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Psalm 22

New International Version

1 For the director of music. To the tune of 'The Doe of the Morning.' A psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises. 4 In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 He trusts in the LORD,' they say, 'let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.' 9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother's breast. 10 From birth I was cast on you; from my mother's womb you have been my God. 11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. 12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. 15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. 17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. 19 But you, LORD, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. 20 Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. 21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. 22 I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. 25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows. 26 The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him-- may your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, 28 for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. 29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him-- those who cannot keep themselves alive. 30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
English Standard Version

1 To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” 9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. 10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help. 12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet— 17 I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. 19 But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid! 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen! 22 I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. 25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him. 26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. 28 For kingship belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, even the one who could not keep himself alive. 30 Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
King James Version

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? 2 O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them. 5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. 6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. 10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly. 11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help. 12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I 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. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. 19 But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog. 21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns. 22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. 23 Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel. 24 For 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. 25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. 26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. 27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee. 28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S: and he is the governor among the nations. 29 All 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. 30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. 31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
New American Standard Bible

1 For the choir director; upon Aijeleth Hashshahar. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning. 2 O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; And by night, but I have no rest. 3 Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. 4 In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them. 5 To You they cried out and were delivered; In You they trusted and were not disappointed. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, A reproach of men and despised by the people. 7 All who see me sneer at me; They separate with the lip, they wag the head, saying, 8 'Commit yourself to the LORD; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.' 9 Yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust when upon my mother's breasts. 10 Upon You I was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb. 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 open wide their mouth at me, As a ravening and a roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; 18 They divide my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots. 19 But You, O LORD, be not far off; O You my help, hasten to my assistance. 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, My only life from the power of the dog. 21 Save me from the lion's mouth; From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me. 22 I will tell of 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 stand in awe of Him, all you descendants 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 for help, He heard. 25 From You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him. 26 The afflicted will eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations will worship before You. 28 For the kingdom is the LORD'S And He rules over the nations. 29 All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship, All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep his soul alive. 30 Posterity will serve Him; It will be told of the Lord to the coming generation. 31 They will come and will declare His righteousness To a people who will be born, that He has performed it.
New Living Translation

1 For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune 'Doe of the Dawn.' My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? 2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 Our ancestors trusted in you, and you rescued them. 5 They cried out to you and were saved. They trusted in you and were never disgraced. 6 But I am a worm and not a man. I am scorned and despised by all! 7 Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, 8 'Is this the one who relies on the LORD? Then let the LORD save him! If the LORD loves him so much, let the LORD rescue him!' 9 Yet you brought me safely from my mother's womb and led me to trust you at my mother's breast. 10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth. You have been my God from the moment I was born. 11 Do not stay so far from me, for trouble is near, and no one else can help me. 12 My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls; fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in! 13 Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey. 14 My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart is like wax, melting within me. 15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay. My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead. 16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet. 17 I can count all my bones. My enemies stare at me and gloat. 18 They divide my garments among themselves and throw dice for my clothing. 19 O LORD, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid! 20 Save me from the sword; spare my precious life from these dogs. 21 Snatch me from the lion's jaws and from the horns of these wild oxen. 22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters. I will praise you among your assembled people. 23 Praise the LORD, all you who fear him! Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob! Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel! 24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help. 25 I will praise you in the great assembly. I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you. 26 The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the LORD will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. 27 The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him. 28 For royal power belongs to the LORD. He rules all the nations. 29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship. Bow before him, all who are mortal, all whose lives will end as dust. 30 Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. 31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.
Christian Standard Bible

1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far from my deliverance and from my words of groaning? 2 My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, by night, yet I have no rest. 3 But you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 Our fathers trusted in you; they trusted, and you rescued them. 5 They cried to you and were set free; they trusted in you and were not disgraced. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by people. 7 Everyone who sees me mocks me; they sneer and shake their heads: 8 "He relies on the LORD; let him save him; let the LORD rescue him, since he takes pleasure in him." 9 It was you who brought me out of the womb, making me secure at my mother's breast. 10 I was given over to you at birth; you have been my God from my mother's womb. 11 Don't be far from me, because distress is near and there's no one to help. 12 Many bulls surround me; strong ones of Bashan encircle me. 13 They open their mouths against me--lions, mauling and roaring. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are disjointed; my heart is like wax, melting within me. 15 My strength is dried up like baked clay; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You put me into the dust of death. 16 For dogs have surrounded me; a gang of evildoers has closed in on me; they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I can count all my bones; people look and stare at me. 18 They divided my garments among themselves, and they cast lots for my clothing. 19 But you, LORD, don't be far away. My strength, come quickly to help me. 20 Rescue my life from the sword, my only life from the power of these dogs. 21 Save me from the lion's mouth, from the horns of wild oxen. You answered me! 22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters; I will praise you in the assembly. 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! All you descendants of Israel, revere him! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the torment of the oppressed. He did not hide his face from him but listened when he cried to him for help. 25 I will give praise in the great assembly because of you; I will fulfill my vows before those who fear you. 26 The humble will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him. May your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD. All the families of the nations will bow down before you, 28 for kingship belongs to the LORD; he rules the nations. 29 All who prosper on earth will eat and bow down; all those who go down to the dust will kneel before him--even the one who cannot preserve his life. 30 Their descendants will serve him; the next generation will be told about the Lord. 31 They will come and declare his righteousness; to a people yet to be born they will declare what he has done.

What does Psalm 22 mean?

Descriptions in this psalm indicate a painful execution—something David did not suffer. This implies that the terminology used here is symbolic of David's feelings. At the same time, it serves as a prophetic explanation of what would happen to the Promised One. These events would be fulfilled in the crucifixion of Jesus, who will reference this text from the cross (Matthew 27:46).

This passage opens with a statement of pain and suffering, commonly expressed by those who are suffering. In essence, this is the cry of someone asking, "Where are you, God?" That's a natural reaction to hardship, seen elsewhere in Scripture (Habakkuk 1:2–4). As in other places in Scripture, the eventual answer is always proven to be the same: God is there, and He is in control—there is hope (Psalm 22:1–2).

David immediately shifts to an expression of confidence in the Lord. The Bible defines faith as a trust based on experience. Hebrews chapter 11, for instance, notes that God's work in the lives of others is the basis of our trust in His promises (Hebrews 11:13–16). Even in what seems like a hopeless moment, David is confident that God is still in control (Psalm 22:3–5).

After expressing confidence, David then returns to describe the depths of his pain. This includes phrasing comparing the attacks of his enemies to those of dogs, lions, and wild oxen. The suffering one is depicted as emaciated, naked, humiliated, mocked, and battered. Despite skeptical claims, the most reliable manuscripts of these verses make it clear that this person is "pierced," further supporting this as a messianic prophecy (Psalm 22:6–21).

The last verses of the psalm shift to a hopeful tone. David anticipates that He will be delivered, one way or another, from this situation. He expects, at that time, to give God praise in a public setting. The imagery of these final verses is also prophetic. It looks ahead to the time when Christ will reign over the earth and all Israel will be reconciled to God (Psalm 22:22–31).

It is interesting to note that Jesus referred to the first words of this psalm during the crucifixion (Matthew 27:46) and also echoed the last words of this psalm at the moment of His death. Both Psalm 22 and Jesus' suffering on the cross ended with an expression of accomplishment and finality (Psalm 22:31; John 19:30).