Psalm 22:18
They part my garments among them, and cast lots on my clothing.
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(18) They part my garments . . .—i.e., as of one already dead. The word “garment” (beged) and “vesture” (lebûsh) are synonymous terms for the same article of dress—the modern abba, or plaid, the usual outer garment of the Bedouin. The latter is a more poetic term. (See Bib. Diet, art. “Dress.”) The application of the verse in John 19:24, &c, adds a refinement not present in the psalm.

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 part my garments among them - They divide; they apportion. This refers merely to the fact that they made such a division or distribution of his garments; the manner in which it was done, is specified in the other part of the verse. The word "garments" is a general term, and would be applicable to any part of the raiment.

And cast lots upon my vesture - That is, upon the part here represented by the word "vesture," "they cast lots." There was a general division of his garments by agreement, or in some other mode not involving the use of the lot; on some particular portion, here indicated by the word vesture, the lot was cast to determine whose it should be. The word thus rendered vesture - לבושׁ lebûsh - does not necessarily denote any particular article of raiment, as distinguished from what is meant by the word rendered "garments." Both are general terms denoting clothing, raiment, vestment; and either of the terms might be applied to any article of apparel. The original words used here would not necessarily designate one article of raiment as disposed of without the lot and another specified portion by the lot. But although it could not be argued beforehand from the mere use of the language that such would be the case, yet if that should occur, it would be natural and not improper to apply the language in that sense, and as therein completely fulfilled.

As a matter of fact this was literally fulfilled in the crucifixion of the Saviour. By remarkable circumstances which no human sagacity could have foreseen or anticipated, there occurred a general division of a portion of his raiment, without an appeal to the lot, among the soldiers who were engaged in crucifying him, and a specific disposal of one article of his raiment by the lot, Matthew 27:35; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24. It never occurred in the life of David, as far as we know, or have reason to believe, that his enemies stripped him, and divided his garments among themselves; and the description here, therefore, could be applicable only to some one else. It was completely fulfilled in the Saviour; and this verse, therefore, furnishes the fullest proof that the psalm refers to him. At the same time it should be observed that these circumstances are such that an impostor could not have secured the correspondence of the events with the prediction. The events referred to were not under the control of him whose garments were thus divided. They depended wholly on others; and by no art or plan could an impostor have so arranged matters that all these things should have appeared to be fulfilled in himself.

18. This literally fulfilled prediction closes the sad picture of the exposed and deserted sufferer. This also cannot be applied to David without an uncouth and strained metaphor, but was literally fulfilled in Christ, Matthew 27:35 John 19:24. They part my garments among them,.... Such as died the death of the cross were crucified naked (h), and their clothes were the perquisites of the executioners; there were four soldiers concerned in the crucifixion of Christ, and these parted his garments into four parts, and everyone took his part;

and cast lots on my vesture; which was a seamless coat, wove from the top to the bottom; and therefore, not willing to rend it, they cast lots upon it who should have it; all this was exactly fulfilled in Christ, John 19:23.

(h) Vid Lipsium de Cruce, l. 2. c. 7. p. 81.

They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
18. His brutal enemies are only waiting for his death that they may strip his body, and divide his clothes between them. Already they are settling their respective shares. This is a simpler explanation than to suppose that the Psalmist represents himself as a prisoner stripped and led out to execution, or as waylaid and plundered by robbers (Job 24:7-10; Micah 2:8). It need not be supposed that this actually happened to the Psalmist. The language is perhaps proverbial. But it was literally fulfilled in the circumstances of the Crucifixion (John 19:23-24; cp. Matthew 27:35, where, however, the reference to the prophecy in the Received Text is an interpolation).

and cast lots &c.] R.V., and upon my vesture do they cast lots. The inner garment, the “seamless tunic,” which would be spoilt by rending.Verse 18. - They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. It has been well observed that "the act here described is not applicable either to David or to any personage whose history is recorded in the Bible, save to Jesus" ('Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 4. p. 221). Two evangelists (Matthew 27:35; John 19:24) note the fulfilment of the prophecy in the conduct of the soldiers at the crucifixion of Christ. The circumstance is reserved for the final touch in the picture, since it marked that all was over; the Victim was on the point of expiring; he would never need his clothes again. (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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