Psalm 22:13
They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
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(13) Ravening.—Literally, tearing in pieces. (Comp. Lamentations 2:15-16; Lamentations 3:10.)

Roaring.—Comp. Amos 3:4.

22:11-21 In these verses we have Christ suffering, and Christ praying; by which we are directed to look for crosses, and to look up to God under them. The very manner of Christ's death is described, though not in use among the Jews. They pierced his hands and his feet, which were nailed to the accursed tree, and his whole body was left so to hang as to suffer the most severe pain and torture. His natural force failed, being wasted by the fire of Divine wrath preying upon his spirits. Who then can stand before God's anger? or who knows the power of it? The life of the sinner was forfeited, and the life of the Sacrifice must be the ransom for it. Our Lord Jesus was stripped, when he was crucified, that he might clothe us with the robe of his righteousness. Thus it was written, therefore thus it behoved Christ to suffer. Let all this confirm our faith in him as the true Messiah, and excite our love to him as the best of friends, who loved us, and suffered all this for us. Christ in his agony prayed, prayed earnestly, prayed that the cup might pass from him. When we cannot rejoice in God as our song, yet let us stay ourselves upon him as our strength; and take the comfort of spiritual supports, when we cannot have spiritual delights. He prays to be delivered from the Divine wrath. He that has delivered, doth deliver, and will do so. We should think upon the sufferings and resurrection of Christ, till we feel in our souls the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.They gaped upon me with their mouths - Margin, as in Hebrew, "opened their mouths against me." That is, they opened their mouths wide as if they would devour me, as a lion does when he seizes upon his prey. In Psalm 22:7 they are represented as "opening" the mouth for another purpose - that of derision or scorn; here they are described as if they were fierce and wild beasts ready to fall upon their prey.

As a ravening and roaring lion - The word "ravening" means "voraciously devouring," and the allusion in the Hebrew word is to the lion as he tears his prey - טרף ṭâraph - rending it in pieces to devour it. All this is designed to denote the greediness with which the enemies of the Redeemer sought his life.

12, 13. His enemies, with the vigor of bulls and rapacity of lions, surround him, eagerly seeking his ruin. The force of both figures is greater without the use of any particle denoting comparison. Partly to affright me, and principally to tear and devour me, as the following metaphor explains it. Otherwise it might be understood of their crying out with loud and earnest voices, that he might be condemned and put to death.

They gaped upon me with their mouths,.... Either by way of derision and contempt, Job 16:10; or belching out blasphemy against him, or rather, with the greatest vehemency, crying out "Crucify him, crucify him", Luke 23:21; and this they did

as a ravening and roaring lion, when it has got its prey and rejoices, Amos 3:4; and being in such hands, and encompassed about with such enemies, as Christ was in the garden, in the high priest's hall, and in Pilate's judgment hall, is a third reason or argument used by him with God his Father, to be near to him and not far from him.

They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
13. They gaped &c.] R.V., they gape upon me with their mouths (Lamentations 2:16; Lamentations 3:46); like a lion roaring as it prepares to spring upon its prey (Psalm 7:2).

Verse 13. - They gaped upon me with their mouths. One metaphor is superseded by another. Fierce and threatening as bulls, the adversaries are ravenous as lions. They "gape with their mouths," eager to devour, ready to spring on the prey and crush it in their monstrous jaws. As a ravening and a roaring lion. The tumult and noise made by those who demanded our Lord's death are noted by the evangelist, περισσῶς ἔκραζον - θόρυβος γίνεται (Matthew 27:23, 24). Psalm 22:13(Heb.: 22:13-14)Looking back upon his relationship to God, which has existed from the earliest times, the sufferer has become somewhat more calm, and is ready, in Psalm 22:13, to describe his outward and inner life, and thus to unburden his heart. Here he calls his enemies פּרים, bullocks, and in fact אבּירי בּשׁן (cf. Psalm 50:13 with Deuteronomy 32:14), strong ones of Bashan, the land rich in luxuriant oak forests and fat pastures (בשׁן equals buthne, which in the Beduin dialect means rich, stoneless meadow-land, vid., Job S. 509f.; tr. ii. pp. 399f.) north of Jabbok extending as far as to the borders of Hermon, the land of Og and afterwards of Manasseh (Numbers 30:1). They are so called on account of their robustness and vigour, which, being acquired and used in opposition to God is brutish rather than human (cf. Amos 4:1). Figures like these drawn from the animal world and applied in an ethical sense are explained by the fact, that the ancients measured the instincts of animals according to the moral rules of human nature; but more deeply by the fact, that according to the indisputable conception of Scripture, since man was made to fall by Satan through the agency of an animal, the animal and Satan are the two dominant powers in Adamic humanity. כּתּר is a climactic synonym of סבב. On Psalm 22:14 compare the echoes in Jeremiah, Lamentations 2:16; Lamentations 3:46. Finally, the foes are all comprehended under the figure of a lion, which, as soon as he sights his prey, begins to roar, Amos 3:4. The Hebrew טרף, discerpere, according to its root, belongs to חרף, carpere. They are instar leonis dilaniaturi et rugientis.
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