- 1 2 For the leader; according to "The deer of the dawn." A psalm of David.
- My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish?
- My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief.
- Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the glory of Israel.
- In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted and you rescued them.
- To you they cried out and they escaped; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.
- 3 But I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
- All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me:
- "You relied on the LORD--let him deliver you; if he loves you, let him rescue you."
- Yet you drew me forth from the womb, made me safe at my mother's breast.
- Upon you I was thrust from the womb; since birth you are my God.
- Do not stay far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help.
- 4 Many bulls surround me; fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me.
- They open their mouths against me, lions that rend and roar.
- Like water my life drains away; all my bones grow soft. My heart has become like wax, it melts away within me.
- 5 As dry as a potsherd is my throat; my tongue sticks to my palate; you lay me in the dust of death.
- Many dogs surround me; a pack of evildoers closes in on me. So wasted are my hands and feet
- that I can count all my bones. They stare at me and gloat;
- they divide my garments among them; for my clothing they cast lots.
- But you, LORD, do not stay far off; my strength, come quickly to help me.
- Deliver me from the sword, my forlorn life from the teeth of the dog.
- Save me from the lion's mouth, my poor life from the horns of wild bulls.
- 6 Then I will proclaim your name to the assembly; in the community I will praise you:
- "You who fear the LORD, give praise! All descendants of Jacob, give honor; show reverence, all descendants of Israel!
- 7 For God has not spurned or disdained the misery of this poor wretch, Did not turn away from me, but heard me when I cried out.
- I will offer praise in the great assembly; my vows I will fulfill before those who fear him.
- 8 The poor will eat their fill; those who seek the LORD will offer praise. May your hearts enjoy life forever!"
- All the ends of the earth will worship and turn to the LORD; All the families of nations will bow low before you.
- For kingship belongs to the LORD, the ruler over the nations.
- 9 All who sleep in the earth will bow low before God; All who have gone down into the dust will kneel in homage.
- And I will live for the LORD; my descendants will serve you.
- The generation to come will be told of the Lord, that they may proclaim to a people yet unborn the deliverance you have brought.
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Footnotes1 [Psalm 22] A lament unusual in structure and in intensity of feeling. The psalmist's present distress is contrasted with God's past mercy in Psalm 22:2-12. In Psalm 22:13-22 enemies surround the psalmist. The last third is an invitation to praise God (Psalm 22:23-27), becoming a universal chorus of praise (Psalm 22:28-31). The psalm is important in the New Testament. Its opening words occur on the lips of the crucified Jesus (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46), and several other verses are quoted, or at least alluded to, in the accounts of Jesus' passion (Matthew 27:35,43; John 19:24). 2 The deer of the dawn: apparently the title of the melody.
3 I am a worm, hardly human: the psalmist's sense of isolation and dehumanization, an important motif of Psalm 22 is vividly portrayed here.
4 [13-14] Bulls: the enemies of the psalmist are also portrayed in less-than-human form, as wild animals (cf Psalm 22:17,21-22). Bashan: a grazing land east of the Jordan, famed for its cattle. Cf Deut 32:14; Ezekial 39:18; Amos 4:1
5 The dust of death: the netherworld, the domain of the dead.
6 In the community I will praise you: the person who offered a thanksgiving sacrifice in the temple recounted to the other worshipers the favor received from God and invited them to share in the sacrificial banquet. The final section (Psalm 22:24-32) may be a summary or a citation of the psalmist's poem of praise.
7 Turn away: literally, "hides his face from me," an important metaphor for God withdrawing from someone, e.g., Micah 3:4; Isaiah 8:17; Psalm 27:9; 69:18; 88:15.
8 The poor: originally the poor, who were dependent on God; the term ('anawim) came to include the religious sense of "humble, pious, devout."
9 Hebrew unclear. The translation assumes that all on earth (Psalm 22:27-28) and under the earth (Psalm 22:29) will worship God.
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