Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
kennethgreifer
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:12 am
Contact:

Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by kennethgreifer » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:00 am

Psalm 22:17-18 is usually translated as "because dogs have surrounded me, companies of evildoers have surrounded me, like a lion my hands and my feet, I will count all of my bones..."

I have an alternative explanation for Psalm 22 that might make poetic sense.

In Psalm 22:7, the writer says he is a worm and not a man.

Psalm 22:9 could say "a heap (spelled gimel lamed) is to the L-rd, let Him save him (it)..."

Psalm 22:15 says the writer's bones have separated and he is poured out like water.

Psalm 22:16-18 could say "You have put me to the dust of death because dogs have surrounded me, an assembly of evildoers has surrounded me like a lion. My hands and my feet I will count. All of my bones they will see."

Poetically, the psalm might be saying that the writer's bones have separated and he is a heap on the floor. If your bones separate, then you would probably collapse into a heap. He also feels like a worm.

Later, I think he feels stronger like a lion and he says that his enemies have surrounded him, but he will count his hands and his feet, and his enemies will see his bones probably because he is very skinny at that time. Or maybe they will see his bones because he is now like a lion and his bones are not separated anymore. Before he felt like a worm which does not have hands, feet, or bones, but now he compares himself to a lion which does. Also, now he says he is surrounded by dogs, but in Psalm 22:13-14 he said he was surrounded by bulls and a lion. Now he is like a lion and they are weaker like dogs.

There are a lot of more details, but I think the psalm is confusing because he hints things poetically and does not come right out and say what he means.

Kenneth Greifer

I just changed the next to last paragraph because I made some dumb mistakes that were pointed out to me. I accidentally said that he counted his bones, but I meant to say only his hands and feet. His bones were seen by his enemies like I said in my alternative translation. When I explained it, I accidentally combined the bones with the hands and feet being counted.
Last edited by kennethgreifer on Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
rakovsky
Posts: 859
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:07 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by rakovsky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:42 pm

He never says he or his hands are like a lion (ari), since his lexicon is always to use the word aryeh for lion.

Real answer is that you are right that it is poetry, a chiasm, which is common in Hebrew poems.

Look at this part:
19
But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20
Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
21
Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!
It's the bottom half of a chiasm because the bold ideas are in reverse order from the top half in describing the enemies' ability to attack him. Each part of the chiasm lists a method that a different type of enemy can use to attack.

Here is the top half of the chiasm:
Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan
have encircled Me.
13
They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.


14
I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.

16
For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced[c] My hands and My feet;
You can match them up in the same order:
1. bulls or oxen horns
2. Lion's mouth
3. dogs surrounding or dogs' power
4. SWORD [BOTTOM HALF of CHIASM] ________ [Top half of Chiasm]

So fill in the blank, what goes in this top half of the chiasm that fills in the blank and matches with sword?

Pierced.

(Although I would better translate the LXX / Minority Masoretic Reading as "gouged")

In fact, the piercing of the narrator is the climax of the chasm of the list of the enemies' powers.
At the climactic point it gives basic indications that the narrator is killed like being lain in the dust of death, pouring out (what happens when someone is killed by gouging), the bones going out of joint (doesn't that happen during crucifixion?), the strength drying like a broken pot, the enemies dividing the clothes (that happens after someone is killed by enemies, they accomplish their goal and they take the nice clothes that the victim doesn't need.)

So you are right poetry is a big part of this. When you figure out how the poetry works, it shows it's about the narrator getting killed and resurrected.

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

User avatar
rakovsky
Posts: 859
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:07 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by rakovsky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:00 pm

kennethgreifer wrote:Psalm 22:17-18 is usually translated as "because dogs have surrounded me, companies of evildoers have surrounded me, like a lion my hands and my feet, I will count all of my bones..."

I have an alternative explanation for Psalm 22 that might make poetic sense.

In Psalm 22:7, the writer says he is a worm and not a man.

Psalm 22:9 could say "a heap (spelled gimel lamed) is to the L-rd, let Him save him (it)..."

Psalm 22:15 says the writer's bones have separated and he is poured out like water.

Psalm 22:16-18 could say "You have put me to the dust of death because dogs have surrounded me, an assembly of evildoers has surrounded me like a lion. My hands and my feet I will count. All of my bones they will see."

Poetically, the psalm might be saying that the writer's bones have separated and he is a heap on the floor. If your bones separate, then you would probably collapse into a heap.
He doesn't specify heap or floor. He says he is in the dust of death. The reference to dust and death here recalls the teaching that man is dust and on death he returns to dust. So this dust of death is a reference to the narrator's death.
He also feels like a worm.
The hands and legs being pierced actually helps explain why he feels like a limbless worm.
More evidence here that it means gouging of the limbs.
Good stuff in this thread I had not noticed before.

Later, I think he feels stronger like a lion and he says that his enemies have surrounded him, but he will count his hands, feet, and bones.
You are interpreting verses 16-18 as the narrator getting stronger, now being like a lion (ari) and being stronger and counting his hands as a matter of strength. But really lines 16 to 18 are still the narrator's death and suffering and weakness. It says:
I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
When you count your bones and they stare at you, it implies he is a skeleton or is in a spirit state where he can do that. Dividing your garments and having lots cast for your clothes is also a moment of defeat, not getting stronger.

Notice how v. 19 picks up:
19
But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
With the word "but", it means v. 19 and what follows later are the growing reversal of the fate, not before that.
The narrator is killed in v.16-18, "but" in v. 19 he says to God to rescue him.

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

kennethgreifer
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:12 am
Contact:

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by kennethgreifer » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:05 pm

rakovsky,

Reading your posting made me realize that I had accidentally said that he counted his hands, feet, and bones in the next to last paragraph of my original posting, but I meant to say he counted his hands and feet and that his bones were seen by his enemies like I said in my alternative translation. I fixed it in my original posting. I am glad you mentioned that sentence.

The translations you use are not exactly literal always. They add a few words that slightly change some of the quotes.

Psalm 22:22 does not say "like from the horns of the wild oxen." It doesn't say "like" as far as I can tell.

In Psalm 22:20, the word "my strength" might not really say "strength." That is the only quote that has that word translated that way.

The quote could say "And You, L-rd, make not far my hinds (female deer?), to my help hurry." It might not say "be not far" like in most translations. I think he was saying he is like a lion surrounded by dogs, but he is a hungry skinny one whose bones can be seen by his enemies.

Also, Psalm 22:14 does not say "like a lion." The word "like" is not actually there.

I agree that the poem mentions him being surrounded by bulls, a lion, and dogs, but I also think he first compares himself to a worm and then later to a lion. There are still many more details about Psalm 22 that are important, but I just wanted to give my alternative translation without discussing every little detail.

Actually, I think the psalm says that G-d answered him in Psalm 22:22 and that he would praise G-d in the Temple because of it. I don't think he died. I think G-d saved him. Psalm 22:2-3 says he prayed to G-d for help, but G-d did not answer, but 22:22 says G-d did answer him finally.

Kenneth Greifer

User avatar
rakovsky
Posts: 859
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:07 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by rakovsky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:41 pm

kennethgreifer wrote:
Actually, I think the psalm says that G-d answered him in Psalm 22:22 and that he would praise G-d in the Temple because of it. I don't think he died. I think G-d saved him.
Dying and getting saved are actually not contradictory to the Psalmist because of his belief in resurrection. This comes up later in psalm 39 / 40 or another chapter where David is already in THE PIT, a term David uses elsewhere to mean death, but God saves him out of that state he was in.

God did not save him from getting poured out, etc, because they are said to have actually occurred. The salvation is life afterwards when he praises God to the assembly. And psalm 22 repeats the resurrection image again because people in the dust ie dead praise god. So there is a context of resurrecting dead people.

Same thing with David himself he is actually laid in the dust of death like the dead elsewhere in the chapter and gets saved.

Lots of chapters on resurrection in the bible.

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

User avatar
rakovsky
Posts: 859
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:07 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by rakovsky » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:36 pm

kennethgreifer wrote:now like a lion and his bones are not separated anymore.
He says he can count all his bones and they stare at him, so it sounds like they are still damaged in status.
I don't know where it says the limbs rejoined
he felt like a worm which does not have hands, feet, or bones,
Interesting issue.
If his bones are out of joint, it explains why he feels like a worm.
I did not think of this before.

What would his enemies do to him to disjoint his limbs?
Crucifixion can do that to a person.

Image

New important ideas and info for me in this thread.

My research on the prophecies of the Messiah's resurrection: http://rakovskii.livejournal.com

kennethgreifer
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:12 am
Contact:

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by kennethgreifer » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:15 am

I have alternative translations for a few more quotes in Psalm 22.

Psalm 22:2-3 says that the psalm writer called on G-d for help, but G-d did not answer.

In the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 "The Holy Scriptures", Psalm 22:21-22 says "Deliver my soul from the sword, Mine only one from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion's mouth. Yea, from the horns of the wild oxen do Thou answer me."

I think it says: "Save my soul from the sword. From a dog's paw (hand) my only one. Save me from a lion's mouth and from horns of oxen. You answered me. I will declare Your name unto my brothers..."

I think G-d answered his cries for help from Psalm 22:2-3.

JPS 1917 translates Psalm 22:25 as "For He hath not despised nor abhorred the lowliness of the poor, neither hath He hid his face from him, but when he cried unto HIm, He heard."

I think the first part of the quote could say "because He did not hate nor abhor answering (instead of lowliness of) an afflicted one (a poor one)..."

I think this also shows that G-d answered the psalm writer and saved him from his enemies.

Kenneth Greifer

iskander
Posts: 1403
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by iskander » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:48 am

kennethgreifer wrote:I have alternative translations for a few more quotes in Psalm 22.

Psalm 22:2-3 says that the psalm writer called on G-d for help, but G-d did not answer.

In the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 "The Holy Scriptures", Psalm 22:21-22 says "Deliver my soul from the sword, Mine only one from the power of the dog. Save me from the lion's mouth. Yea, from the horns of the wild oxen do Thou answer me."

I think it says: "Save my soul from the sword. From a dog's paw (hand) my only one. Save me from a lion's mouth and from horns of oxen. You answered me. I will declare Your name unto my brothers..."

I think G-d answered his cries for help from Psalm 22:2-3.

JPS 1917 translates Psalm 22:25 as "For He hath not despised nor abhorred the lowliness of the poor, neither hath He hid his face from him, but when he cried unto HIm, He heard."

I think the first part of the quote could say "because He did not hate nor abhor answering (instead of lowliness of) an afflicted one (a poor one)..."

I think this also shows that G-d answered the psalm writer and saved him from his enemies.

Kenneth Greifer
kennethgreifer wrote: I think this also shows that G-d answered the psalm writer and saved him from his enemies.
One Catholic interpretation of this psalm is this one, from Haydock
PSALM XXII. (DOMINUS REGIT ME.)
God’s spiritual benefits to faithful souls.
Ver. 1. David. This psalm most beautifully describes the consolation which the just find in
God’s protection. H. — It may be applied to the Israelites in the desert, (Chal.) to David
persecuted by Saul, or rather C. settled quietly upon the throne, (Muis.) or to the Jews
returned from Babylon. S. Athan. C. — The Fathers explain it mystically of Jesus Christ, the
Shepherd of our souls.
The same spirit as in PSALM XXI. (DEUS DEUS MEUS.)

kennethgreifer
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:12 am
Contact:

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by kennethgreifer » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:00 am

rakovsky wrote:He never says he or his hands are like a lion (ari), since his lexicon is always to use the word aryeh for lion.

rakovsky,

You said the author only spells "lion" with the letter hay at the end in Psalm 22, but you think the author is David. In Psalm 7:2, 17:12, and Psalm 22 the word "lion" has the hay at the end, and these psalms mention David at the beginning. Psalm 10:9 also has it, but the psalm does not say David wrote it.

David is quoted in 1 Samuel 17:34, 36, and 37 saying "lion" without the hay at the end. Does that mean these quotes are wrong or that David used the shorter spelling too?

Also, Ezekiel 1:10 and 10:14 have the long form. Ezekiel 22:25 has the short form.

Amos 3:4 and 3:8 have the long spelling. Amos 3:12 and 5:19 have the short spelling of "lion."

What does all of this mean?

Also, rakovsky, did you think of this argument or did you read it somewhere? I have never heard anyone use it before because both spellings are used throughout the Hebrew Bible.

Kenneth Greifer

kennethgreifer
Posts: 48
Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:12 am
Contact:

Re: Psalm 22: an alternative explanation

Post by kennethgreifer » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:36 pm

It is possible that the psalm writer is comparing his enemy to a lion that is threatening him, and he is also comparing himself to a lion. Lions can confront each other and fight. Maybe that could explain the two different spellings of the word "lion."

Kenneth Greifer

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], Ben C. Smith, Bernard Muller, Bing [Bot], hakeem, james_C, John2, lsayre, MrMacSon, outhouse, Peter Kirby and 35 guests