Psalm 22:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 22:18, NIV: They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.

Psalm 22:18, ESV: they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

Psalm 22:18, KJV: They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

Psalm 22:18, NASB: They divide my garments among them, And they cast lots for my clothing.

Psalm 22:18, NLT: They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing.

Psalm 22:18, CSB: They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing.

What does Psalm 22:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Psalm 22 serves as a potent prophecy about the suffering of the Messiah. The imagery is of someone being executed—which is not what happened to David. Rather, this is David expressing his anguish over what seems to be an abandonment by God (Psalm 22:1–2). To do this, David symbolizes his pain using this description of someone being abused, pierced, and mocked (Psalm 22:12–17). This passage is one Jesus Himself mentioned during His crucifixion (Matthew 27:46).

Verse 16 is disputed by critics specifically because it closely matches the eventual death of Jesus Christ (Psalm 22:16). This verse, as well, is a direct prediction of what happened when Jesus was killed. Matthew 27:35 reports what the soldiers did when they crucified Jesus. This verse tells us, "And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots." By casting lots for Jesus' garments, the soldiers showed they attached a higher value to His clothing than they did to Him. This disdainful act is recorded not only in Matthew's Gospel, but also in the other three Gospels (see Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; and John 19:23–24).

The practice of casting lots usually involved sticks or stones with markings or dice. The sticks or stones or dice were thrown into an area and read to determine the winner. The practice of rolling dice or flipping a coin is similar to the casting of lots in Bible times. When the soldiers cast lots for Jesus' garments, they left Him, quite literally, with no possessions. Truly, Jesus became poor so that we might become rich (Luke 9:58; 2 Corinthians 8:9).