Psalm 22:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.

King James Bible
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

Darby Bible Translation
For dogs have encompassed me; an assembly of evil-doers have surrounded me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

World English Bible
For dogs have surrounded me. A company of evildoers have enclosed me. They have pierced my hands and feet.

Young's Literal Translation
And to the dust of death thou appointest me, For surrounded me have dogs, A company of evil doers have compassed me, Piercing my hands and my feet.

Psalm 22:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For dogs have compassed me - Men who resemble dogs; harsh, snarling, fierce, ferocious. See Philippians 3:2, note; and Revelation 22:15, note. No one can doubt that this is applicable to the Redeemer.

The assembly of the wicked have enclosed me - That is, they have surrounded me; they have come around me on all sides so that I might not escape. So they surrounded the Redeemer in the garden of Gethsemane when they arrested him and bound him; so they surrounded him when on his trial before the Sanhedrin and before Pilate; and so they surrounded him on the cross.

They pierced my hands and my feet - This passage is attended with more difficulty than perhaps any other part of the psalm. It is remarkable that it is nowhere quoted or referred to in the New Testament as applicable to the Saviour; and it is no less remarkable that there is no express statement in the actual history of the crucifixion that either the hands or the feet of the Saviour were pierced, or that he was nailed to the cross at all. This was not necessarily implied in the idea of crucifixion, for the hands and the feet were sometimes merely bound to the cross by cords, and the sufferer was allowed to linger on the cross thus suspended until he died from mere exhaustion. There can be no doubt, however, that the common mode of crucifixion was to nail the hands to the transverse beam of the cross, and the feet to the upright part of it. See the description of the crucifixion in the notes at Matthew 27:31-32. Thus, Tertullian, speaking of the sufferings of Christ, and applying this passage to his death, says that "this was the special or proper - "propria" - severity of the cross." Adv. Marcionem, iii. 19, ed. Wurtz, I. p. 403. See Hengstenberg's Christology, 1,139. The great difficulty in this passage is in the word rendered in our version, "they pierced" - כארי kâ'ăriy. It occurs only in one other place, Isaiah 38:13, where it means as a lion. This would undoubtedly be the most natural interpretation of the word here, unless there were good reasons for setting it aside; and not a few have endeavored to show that this is the true rendering. According to this interpretation, the passage would mean, "As lions, they (that is, my enemies) surround (gape upon) my hands and my feet; that is, they threaten to tear my limbs to pieces." Gesenius, Lexicon. This interpretation is also that of Aben Ezra, Ewald, Paulus, and others. But, whatever may be the true explanation, there are very serious objections to this one.

(a) It is difficult to make sense of the passage if this is adopted. The preceding word, rendered in our version "enclosed," can mean only "surrounded" or "encompassed," and it is difficult to see how it could be said that a lion could "surround" or "encompass" "the hands and the feet." At all events, such an interpretation would be harsh and unusual.

(b) According to this interpretation the word "me" - "enclosed me" - would be superfluous; since the idea would be, "they enclose or surround my hands and my feet."

(c) All the ancient interpreters have taken the word here to be a verb, and in all the ancient versions it is rendered as if it were a verb.

Even in the Masorah Parva it is said that the word here is to be taken in a different sense from what it has in Isaiah 38:13, where it plainly means a lion. Gesenius admits that all the ancient interpreters have taken this as a verb, and says that it is "certainly possible" that it may be so. He says that it may be regarded as a participle formed in the Aramaic manner (from כוּר kûr), and in the plural number for כארים kâ'ăriym, and says that in this way it would be properly rendered, "piercing, my hands and my feet;" that is, as he says, "my enemies, who are understood in the dogs." From such high authority, and from the uniform mode of interpreting the word among the ancients, it may be regarded as morally certain that the word is a verb, and that it is not to be rendered, as in Isaiah 38:13, "as a lion." The material question is, What does the verb mean? The verb - כוּר kûr - properly means "to dig, to bore through, to pierce."

Thus used, according to Gesenius, it would mean "piercing;" and if the word used here is a verb, he supposes that it would refer to the enemies of David as wounding him, or piercing him, "with darts and weapons." He maintains that it is applicable to David literally, and he sees no reason to refer it to the Messiah. But, if so, it is natural to ask why "the hands" and "the feet" are mentioned. Certainly it is not usual for darts and spears thrown by an enemy to injure the hands or the feet particularly; nor is it customary to refer to the hands or the feet when describing the effects produced by the use of those weapons. If the reference were to the enemies of David as wounding him with darts and spears, it would be much more natural to refer to the body in general, without specifying any of the particular members of the body. DeWette renders it "fesseln" - "they bind my hands and my feet."

He remarks, however, in a note, that according to the ancient versions, and the codices of Kennicott and DeRossi, it means durchbohren - bore through. Aquila, Symmachus, and Jerome in five codices, says he, render it bind. The Septuagint renders it ὥρυξαν ōruxan - "they pierced." The Latin Vulgate the same, "foderunt." See the Syriac. For these reasons it seems to me that the common rendering is the true one, and that the meaning is, that, in some proper sense, the enemies here referred to "pierced or bored through" the hands and the feet of the sufferer. Evidently this could not be literally applied to David, for there is not the least authority for supposing that this ever happened to him; nor, as has been shown, was such a thing probable. A casual dart, or the stroke of a spear, might indeed strike the hand or the foot; but it would be unusual and remarkable if they should strike those members of the body and leave the other parts uninjured, so as to make this a matter for special notice; and even if they did strike those parts, it would be every way unlikely that they would "pierce them, or bore them through."

Such an event would be so improbable that we may assume that it did not occur, unless there was the most decisive evidence of the fact. Nor is there the least probability that the enemies of David would pierce his hands and feet deliberately and of design. I say nothing in regard to the fact that they never had him in their possession so that they could do it; it is sufficient to say that this was not a mode of punishing one who was taken captive in war. Conquerors killed their captives; they made them pass under yokes; they put them under saws and harrows of iron (compare 2 Samuel 12:31; 1 Chronicles 20:3); but there is not the slightest evidence that they ever tortured captives in war by piercing the hands and the feet. But, as has been remarked above, there is every reason to believe that this was the ordinary mode of crucifixion. I conclude, therefore, that this must have had original reference to the Messiah. It is no objection to the interpretation that this passage is not expressly referred to as having been fulfilled in the Redeemer, for there are undoubtedly many passages in the prophets which refer to the Messiah, which are not formally applied to him in the New Testament. To make it certain that the prophecy referred to him, and was fulfilled in him, it is not necessary that we should find on record an actual application of the passage to him. All that is necessary in the case is, that it should be a prophecy; that it should have been spoken before the event; and that to him it should be fairly applicable.

Psalm 22:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Messiah Derided Upon the Cross
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. F allen man, though alienated from the life of God, and degraded with respect to many of his propensities and pursuits, to a level with the beasts that perish, is not wholly destitute of kind and compassionate feelings towards his fellow-creatures. While self-interest does not interfere, and the bitter passions
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

His Head is as the Most Fine Gold, his Locks as the Clusters of the Palm, Black as a Raven.
By the locks covering his head are to be understood the holy humanity which covers and conceals the Divinity. These same locks, or this humanity extended upon the cross, are like the clusters of the palm; for there, dying for men, He achieved His victory over the enemies and obtained for them the fruits of His redemption, which had been promised us through His death. Then the bud of the palm-tree opened and the church emerged from the heart of her Bridegroom. There the adorable humanity appeared
Madame Guyon—Song of Songs of Solomon

The Johannine Writings
BY the Johannine writings are meant the Apocalypse and the fourth gospel, as well as the three catholic epistles to which the name of John is traditionally attached. It is not possible to enter here into a review of the critical questions connected with them, and especially into the question of their authorship. The most recent criticism, while it seems to bring the traditional authorship into greater uncertainty, approaches more nearly than was once common to the position of tradition in another
James Denney—The Death of Christ

The Necessity of Actual Grace
In treating of the necessity of actual grace we must avoid two extremes. The first is that mere nature is absolutely incapable of doing any thing good. This error was held by the early Protestants and the followers of Baius and Jansenius. The second is that nature is able to perform supernatural acts by its own power. This was taught by the Pelagians and Semipelagians. Between these two extremes Catholic theology keeps the golden mean. It defends the capacity of human nature against Protestants and
Joseph Pohle—Grace, Actual and Habitual

Cross References
Matthew 27:35
And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots.

John 20:25
So the other disciples were saying to him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."

Philippians 3:2
Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision;

Psalm 59:6
They return at evening, they howl like a dog, And go around the city.

Psalm 59:7
Behold, they belch forth with their mouth; Swords are in their lips, For, they say, "Who hears?"

Psalm 88:17
They have surrounded me like water all day long; They have encompassed me altogether.

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