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Chapter 22

Psalms 22 Commentary

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Psalm 22:1-2 meaning

Psalm 22—A Psalm of David—begins with a terrible outcry that is quoted by Jesus shortly before His death on the cross. In this section, the psalmist complains to God about how God does not seem to be answering his prayers despite his desperate and repeated prayers to be delivered.

Psalm 22:3-5 meaning

The psalmist contrasts his present anguish and his pain from feeling forsaken of God with reminders of God’s faithfulness to rescue the fathers of Israel who trusted in Him. 

Psalm 22:6-8 meaning

David, the psalmist reflects how greatly he is despised by the people—as a worm and not a man. He is openly mocked by all who see him. They appear to taunt David with his own words—Commit yourself to the LORD—as a way to ridicule his suffering and to delegitimize him as God’s appointed king. 

Psalm 22:9-10 meaning

David proclaims how He was chosen by God from before his birth to be His servant. He describes how his rejection of the people and his solitude with God was also predetermined.

Psalm 22:11-13 meaning

The psalmist prays for God to stay near during His time of danger because no one else is present to help him. He describes being surrounded by powerful enemies who are positioned and eager to do him great harm.

Psalm 22:14-15 meaning

David describes the painful conditions his body is suffering as he is surrounded by many powerful enemies. He is physically exhausted, is experiencing a painful heart-episode, and is severely dehydrated. His body is on the verge of death, but he appears willing to trust the LORD through the entire ordeal.

Psalm 22:16-18 meaning

David describes his experience when he was held as a prisoner of his enemies who are probably Gentiles. He describes what they do to him. They bound or pierce his hands and feet. They strip him naked. And they cast lots to see which of them will possess his clothing. 

Psalm 22:19-21 meaning

David concludes the “cry of anguish” portion of Psalm 22 with a series of petitions to the LORD. He asks the LORD to come to his rescue and save his life from a violent and humiliating execution at the hands of his enemies. After making his requests, David tells the LORD “You answer me.” This short but confident expression of faith is his transition from Psalm 22’s “cry of anguish” to its “song of praise.” 

Psalm 22:22-25 meaning

This section begins the “song of praise” portion of Psalm 22. David vows to publicly give the LORD credit for rescuing him. He exhorts his fellow Israelites to praise and glorify God for what He has done. The LORD did not despise David’s sufferings, nor abandon him as naysayers wrongfully claimed, but God came to David’s aid in his time of need. The people’s praise of David is not because of what he did, but what the LORD did for him. 

Psalm 22:26-29 meaning

David’s vindication by the LORD is complete. David appears to move on from explaining about his life and begins to explicitly prophesy about a future moment when everyone on the earth and all the dead will come before the LORD and worship Him and submit to His rule.

Psalm 22:30-31 meaning

David concludes Psalm 22 with a final prophecy about the Messiah and those who come after Him and are blessed by what He has done for them.