Psalm 22:6
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
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(6) Worm.—An indication of extreme degradation and helplessness. (Comp. Isaiah 41:14.)

Psalm 22:6. But I am a worm, and no man — Neglected and despised, as a mean reptile; a reproach of men, and despised of the people — Not only of the great men, but also of the common people. This does not so truly agree to David (who, though he was hated and persecuted by Saul and his courtiers, was honoured and beloved by the body of the people) as to Christ: see Isaiah 53:2-3. “Christ may be said to have been a worm. with respect to the mean and poor condition in which he lived; but especially to that kind of death which he suffered; for he was stripped of his clothes, and fixed upon the cross, naked as a worm of the earth.” — Dodd. See Php 2:7; Matthew 27:39-43.

22:1-10 The Spirit of Christ, which was in the prophets, testifies in this psalm, clearly and fully, the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. We have a sorrowful complaint of God's withdrawings. This may be applied to any child of God, pressed down, overwhelmed with grief and terror. Spiritual desertions are the saints' sorest afflictions; but even their complaint of these burdens is a sign of spiritual life, and spiritual senses exercised. To cry our, My God, why am I sick? why am I poor? savours of discontent and worldliness. But, Why hast thou forsaken me? is the language of a heart binding up its happiness in God's favour. This must be applied to Christ. In the first words of this complaint, he poured out his soul before God when he was upon the cross, Mt 27:46. Being truly man, Christ felt a natural unwillingness to pass through such great sorrows, yet his zeal and love prevailed. Christ declared the holiness of God, his heavenly Father, in his sharpest sufferings; nay, declared them to be a proof of it, for which he would be continually praised by his Israel, more than for all other deliverances they received. Never any that hoped in thee, were made ashamed of their hope; never any that sought thee, sought thee in vain. Here is a complaint of the contempt and reproach of men. The Saviour here spoke of the abject state to which he was reduced. The history of Christ's sufferings, and of his birth, explains this prophecy.But I am a worm, and no man - In contrast with the fathers who trusted in thee. They prayed, and were heard; they confided in God, and were treated as men. I am left and forsaken, as if I were not worth regarding; as if I were a grovelling worm beneath the notice of the great God. In other words, I am treated as if I were the most insignificant, the most despicable, of all objects - alike unworthy the attention of God or man. By the one my prayers are unheard; by the other I am cast out and despised. Compare Job 25:6. As applicable to the Redeemer, this means that he was forsaken alike by God and men, as if he had no claims to the treatment due to a "man."

A reproach of men - Reproached by men. Compare Isaiah 53:3, and the notes at that verse.

Despised of the people - That is, of the people who witnessed his sufferings. It is not necessary to say how completely this had a fulfillment in the sufferings of the Saviour.

6. He who was despised and rejected of His own people, as a disgrace to the nation, might well use these words of deep abasement, which express not His real, but esteemed, value. Our fathers were honoured by thee and by others, because of thy appearance for their defence and deliverance; but I am treated like a worm, i.e. neglected and despised, both by thee, who dost not afford me help, and by the men of my age and nation, as it follows. For the phrase, see Job 25:6 Isaiah 41:14.

Despised of the people; not only of the great men, but also of the common people; which doth not so truly agree to David (who, though he was hated and persecuted by Saul and his courtiers, was honoured and beloved by the body of the people) as to Christ: compare Isaiah 53:2,3.

But I am a worm, and no man,.... Christ calls himself a worm, not because of his original, for he was not of the earth earthy, but was the Lord from heaven; nor because of his human nature, man being a worm, and the Son of Man such, Job 25:6; and because of his meanness and low estate in that nature, in his humiliation; nor to express his humility, and the mean thoughts he had of himself, as David, his type, calls himself a dead dog, and a flea, 1 Samuel 24:14; but on account of the opinion that men of the world had of him; so Jacob is called "a worm", Isaiah 41:14; not only because mean in his own eyes, but contemptible in the eyes of others. The Jews esteemed Christ as a worm, and treated him as such; he was loathsome to them and hated by them; everyone trampled upon him and trod him under foot as men do worms; such a phrase is used of him in Hebrews 10:29; there is an agreement in some things between the worm and Christ in his state of humiliation; as in its uncomeliness and disagreeable appearance; so in Christ the Jews could discern no form nor comeliness wherefore he should be desired; and in its weakness, the worm being an impotent, unarmed, and defenceless creatures, hence the Chaldee paraphrase renders it here "a weak worm"; and though Christ is the mighty God, and is also the Son of Man whom God made strong for himself, yet mere was a weakness in his human nature and he was crucified through it, 2 Corinthians 13:4; and it has been observed by some, that the word here used signifies the scarlet worm, or the worm that is in the grain or berry with which scarlet is dyed; and like, is scarlet worm did our Lord look, when by way of mockery be was clothed with a scarlet robe; and especially when he appeared in his dyed garments, and was red in his apparel, as one that treadeth in the wine fat; when his body was covered with blood when he hung upon the cross, which was shed to make crimson and scarlet sins as white as wool. When Christ says he was "no man", his meaning is, not that he was not truly and really man, for he assumed a true body and a reasonable soul; he partook of the same flesh and blood with his children, and was in all things made like unto his brethren, excepting sin; but that he was a man of no figure, he bore no office, and had no title of honour; he was not a Rabbi, nor a member of the Jewish sanhedrim; he had no share of government, either in the civil or ecclesiastic state; he was a carpenter's son, and a carpenter; nor was he treated as a man, but in the most inhuman manner; he was despised and rejected of men, he was called a madman, and said to have a devil;

a reproach of men; he was reproached by men, as if he had been the worst of men; the reproaches of God and of his people all fell on him, insomuch that his heart was broken with them; see Psalm 69:7; and it was reckoned a reproach to men to be seen in his company, or to be thought to belong to him, and be a disciple of his; hence some, who believed he was the Messiah, yet would not confess him, because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God, John 12:42;

and despised of the people; rejected with contempt as the Messiah, refused with scorn as the stone of Israel, disallowed of men, and set at nought by them; by "the people" are meant the people of the Jews, his own people and nation; which contempt of him they signified both by gestures and words, as in the following verses.

(When the female of the scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would attach her body to the trunk of a tree, fixing herself so firmly and permanently that she would never leave again. The eggs deposited beneath her body were thus protected until the larvae were hatched and able to enter their own life cycle. As the mother died, the crimson fluid stained her body and the surrounding wood. From the dead bodies of such female scarlet worms, the commercial scarlet dyes of antiquity were extracted. (x) What a picture this gives of Christ, dying on the tree, shedding his precious blood that he might "bring many sons unto glory" (Hebrews 2:10)! He died for us, that we might live through him! Psalm 22:6 describes such a worm and gives us this picture of Christ. (cf. Isaiah 1:18) Editor.)

(x) Dr. Henry Morris, "Biblical Basis for Modern Science", p. 73. Baker Book House, 1985.

But I am a {d} worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

(d) And seeming most miserable of all creatures, which referred to Christ, and in this appears the unspeakable love of God for man, that he would thus abase his son for our sakes.

6. a worm] Trampled under foot, despised, defenceless. Almost every word of this verse finds a parallel in the second part of Isaiah. Jehovah’s servant Israel is there called a worm (Isaiah 41:14); and the ideal representative of Israel is one whom men despise (Isaiah 49:7, Isaiah 53:3); from whom they shrink with horror as scarcely human (Isaiah 52:14, Isaiah 53:2-3). Comp. too Psalm 51:7.

the people] Or, people, generally; those with whom he is brought in contact.

6, 7. The contrast of his own lot.

Verse 6. - But I am a worm, and no man (comp. Job 25:6; Isaiah 41:14). The worm is a symbol of extreme weakness and helplessness - it is naturally despised, derided, trodden upon. A reproach of men, and despised of the people (Comp. Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 53:3; and for the fulfilment, see Matthew 27:39). How deeply Christ was "despised of the people" appeared most evidently when they expressed their desire that, instead of him, a murderer should be granted to them (Acts 3:14). Psalm 22:6(Heb.: 22:7-9)The sufferer complains of the greatness of his reproach, in order to move Jahve, who is Himself involved therein, to send him speedy succour. Notwithstanding his cry for help, he is in the deepest affliction without rescue. Every word of Psalm 22:7 is echoed in the second part of the Book of Isaiah. There, as here, Israel is called a worm, Isaiah 41:14; there all these traits of suffering are found in the picture of the Servant of God, Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 53:3, cf. Isaiah 50:6, and especially Isaiah 52:14 "so marred was His appearance, that He no longer looked like a man." תּולעת is more particularly the kermes, or cochineal (vermiculus, whence color vermiculi, vermeil, vermiglio); but the point of comparison in the present instance is not the blood-red appearance, but the suffering so utterly defenceless and even ignominious. עם is gen. subj., like גּוי, Isaiah 49:7. Jerome well renders the ἐξουθένωμα λαοῦ of the lxx by abjectio (Tertullian: nullificamen) plebis, not populi. The ἐξεμυκτήρισάν με, by which the lxx translates ילעיגו לי, is used by Luke, Luke 23:35, cf. Luke 16:14, in the history of the Passion; fulfilment and prediction so exactly coincide, that no more adequate expressions can be found in writing the gospel history than those presented by prophecy. In הפטיר בּשׂפה, what appears in other instances as the object of the action (to open the mouth wide, diducere labia), is regarded as the means of its execution; so that the verbal notion being rendered complete has its object in itself: to make an opening with the mouth, cf. פּער בּפה, Job 16:10, נתן בּקול Psalm 68:34; Ges. 138, 1, rem. 3. The shaking of the head is, as in Psalm 109:25, cf. Psalm 44:15; Psalm 64:9, a gesture of surprise and astonishment at something unexpected and strange, not a προσνεύειν approving the injury of another, although נוּע, נוּד, נוּט, νεύ-ω, nu-t-o, nic-to, neigen, nicken, all form one family of roots. In Psalm 22:9 the words of the mockers follow without לאמר. גּל is not the 3 praet. (lxx, cf. Matthew 27:43) like אור, בּושׁ; it is not only in Piel (Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 20:12, where גּלּיתי equals גּלּלתּי, Ew. 121, a) that it is transitive, but even in Kal; nor is it inf. absol. in the sense of the imperative (Hitz., Bttch.), although this infinitive form is found, but always only as an inf. intens. (Numbers 23:25; Ruth 2:16, cf. Isaiah 24:19); but, in accordance with the parallels Psalm 37:5 (where it is written גּול), Proverbs 16:3, cf. Psalm 55:23; 1 Peter 5:7, it is imperat.: roll, viz., thy doing and thy suffering to Jahve, i.e., commit it to Him. The mockers call out this גּל to the sufferer, and the rest they say of him with malicious looks askance. כּי in the mouth of the foes is not confirmatory as in Psalm 18:20, but a conditional ἐάν (in case, provided that).
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