb of the morning sacrifice, which was offered as soon as the watchman on the pinnacle of the Temple cried: ברק ברקאי (the first rays of the morning burst forth). איּלת השּׁחר is in fact, according to traditional definition, the early light preceding the dawn of the morning, whose first rays are likened to the horns of a hind.
(Note: There is a determination of the time to this effect, which is found both in the Jerusalem and in the Babylonian Talmud "from the hind of the morning's dawn till the east is lighted up." In Jer. Berachoth, ad init., it is explained: ומנהרין לעלמא אילת השחר כמין תרתי קרני דנהורא סלקין ממדינחא, "like two horns of light, rising from the east and filling the world with light.")
But natural as it may be to assign to the inscription a symbolical meaning in the case of this Psalm, it certainly forms no exception to the technical meaning, in connection with the music, of the other inscriptions. And Melissus (1572) has explained it correctly "concerning the melody of a common song, whose commencement was Ajleth Hashhar, that is, The hind of the morning's dawn." And it may be that the choice of the melody bearing this name was designed to have reference to the glory which bursts forth in the night of affliction.
According to the course of the thoughts the Psalm falls into three divisions, Psalm 22:2, Psalm 22:13, Psalm 22:23, which are of symmetrical compass, consisting of 21, 24, and 21 lines. Whether the poet has laid out a more complete strophic arrangement within these three groups or not, must remain undecided. But the seven long closing lines are detached from the third group and stand to the column of the whole, in the relation of its base.
1‹‹To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.›› My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
(Heb.: 22:2-3) In the first division, Psalm 22:2, the disconsolate cry of anguish, beginning here in Psalm 22:2 with the lamentation over prolonged desertion by God, struggles through to an incipient, trustfully inclined prayer. The question beginning with למּה (instead of למּה before the guttural, and perhaps to make the exclamation more piercing, vid., on Psalm 6:5; Psalm 10:1) is not an expression of impatience and despair, but of alienation and yearning. The sufferer feels himself rejected of God; the feeling of divine wrath has completely enshrouded him; and still he knows himself to be joined to God in fear and love; his present condition belies the real nature of his relationship to God; and it is just this contradiction that urges him to the plaintive question, which comes up from the lowest depths: Why hast Thou forsaken me? But in spite of this feeling of desertion by God, the bond of love is not torn asunder; the sufferer calls God אלי (my God), and urged on by the longing desire that God again would grant him to feel this love, he calls Him, אלי אלי. That complaining question: why hast Thou forsaken me? is not without example even elsewhere in Psalm 88:15, cf. Isaiah 49:14. The forsakenness of the Crucified One, however, is unique; and may not be judged by the standard of David or of any other sufferers who thus complain when passing through trial. That which is common to all is here, as there, this, viz., that behind the wrath that is felt, is hidden the love of God, which faith holds fast; and that he who thus complains even on account of it, is, considered in itself, not a subject of wrath, because in the midst of the feeling of wrath he keeps up his communion with God. The Crucified One is to His latest breath the Holy One of God; and the reconciliation for which He now offers himself is God's own eternal purpose of mercy, which is now being realised in the fulness of times. But inasmuch as He places himself under the judgment of God with the sin of His people and of the whole human race, He cannot be spared from experiencing God's wrath against sinful humanity as though He were himself guilty. And out of the infinite depth of this experience of wrath, which in His case rests on no mere appearance, but the sternest reality,
(Note: Eusebius observes on Psalm 22:2 of this Psalm, δικαιοσύνης ὑπάρχων πηγὴ τὴν ἡμετέραν ἁμαρτίαν ἀνέλαβε καὶ εὐλογίας ὢν πέλαγος τὴν ἐπικειμένην ἡμῖν ἐδέξατο κατάραν, and: τὴν ὡρισμένην ἡμῖν παιδείαν ὑπῆλθεν ἑκὼν παιδεία γὰρ ειρήνης ἡμῶν ἐπ ̓ αὐτὸν, ᾗ φησὶν ὁ προφήτης.)
comes the cry of His complaint which penetrates the wrath and reaches to God's love, ἠλὶ ἠλὶ λαμὰ σαβαχθανί, which the evangelists, omitting the additional πρόσχες μοι
(Note: Vid., Jerome's Ep. ad Pammachium de optimo genere interpretandi, where he cries out to his critics, sticklers for tradition, Reddant rationem, cur septuaginta translatores interposuerunt "respice in me!")
of the lxx, render: Θεέ μου, θεέ μου, ἵνα τί με ἐγκατέλιπες. He does not say עזתּני, but שׁבקתּני, which is the Targum word for the former. He says it in Aramaic, not in order that all may understand it-for such a consideration was far from His mind at such a time-but because the Aramaic was His mother tongue, for the same reason that He called God אבּא doG dellac in prayer. His desertion by God, as Psalm 22:2 says, consists in God's help and His cry for help being far asunder. שׁאגה, prop. of the roar of the lion (Aq. βρύχημα), is the loud cry extorted by the greatest agony, Psalm 38:9; in this instance, however, as דּברי shows, it is not an inarticulate cry, but a cry bearing aloft to God the words of prayer. רחוק is not to be taken as an apposition of the subject of עזבתני: far from my help, (from) the words of my crying (Riehm); for דברי שׁאגתי would then also, on its part, in connection with the non-repetition of the מן, be in apposition to מישׁועתי. But to this it is not adapted on account of its heterogeneousness; hence Hitzig seeks to get over the difficulty by the conjecture משּׁועתי ("from my cry, from the words of my groaning"). Nor can it be explained, with Olshausen and Hupfeld, by adopting Aben-Ezra's interpretation, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me, far from my help? are the words of my crying." This violates the structure of the verse, the rhythm, and the custom of the language, and gives to the Psalm a flat and unlyrical commencement. Thus, therefore, רחוק in the primary form, as in Psalm 119:155, according to Ges. 146, 4, will by the predicate to דברי and placed before it: far from my salvation, i.e., far from my being rescued, are the words of my cry; there is a great gulf between the two, inasmuch as God does not answer him though he cries unceasingly.
In Psalm 22:3 the reverential name of God אלחי takes the place of אלי the name that expresses His might; it is likewise vocative and accordingly marked with Rebia magnum. It is not an accusative of the object after Psalm 18:4 (Hitzig), in which case the construction would be continued with ולא יענה. That it is, however, God to whom he calls is implied both by the direct address אלהי, and by ולא תענה, since he from whom one expects an answer is most manifestly the person addressed. His uninterrupted crying remains unanswered, and unappeased. The clause ולא־דמיּה לּי is parallel to ולא תענה, and therefore does not mean: without allowing me any repose (Jeremiah 14:17; Lamentations 3:49), but: without any rest being granted to me, without my complaint being appeased or stilled. From the sixth to the ninth hour the earth was shrouded in darkness. About the ninth hour Jesus cried, after a long and more silent struggle, ἠλί, ἠλί. The ἀνεβόησεν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ, Matthew 27:46, and also the κραυγὴ ἰσχυρά of Hebr. Psalm 5:7, which does not refer exclusively to the scene in Gethsemane, calls to mind the שׁאגתי of Psalm 22:2. When His passion reached its climax, days and nights of the like wrestling had preceded it, and what then becomes audible was only an outburst of the second David's conflict of prayer, which grows hotter as it draws near to the final issue.
2O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
3But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
(Heb.: 22:4-6) The sufferer reminds Jahve of the contradiction between the long season of helplessness and His readiness to help so frequently and so promptly attested. ואתּה opens an adverbial clause of the counterargument: although Thou art...Jahve is קדושׁ, absolutely pure, lit., separated (root קד, Arab. qd, to cut, part, just as ṭahur, the synonym of ḳadusa, as the intransitive of ṭahara equals ab‛ada, to remove to a distance, and בּר pure, clean, radically distinct from p-rus, goes back to בּרר to sever), viz., from that which is worldly and common, in one word: holy. Jahve is holy, and has shown Himself such as the תּהלּות of Israel solemnly affirm, upon which or among which He sits enthroned. תהלות are the songs of praise offered to God on account of His attributes and deeds, which are worthy of praise (these are even called תהלות in Psalm 78:4; Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 63:7), and in fact presented in His sanctuary (Isaiah 64:10). The combination יושׁב תּהלּות (with the accusative of the verbs of dwelling and tarrying) is like יושׁב כּרבים, Psalm 99:1; Psalm 80:2. The songs of praise, which resounded in Israel as the memorials of His deeds of deliverance, are like the wings of the cherubim, upon which His presence hovered in Israel. In Psalm 22:5, the praying one brings to remembrance this graciously glorious self-attestation of God, who as the Holy One always, from the earliest times, acknowledged those who fear Him in opposition to their persecutors and justified their confidence in Himself. In Psalm 22:5 trust and rescue are put in the connection of cause and effect; in Psalm 22:6 in reciprocal relation. פּלּט and מלּט are only distinguished by the harder and softer sibilants, cf. Psalm 17:13 with Psalm 116:4. It need not seem strange that such thoughts were at work in the soul of the Crucified One, since His divine-human consciousness was, on its human side, thoroughly Israelitish; and the God of Israel is also the God of salvation; redemption is that which He himself determined, why, then, should He not speedily deliver the Redeemer?
4Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
(Heb.: 22:7-9)The sufferer complains of the greatness of his reproach, in order to move Jahve, who is Himself involved therein, to send him speedy succour. Notwithstanding his cry for help, he is in the deepest affliction without rescue. Every word of Psalm 22:7 is echoed in the second part of the Book of Isaiah. There, as here, Israel is called a worm, Isaiah 41:14; there all these traits of suffering are found in the picture of the Servant of God, Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 53:3, cf. Isaiah 50:6, and especially Isaiah 52:14 "so marred was His appearance, that He no longer looked like a man." תּולעת is more particularly the kermes, or cochineal (vermiculus, whence color vermiculi, vermeil, vermiglio); but the point of comparison in the present instance is not the blood-red appearance, but the suffering so utterly defenceless and even ignominious. עם is gen. subj., like גּוי, Isaiah 49:7. Jerome well renders the ἐξουθένωμα λαοῦ of the lxx by abjectio (Tertullian: nullificamen) plebis, not populi. The ἐξεμυκτήρισάν με, by which the lxx translates ילעיגו לי, is used by Luke, Luke 23:35, cf. Luke 16:14, in the history of the Passion; fulfilment and prediction so exactly coincide, that no more adequate expressions can be found in writing the gospel history than those presented by prophecy. In הפטיר בּשׂפה, what appears in other instances as the object of the action (to open the mouth wide, diducere labia), is regarded as the means of its execution; so that the verbal notion being rendered complete has its object in itself: to make an opening with the mouth, cf. פּער בּפה, Job 16:10, נתן בּקול Psalm 68:34; Ges. 138, 1, rem. 3. The shaking of the head is, as in Psalm 109:25, cf. Psalm 44:15; Psalm 64:9, a gesture of surprise and astonishment at something unexpected and strange, not a προσνεύειν approving the injury of another, although נוּע, נוּד, נוּט, νεύ-ω, nu-t-o, nic-to, neigen, nicken, all form one family of roots. In Psalm 22:9 the words of the mockers follow without לאמר. גּל is not the 3 praet. (lxx, cf. Matthew 27:43) like אור, בּושׁ; it is not only in Piel (Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 20:12, where גּלּיתי equals גּלּלתּי, Ew. 121, a) that it is transitive, but even in Kal; nor is it inf. absol. in the sense of the imperative (Hitz., Bttch.), although this infinitive form is found, but always only as an inf. intens. (Numbers 23:25; Ruth 2:16, cf. Isaiah 24:19); but, in accordance with the parallels Psalm 37:5 (where it is written גּול), Proverbs 16:3, cf. Psalm 55:23; 1 Peter 5:7, it is imperat.: roll, viz., thy doing and thy suffering to Jahve, i.e., commit it to Him. The mockers call out this גּל to the sufferer, and the rest they say of him with malicious looks askance. כּי in the mouth of the foes is not confirmatory as in Psalm 18:20, but a conditional ἐάν (in case, provided that).
7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
(Heb.: 22:10-12)The sufferer pleads that God should respond to his trust in Him, on the ground that this trust is made an object of mockery. With כּי he establishes the reality of the loving relationship in which he stands to God, at which his foes mock. The intermediate thought, which is not expressed, "and so it really is," is confirmed; and thus כי comes to have an affirmative signification. The verb גּוּח (גּיח) signifies both intransitive: to break forth (from the womb), Job 38:8, and transitive: to push forward (cf. Arab. jchcha), more especially, the fruit of the womb, Micah 4:10. It might be taken here in the first signification: my breaking forth, equivalent to "the cause of my breaking forth" (Hengstenberg, Baur, and others); but there is no need for this metonymy. גּחי is either part. equivalent to גּחי, my pusher forth, i.e., he who causes me to break forth, or, - since גוח in a causative signification cannot be supported, and participles like בּוס stamping and לוט veiling (Ges. 72, rem. 1) are nowhere found with a suffix, - participle of a verb גּחהּ, to draw forth (Hitz.), which perhaps only takes the place, per metaplasmum, of the Pil. גּחח with the uneuphonic מגחחי (Ewald S. 859, Addenda). Psalm 71 has גוזי (Psalm 71:6) instead of גּחי, just as it has מבטחי (Psalm 71:5) instead of מבטיחי. The Hiph. הבטיח does not merely mean to make secure (Hupf.), but to cause to trust. According to biblical conception, there is even in the new-born child, yea in the child yet unborn and only living in the womb, a glimmering consciousness springing up out of the remotest depths of unconsciousness (Psychol. S. 215; transl. p. 254). Therefore, when the praying one says, that from the womb he has been cast
(Note: The Hoph. has o, not u, perhaps in a more neuter sense, more closely approximating the reflexive (cf. Ezekiel 32:19 with Ezekiel 32:32), rather than a purely passive. Such is apparently the feeling of the language, vid., B. Megilla 13a (and also the explanation in Tosefoth).)
upon Jahve, i.e., directed to go to Him, and to Him alone, with all his wants and care (Psalm 55:23, cf. Psalm 71:6), that from the womb onwards Jahve was his God, there is also more in it than the purely objective idea, that he grew up into such a relationship to God. Twice he mentions his mother. Throughout the Old Testament there is never any mention made of a human father, or begetter, to the Messiah, but always only of His mother, or her who bare Him. And the words of the praying one here also imply that the beginning of his life, as regards its outward circumstances, was amidst poverty, which likewise accords with the picture of Christ as drawn both in the Old and New Testaments. On the ground of his fellowship with God, which extends so far back, goes forth the cry for help (Psalm 22:12), which has been faintly heard through all the preceding verses, but now only comes to direct utterance for the first time. The two כּי are alike. That the necessity is near at hand, i.e., urgent, refers back antithetically to the prayer, that God would not remain afar off; no one doth, nor can help except He alone. Here the first section closes.
10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
11Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
(Heb.: 22:13-14)Looking back upon his relationship to God, which has existed from the earliest times, the sufferer has become somewhat more calm, and is ready, in Psalm 22:13, to describe his outward and inner life, and thus to unburden his heart. Here he calls his enemies פּרים, bullocks, and in fact אבּירי בּשׁן (cf. Psalm 50:13 with Deuteronomy 32:14), strong ones of Bashan, the land rich in luxuriant oak forests and fat pastures (בשׁן equals buthne, which in the Beduin dialect means rich, stoneless meadow-land, vid., Job S. 509f.; tr. ii. pp. 399f.) north of Jabbok extending as far as to the borders of Hermon, the land of Og and afterwards of Manasseh (Numbers 30:1). They are so called on account of their robustness and vigour, which, being acquired and used in opposition to God is brutish rather than human (cf. Amos 4:1). Figures like these drawn from the animal world and applied in an ethical sense are explained by the fact, that the ancients measured the instincts of animals according to the moral rules of human nature; but more deeply by the fact, that according to the indisputable conception of Scripture, since man was made to fall by Satan through the agency of an animal, the animal and Satan are the two dominant powers in Adamic humanity. כּתּר is a climactic synonym of סבב. On Psalm 22:14 compare the echoes in Jeremiah, Lamentations 2:16; Lamentations 3:46. Finally, the foes are all comprehended under the figure of a lion, which, as soon as he sights his prey, begins to roar, Amos 3:4. The Hebrew טרף, discerpere, according to its root, belongs to חרף, carpere. They are instar leonis dilaniaturi et rugientis.
13They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
(Heb.: 22:15-16)Now he described, how, thus encompassed round, he is still just living, but already as it were dead. The being poured out like water reminds us of the ignominious abandonment of the Crucified One to a condition of weakness, in which His life, deprived of its natural support, is in the act of dissolution, and its powers dried up (2 Samuel 14:14); the bones being stretched out, of the forcible stretching out of His body (חתפּרד, from פּרד to separate, cf. Arab. frd, according to its radical signification, which has been preserved in the common Arabic dialect: so to spread out or apart that the thing has no bends or folds,
(Note: Vid., Bocthor, Dict. fran.-arabe, s. v. Etendre and Dployer.)
Greek ἐξαπλοῦν); the heart being melted, recalls His burning anguish, the inflammation of the wounds, and the pressure of blood on the head and heart, the characteristic cause of death by crucifixion. נמס, in pause נמס, is 3 praet.; wax, דּונג, receives its name from its melting (דנג, root דג, τηκ). In Psalm 22:16 the comparison כּחרשׂ has reference to the issue of result (vid., Psalm 18:43): my strength is dried up, so that it is become like a potsherd. חכּי (Saadia) instead of כּחי commends itself, unless, כּח perhaps, like the Talmudic כּיח cidumlaT eht eki, also had the signification "spittle" (as a more dignified word for רק). לשׁון, with the exception perhaps of Proverbs 26:28, is uniformly feminine; here the predicate has the masculine ground-form without respect to the subject. The part. pass. has a tendency generally to be used without reference to gender, under the influence of the construction laid down in Ges. 143, 1, b, according to which לשׁני may be treated as an accusative of the object; מלקוחי, however, is acc. loci (cf. ל Psalm 137:6; Job 29:10; אל Lamentations 4:4; Ezekiel 3:26): my tongue is made to cleave to my jaws, fauces meas. Such is his state in consequence of outward distresses. His enemies, however, would not have power to do all this, if God had not given it to them. Thus it is, so to speak, God Himself who lays him low in death. שׁפת to put anywhere, to lay, with the accompanying idea of firmness and duration, Arab. ṯbât, Isaiah 26:12; the future is used of that which is just taking place. Just in like manner, in Isaiah 53:1-12, the death of the Servant of God is spoken of not merely as happening thus, but as decreed; and not merely as permitted by God, but as being in accordance with the divine will. David is persecuted by Saul, the king of His people, almost to the death; Jesus, however, is delivered over by the Sanhedrim, the authority of His people, to the heathen, under whose hands He actually dies the death of the cross: it is a judicial murder put into execution according to the conditions and circumstances of the age; viewed, however, as to its final cause, it is a gracious dispensation of the holy God, in whose hands all the paths of the world's history run parallel, and who in this instance makes sin subservient to its own expiation.
15My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
(Heb.: 22:17-19)A continuation, referring back to Psalm 22:12, of the complaint of him who is dying and is already as it were dead. In the animal name כּלבים, figuratively descriptive of character, beside shamelessness and meanness, special prominence is given to the propensity for biting and worrying, i.e., for persecuting; hence Symmachus and Theodotion render it θηράται κυνηγέται. In Psalm 22:17 עדת מרעים takes the place of כלבים; and this again is followed by הקּיף in the plur. (to do anything in a circle, to surround by forming a circle round, a climactic synonym, like כּתּר to סבב) either per attractionem (cf. Psalm 140:10; 1 Samuel 2:4), or on account of the collective עדה. Tertullian renders it synagoga maleficorum, Jerome concilium pessimorum. But a faction gathered together for some evil purpose is also called עדה, e.g., עדת קרח. In Psalm 22:17 the meaning of כּארי, instar leonis, is either that, selecting a point of attack, they make the rounds of his hands and feet, just as a lion does its prey upon which it springs as soon as its prey stirs; or, that, standing round about him like lions, they make all defence impossible to his hands, and all escape impossible to his feet. But whether we take this ידי ורגלי as accusative of the members beside the accusative of the person (vid., Psalm 17:11), or as the object of the הקּיפוּ to be supplied from Psalm 22:17, it still remains harsh and drawling so far as the language is concerned. Perceiving this, the Masora on Isaiah 38:13 observes, that כּארי, in the two passages in which it occurs (Psalm 22:17; Isaiah 38:13), occurs in two different meanings (לישׁני בתרי); just as the Midrash then also understands כארי in the Psalm as a verb used of marking with conjuring, magic characters.
(Note: Hupfeld suspects this Masoretic remark (קמצין בתרי לישׁני כּארי ב) as a Christian interpolation, but it occurs in the alphabetical Masoreth register ותרויהון בתרי לישׁני ב ב. Even Elias Levita speaks of it with astonishment (in his מסרת המסרת [ed. Ginsburg, p. 253]) without doubting its genuineness, which must therefore have been confirmed, to his mind, by MS authority. Heidenheim also cites it in his edition of the Pentateuch, `ynym m'wr, on Numbers 24:9; and down to the present time no suspicion has been expressed on the part of Jewish critics, although all kinds of unsatisfactory attempts have been made to explain this Masoretic remark (e.g., in the periodical Biccure ha-'Ittim).)
Is the meaning of the Masora that כּארי, in the passage before us, is equivalent to כּארים? If so the form would be doubly Aramaic: both the participial form כּאר (which only occurs in Hebrew in verbs med. E) and the apocopated plural, the occurrence of which in Hebrew is certainly, with Gesenius and Ewald, to be acknowledged in rare instances (vid., Psalm 45:9, and compare on the other hand 2 Samuel 22:44), but which would here be a capricious form of expression most liable to be misapprehended. If כארי is to be understood as a verb, then it ought to be read כּארי. Tradition is here manifestly unreliable. Even in MSS the readings כּארוּ and כּארי are found. The former is attested both by the Masora on Numbers 24:9 and by Jacob ben Chajim in the Masora finalis as the MS Chethb.
(Note: The authenticity of this statement of the Masora כארי ידי ורגלי כארו כתיב may be disputed, especially since Jacob ben Chajim became a convert to Christianity, and other Masoretic testimonies do not mention a קרי וכתיב to כארי; nevertheless, in this instance, it would be premature to say that this statement is interpolated. Ant. Hulsius in his edition of the Psalter (1650) has written כארו in the margin according to the text of the Complutensis.)
Even the Targum, which renders mordent sicut leo manus et pedes meos, bears witness to the ancient hesitancy between the substantival and verbal rendering of the כארי. The other ancient versions have, without any doubt, read כארו. Aquila in the 1st edition of his translation rendered it ᾔσχυαν (from the Aramaic and Talmudic כּאר equals כּער to soil, part. כּאוּר, dirty, nasty); but this is not applicable to hands and feet, and therefore has nothing to stand upon. In the 2nd edition of his translation the same Aquila had instead of this, like Symmachus, "they have bound,"
(Note: Also in Jerome's independent translation the reading vinxerunt is found by the side of fixerunt, just as Abraham of Zante paraphrases it in his paraphrase of the Psalter in rhyme גּם כּארי ידי ורגלי אסרוּ. The want of a verb is too perceptible. Saadia supplies it in a different way "they compass me as a lion, to crush my hands and feet.")
after כר, Arab. krr, to twist, lace; but this rendering is improbable since the Hebrew has other words for "to bind," constringere. On the other hand nothing of any weight can be urged against the rendering of the lxx ὤρυξαν (Peshto בזעו, Vulg. foderunt, Jer. fixerunt); for (1) even if we do not suppose any special verb כּארוּ ,כּאר can be expanded from כּרוּ (כוּר) equals כּרוּ (כּרה) just in the same manner as ראמה, Zechariah 14:10 from רמה, cf. קאמיּא Daniel 7:16. And (2) that כוּר and כּרה can signify not merely to dig out and dig into, engrave, but also to dig through, pierce, is shown, - apart from the derivative מכרה (the similarity of the sound of which to μάχαιρα from the root μαχ, maksh, mraksh, is only accidental), - by the double meaning of the verbs נקר, ὀρύσσειν (e.g., ὀρύσσειν τὸν ἰσθμόν Herod. i. 174), fodere (hast); the lxx version of Psalm 40:7 would also support this meaning, if κατετρήσω (from κατατιτρᾶν) in that passage had been the original reading instead of κατηρτίσω. If כּארוּ be read, then Psalm 22:17, applied to David, perhaps under the influence of the figure of the attacking dogs (Bhl), says that the wicked bored into his hands and feet, and thus have made him fast, so that he is inevitably abandoned to their inhuman desires. The fulfilment in the nailing of the hands and (at least, the binding fast) of the feet of the Crucified One to the cross is clear. This is not the only passage in which it is predicated that the future Christ shall be murderously pierced; but it is the same in Isaiah 53:5 where He is said to be pierced (מחלל) on account of our sins, and in Zechariah 12:10, where Jahve describes Himself as ἐκκεντηθείς in Him.
Thus, therefore, the reading כּארוּ might at least have an equal right to be recognised with the present recepta, for which Hupfeld and Hitzig demand exclusive recognition; while Bttcher, - who reads כּארי, and gives this the meaning"springing round about (after the manner of dogs), - regards the sicut leo as "a production of meagre Jewish wit;" and also Thenius after taking all possible pains to clear it up gives it up as hopeless, and with Meier, adopting a different division of the verse, renders it: "a mob of the wicked has encompassed me like lions. On my hands and feet I can count all my bones." But then, how כּארי comes limping on after the rest! And how lamely does ידי ורגלי precede Psalm 22:18! How unnaturally does it limit עצמותי, with which one chiefly associates the thought of the breast and ribs, to the hands and feet! אספּר is potientialis. Above in Psalm 22:15 he has said that his bones are out of joint. There is no more reason for regarding this "I can count etc." as referring to emaciation from grief, than there is for regarding the former as referring to writing with agony. He can count them because he is forcibly stretched out, and thereby all his bones stand out. In this condition he is a mockery to his foes. הבּיט signifies the turning of one's gaze to anything, ראה בּ the fixing of one's sight upon it with pleasure. In Psalm 22:19 a new feature is added to those that extend far beyond David himself: they part my garments among them.... It does not say they purpose doing it, they do it merely in their mind, but they do it in reality. This never happened to David, or at least not in the literal sense of his words, in which it has happened to Christ. In Him Psalm 22:19 and Psalm 22:19 are literally fulfilled. The parting of the בּגדים by the soldiers dividing his ἰμάτια among them into four parts; the casting lots upon the לבוּשׁ by their not dividing the χιτὼν ἄῤῥαφος, but casting lots for it, John 19:23. לבוּשׁ is the garment which is put on the body that it may not be bare; בּגדים the clothes, which one wraps around one's self for a covering; hence לבושׁ is punningly explained in B. Sabbath 77b by לא בושׁה (with which one has no need to be ashamed of being naked) in distinction from גלימא, a mantle (that through which one appears כגולם, because it conceals the outline of the body). In Job 24:7, and frequently, לבושׁ is an undergarment, or shirt, what in Arabic is called absolutely Arab. ṯwb, thôb "the garment," or expressed according to the Roman distinction: the tunica in distinction from the toga, whose exact designation is מעיל. With Psalm 22:19 of this Psalm it is exactly as with Zechariah 9:9, cf. Matthew 21:5; in this instance also, the fulfilment has realised that which, in both phases of the synonymous expression, is seemingly identical.
(Note: On such fulfilments of prophecy, literal beyond all expectation, vid., Saat auf Hoffnung iii., 3, 47-51.)
17I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
(Heb.: 22:20-22)In Psalm 22:19 the description of affliction has reached its climax, for the parting of, and casting lots for, the garments assumes the certain death of the sufferer in the mind of the enemies. In Psalm 22:20, with ואתּה the looks of the sufferer, in the face of his manifold torments, concentrate themselves all at once upon Jahve. He calls Him אילוּתי nom. abstr. from איל, Psalm 88:5 : the very essence of strength, as it were the idea, or the ideal of strength; lė‛ezrāthi has the accent on the penult., as in Psalm 71:12 (cf. on the other hand Psalm 38:23), in order that two tone syllables may not come together. In Psalm 22:21, חרב means the deadly weapon of the enemy and is used exemplificatively. In the expression מיּד כּלב, מיּד is not merely equivalent to מן, but יד is, according to the sense, equivalent to "paw" (cf. כּף, Leviticus 11:27), as פּי is equivalent to jaws; although elsewhere not only the expression "hand of the lion and of the bear," 1 Samuel 17:37, but also "hands of the sword," Psalm 63:11, and even "hand of the flame," Isaiah 47:14 are used, inasmuch as יד is the general designation of that which acts, seizes, and subjugates, as the instrument of the act. Just as in connection with the dog יד, and in connection with the lion פי (cf. however, Daniel 6:28) is mentioned as its weapon of attack, the horns, not the horn (also not in Deuteronomy 33:17), are mentioned in connection with antilopes, רמים (a shorter form, occurring only in this passage, for ראמים, Psalm 29:6; Psalm 34:7). Nevertheless, Luther following the lxx and Vulgate, renders it "rescue me from the unicorns" (vid., thereon on Psalm 29:6). יהידה, as the parallel member here and in Psalm 35:17 shows, is an epithet of נפשׁ. The lxx in both instances renders it correctly τὴν μονογενῆ μου, Vulg. unicam meam, according to Genesis 22:2; Judges 11:34, the one soul besides which man has no second, the one life besides which man has no second to lose, applied subjectively, that is, soul or life as the dearest and most precious thing, cf. Homer's fi'lon kee'r. It is also interpreted according to Psalm 25:16; Psalm 68:7 : my solitary one, solitarium, the soul as forsaken by God and man, or at least by man, and abandoned to its own self (Hupfeld, Kamphausen, and others). But the parallel נפשׁי, and the analogy of כּבודי ( equals נפשׁי), stamp it as an universal name for the soul: the single one, i.e., that which does not exist in duplicate, and consequently that which cannot be replaced, when lost. The praet. עניתני might be equivalent to ענני, provided it is a perf. consec. deprived of its Waw convers. in favour of the placing of מקּרני רמים first for the sake of emphasis; but considering the turn which the Psalm takes in Psalm 22:23, it must be regarded as perf. confidentiae, inasmuch as in the very midst of his supplication there springs up in the mind of the suppliant the assurance of being heard and answered. To answer from the horns of the antilope is equivalent to hearing and rescuing from them; cf. the equally pregnant expression ענה בּ Psalm 118:5, perhaps also Hebrews 5:7.
(Note: Thrupp in his Emendations on the Psalms (Journal of Classic and Sacred Philology, 1860) suggests עניּתי, my poverty (my poor soul), instead of עניתני.)
20Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
22I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
(Heb.: 22:23-24)In the third section, Psalm 22:23, the great plaintive prayer closes with thanksgiving and hope. In certainty of being answered, follows the vow of thanksgiving. He calls his fellow-country men, who are connected with him by the ties of nature, but, as what follows, viz., "ye that fear Jahve" shows, also by the ties of spirit, "brethren." קהל (from קחל equals קל, καλ-έω, cal-o, Sanscr. kal, to resound) coincides with εκκλησία. The sufferer is conscious of the significance of his lot of suffering in relation to the working out of the history of redemption. Therefore he will make that salvation which he has experienced common property. The congregation or church shall hear the evangel of his rescue. In Psalm 22:24 follows the introduction to this announcement, which is addressed to the whole of Israel, so far as it fears the God of revelation. Instead of וגורו the text of the Orientals (מדנחאי), i.e., Babylonians, had here the Chethb יגורו with the Ker וגוּרוּ; the introduction of the jussive (Psalm 33:8) after the two imperatives would not be inappropriate. גּוּר מן ( equals יגר) is a stronger form of expression for ירא מן, Psalm 33:8.
23Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
(Heb.: 22:25) This tristich is the evangel itself. The materia laudis is introduced by כּי. ענוּת (principal form ענוּת) bending, bowing down, affliction, from ענה, the proper word to denote the Passion. For in Isaiah, Isaiah 53:4, Isaiah 53:7, the Servant of God is also said to be מענּה and נענה, and Zechariah, Zechariah 9:9, also introduces Him as עני and נושׁע. The lxx, Vulgate, and Targum erroneously render it "cry." ענה does not mean to cry, but to answer, ἀμείβεσθαι; here, however, as the stem-word of ענות, it means to be bent. From the שׁקּץ (to regard as an abhorrence), which alternates with בּזה, we see that the sufferer felt the wrath of God, but this has changed into a love that sends help; God did not long keep His countenance hidden, He hearkened to him, for his prayer was well-pleasing to Him. שׁמע is not the verbal adjective, but, since we have the definite fact of the rescue before us, it is a pausal form for שׁמע, as in Psalm 34:7, Psalm 34:18; Jeremiah 36:13.
25My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
(Heb.: 22:26-27) The call to thanksgiving is now ended; and there follows a grateful upward glance towards the Author of the salvation; and this grateful upward glance grows into a prophetic view of the future. This fact, that the sufferer is able thus to glory and give thanks in the great congregation (Psalm 40:10), proceeds from Jahve (מאת as in Psalm 118:23, cf. Psalm 71:6). The first half of the verse, according to Baer's correct accentuation, closes with בּקהל רב. יראיו does not refer to קהל, but, as everywhere else, is meant to be referred to Jahve, since the address of prayer passes over into a declarative utterance. It is not necessary in this passage to suppose, that in the mind of David the paying of vows is purely ethical, and not a ritualistic act. Being rescued he will bring the שׁלמי נדר, which it is his duty to offer, the thank-offerings, which he vowed to God when in the extremest peril. When the sprinkling with blood (זריקה) and the laying of the fat pieces upon the altar (הקטרה) were completed, the remaining flesh of the shalemim was used by the offerer to make a joyous meal; and the time allowed for this feasting was the day of offering and on into the night in connection with the tda-shelamim offering, and in connection with the shelamim of vows even the following day also (Leviticus 7:15.). The invitation of the poor to share in it, which the law does not command, is rendered probable by these appointments of the law, and expressly commended by other and analogous appointments concerning the second and third tithes. Psalm 22:27 refers to this: he will invite the ענוים, those who are outwardly and spiritually poor, to this "eating before Jahve;" it is to be a meal for which they thank God, who has bestowed it upon them through him whom He has thus rescued. Psalm 22:27 is as it were the host's blessing upon his guests, or rather Jahve's guests through him: "your heart live for ever," i.e., may this meal impart to you ever enduring refreshment. יחי optative of חיה, here used of the reviving of the heart, which is as it were dead (1 Samuel 25:37), to spiritual joy. The reference to the ritual of the peace offerings is very obvious. And it is not less obvious, that the blessing, which, for all who can be saved, springs from the salvation that has fallen to the lot of the sufferer, is here set forth. But it is just as clear, that this blessing consists in something much higher than the material advantage, which the share in the enjoyment of the animal sacrifice imparts; the sacrifice has its spiritual meaning, so that its outward forms are lowered as it were to a mere figure of its true nature; it relates to a spiritual enjoyment of spiritual and lasting results. How natural, then, is the thought of the sacramental eucharist, in which the second David, like to the first, having attained to the throne through the suffering of death, makes us partakers of the fruits of His suffering!
26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
27All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
(Heb.: 22:28-32)The long line closing strophe, which forms as it were the pedestal to the whole, shows how far not only the description of the affliction of him who is speaking here, but also the description of the results of his rescue, transcend the historical reality of David's experience. The sufferer expects, as the fruit of the proclamation of that which Jahve has done for him, the conversion of all peoples. The heathen have become forgetful and will again recollect themselves; the object, in itself clear enough in Psalm 9:18, becomes clear from what follows: there is a γνῶσις τοῦ θεοῦ (Psychol. S. 346ff.; tr. pp. 407ff.) among the heathen, which the announcement of the rescue of this afflicted one will bring back to their consciousness.
(Note: Augustin De trinitate xiv. 13, Non igitur sic erant oblitae istae gentes Deum, ut ejus nec commemoratae recordarentur.)
This prospect (Jeremiah 16:19.) is, in Psalm 22:29 (cf. Jeremiah 10:7), based upon Jahve's right of kingship over all peoples. A ruler is called משׁל as being exalted above others by virtue of his office (משׁל according to its primary meaning equals Arab. mṯl, erectum stare, synonymous with כּחן, vid., on Psalm 110:4, cf. עמד Micah 5:3). In וּמשׁל we have the part., used like the 3 praet., without any mark of the person (cf. Psalm 7:10; Psalm 55:20), to express the pure praes., and, so to speak, as tempus durans: He rules among the nations (ἔθνη). The conversion of the heathen by that sermon will, therefore, be the realisation of the kingdom of God.
28For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations.
29All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
The eating is here again brought to mind. The perfect, אכלוּ, and the future of sequence, ויּשׁתּחווּ, stand to one another in the relation of cause and effect. It is, as is clear from Psalm 22:27, an eating that satisfies the soul, a spiritual meal, that is intended, and in fact, one that is brought about by the mighty act of rescue God has wrought. At the close of Psalm 69, where the form of the ritual thank-offering is straightway ignored, ראוּ (Psalm 22:23) takes the place of the אכלוּ. There it is the view of one who is rescued and who thankfully glorifies God, which leads to others sharing with him in the enjoyment of the salvation he has experienced; here it is an actual enjoyment of it, the joy, springing from thankfulness, manifesting itself not merely in words but in a thank-offering feast, at which, in Israel, those who long for salvation are the invited guests, for with them it is an acknowledgment of the mighty act of a God whom they already know; but among the heathen, men of the most diversified conditions, the richest and the poorest, for to them it is a favour unexpectedly brought to them, and which is all the more gratefully embraced by them on that account. So magnificent shall be the feast, that all דּשׁני־ארץ, i.e., those who stand out prominently before the world and before their own countrymen by reason of the abundance of their temporal possessions (compare on the ascensive use of ארץ, Psalm 75:9; Psalm 76:10; Isaiah 23:9), choose it before this abundance, in which they might revel, and, on account of the grace and glory which the celebration includes within itself, they bow down and worship. In antithesis to the "fat ones of the earth" stand those who go down to the dust (עפר, always used in this formula of the dust of the grave, like the Arabic turâb) by reason of poverty and care. In the place of the participle יורדי we now have with ונפשׁו ( equals ואשׁר נפשׁו) a clause with ולא, which has the value of a relative clause (as in Psalm 49:21; Psalm 78:39, Proverbs 9:13, and frequently): and they who have not heretofore prolonged and could not prolong their life (Ges. 123, 3, c). By comparing Philippians 2:10 Hupfeld understands it to be those who are actually dead; so that it would mean, His kingdom extends to the living and the dead, to this world and the nether world. But any idea of a thankful adoration of God on the part of the dwellers in Hades is alien to the Old Testament; and there is nothing to force us to it here, since יורד עפר, can just as well mean descensuri as qui descenderunt, and נפשׁו dna ,tnuredne חיּה (also in Ezekiel 18:27) means to preserve his own life, - a phrase which can be used in the sense of vitam sustentare and of conservare with equal propriety. It is, therefore, those who are almost dead already with care and want, these also (and how thankfully do these very ones) go down upon their knees, because they are accounted worthy to be guests at this table. It is the same great feast, of which Isaiah, Isaiah 25:6, prophesies, and which he there accompanies with the music of his words. And the result of this evangel of the mighty act of rescue is not only of boundless universality, but also of unlimited duration: it propagates itself from one generation to another.
Formerly we interpreted Psalm 22:31 "a seed, which shall serve Him, shall be reckoned to the Lord for a generation;" taking יספּר as a metaphor applying to the census, 2 Chronicles 2:16, cf. Psalm 87:6, and לדּור, according to Psalm 24:6 and other passages, as used of a totality of one kind, as זרע of the whole body of those of the same race. But the connection makes it more natural to take דור in a genealogical sense; and, moreover, with the former interpretation it ought to have been לדּור instead of לדּור. We must therefore retain the customary interpretation: "a seed (posterity) shall serve Him, it shall be told concerning the Lord to the generation (to come)." Decisive in favour of this interpretation is לדּור with the following יבאוּ, by which דור acquires the meaning of the future generation, exactly as in Psalm 71:18, inasmuch as it at once becomes clear, that three generations are distinctly mentioned, viz., that of the fathers who turn unto Jahve, Psalm 22:30, that of the coming דור, Psalm 22:31, and עם נולד, to whom the news of the salvation is propagated by this דור, Psalm 22:31 : "They shall come (בּוא as in Psalm 71:18 : to come into being), and shall declare His righteousness to the people that shall be born, that He hath finished." Accordingly זרע is the principal notion, which divides itself into (יבאו) דור and עם נולד; from which it is at once clear, why the expression could be thus general, "a posterity," inasmuch as it is defined by what follows. עם נולד is the people which shall be born, or whose birth is near at hand (Psalm 78:6); the lxx well renders it: λαῷ τῷ τεχθησομένῳ (cf. Psalm 102:19 עם נברא populus creandus). צדקתו is the dikaiosu'nee of God, which has become manifest in the rescue of the great sufferer. That He did not suffer him to come down to the very border of death without snatching him out of the way of his murderous foes and raising him to a still greater glory, this was divine צדקה. That He did not snatch him out of the way of his murderous foes without suffering him to be on the point of death - even this wrathful phase of the divine צדקה, is indicated in Psalm 22:16, but then only very remotely. For the fact, that the Servant of God, before spreading the feast accompanying the shelamim (thank-offering) in which He makes the whole world participants in the fruit of His suffering, offered Himself as an asham (sin-offering), does not become a subject of prophetic revelation until later on, and then under other typical relationships. The nature of the עשׂה, which is in accordance with the determinate counsel of God, is only gradually disclosed in the Old Testament. This one word, so full of meaning (as in Psalm 52:11; Psalm 37:5; Isaiah 44:23), implying the carrying through of the work of redemption, which is prefigured in David, comprehends everything within itself. It may be compared to the לעשׂות, Genesis 2:3, at the close of the history of the creation. It is the last word of the Psalm, just as τετέλεσται is the last word of the Crucified One. The substance of the gospel in its preparatory history and its fulfilment, of the declaration concerning God which passes from generation to generation, is this, that God has accomplished what He planned when He anointed the son of Jesse and the Son of David as mediator in His work of redemption; that He accomplished it by leading the former through affliction to the throne, and making the cross to the latter a ladder leading up to heaven.
30A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
31They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.