What does Psalm 22:13 mean?
ESV: they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
NIV: Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me.
NASB: They open their mouths wide at me, As a ravening and roaring lion.
CSB: They open their mouths against me -- lions, mauling and roaring.
NLT: Like lions they open their jaws against me, roaring and tearing into their prey.
KJV: They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
NKJV: They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion.
Verse Commentary:
David describes his foes as a roaring lion that tears its prey into pieces. This continues his symbolic depiction of his struggle as if he is being mocked and executed (Psalm 22:1–7, 16–18). That symbolism becomes fulfilled prophecy when Jesus experiences those same events, in reality (Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:22).

In Psalm 35:17 David prays: "How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions!" Jesus' foes, too, acted like wild lions. They could not wait to devour Him. Although they were motivated by jealousy to kill Jesus, the Messiah, undoubtedly Satan orchestrated Jesus' arrest, fake trial, and crucifixion.

At the dawn of human history Satan tried to disrupt God's rule in the lives of Adam and Eve by tempting them to throw off God's rule. He also tried many times to destroy the race from which Messiah would be born. Peter describes Satan as the adversary who "prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). However, God is infinitely more powerful than Satan. He raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 4:24).
Verse Context:
Psalm 22:1–21 depicts David's questioning of God's silence and estrangement from him in his desperate situation. The structure of this prayer, and the images it evokes, are prophecies of Messiah's sufferings. Isaiah 53:3–8 likewise predicts these experiences and explains that Messiah endured them for us sinners. Matthew 27:46 reports that Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 when he was suffering on the cross. First Peter 2:24 –25 refers to the sufferings of Jesus the Messiah and calls Jesus ''the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.''
Chapter Summary:
This psalm may be divided into two parts. The first part, verses 1–21, contains an urgent prayer, in which the suppliant questions a holy God's distance from him in his time of suffering. It also contains a graphic description of the Messiah's suffering. Messiah's suffering included humiliation, the taunts of unbelievers, a distressful sense of loneliness, and intense physical pain. The second part of the psalm continues a prayer to be delivered, and includes a glimpse of resurrection and exaltation. The psalm praises God and announces a future time when God will receive worldwide acclaim and worship.
Chapter Context:
This psalm of David should be understood in association with Psalms 23 and 24. Psalm 22 describes the sufferings of the Good Shepherd, Jesus, for His sheep. Psalm 23 describes His care for His sheep. Psalm 24 describes His return in glory to reward His sheep. Psalm 22 includes prophetic sayings which Jesus uttered from the cross. It also predicts the afflictions he endured there (Matthew 27:27–56; Luke 22:63–65; 23:18–49). Isaiah 53 also prophesies the sufferings that Jesus suffered on the cross.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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