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Old Testament Prophecy

The Prophecy - The Events Surrounding The Crucifixion Of Our Messiah:
Old Testament Prophecy
New Testament Fulfillment
22:1-21 The death of Messiah Jesus by crucifixion
Mark 15:16-20
22:15 He thirsts while on the cross
John 19:28
22:18 Soldiers gamble for his clothing
Matthew 27:35
22:22 He will speak of his Father
Hebrews 2:12

Psalm 22

1). To the Chief Musician. Set to "The Deer of the Dawn". A Psalm of David. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning?

2). O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent.

3). But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

4). Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them.

5). They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.

6). But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.

7). All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 ). "He trusted in the LORD, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!"

9). But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts.

10). I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God.

11). Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help.

12). 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 My hands and My feet;

17). 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.

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! You have answered Me.

22). I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.

23). You who fear the LORD, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!

24). For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard.

25). My praise shall be of You in the great assembly; I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.

26). The poor shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD.

27). All the ends of the world Shall remember and turn to the LORD, And all the families of the nations Shall worship before You. Let your heart live forever!

28). For the kingdom is the LORD's, And He rules over the nations.

29). All the prosperous of the earth Shall eat and worship; All those who go down to the dust Shall bow before Him, Even he who cannot keep himself alive.

30). A posterity shall serve Him. It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,

31). They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, That He has done this.

Description Of Prophecy:

Psalm 22 contains several prophecies that are fulfilled through the overall crucifixion events surrounding the death of Jesus our Messiah. They include the thirst our Messiah had while on the cross (v.15), soldiers gambling for His clothing (v.18), and Jesus speaking about His Father while others are gathered around.

There is too much information surrounding this prophecy and fulfillment to be contained here. Readers are encouraged to read the entire Psalm 22, and the areas of New Testament scripture that reflect their fulfillment. For those interested in the words used in verses 16-17 surrounding the selection of the word "pierced" the addendum pages linked to below included with verse 16 comments offer further study.


Med-Messianic-SealThe opening phrase of this Psalm in Hebrew "Ayeles Hashachar" has been interpreted by the Jewish commentator Rashi to mean strength and salvation. Radak, another well respected Jewish commentator, interprets this phrase as referring to the "morning star."(1). Jesus claimed this title of "morning star." The Old Testament gives this "star" term messianic significance in Numbers 24:17. The New Testament gives the Messiah this title in 2 Peter 1:19, Revelation 2:28 and Revelation 22:16.

For a closer look at the fulfillment of these prophecies contained in Psalm 22 please read the comments and attached addendums below.


Verse 1: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"? It is taught that the Hebrew name for God used here (Al) is reserved for the perfectly righteous who have never sinned or for penitents who have completely atoned for every one of their sins. It is also a name that denoted God's mercy (ArtScroll P.271 and Rashi commentary).

The emphasis on the Hebrew text in this verse should be placed on the word My and not God (The Messiah in the Old Testament).

Nailed to the cross, Jesus cried out with these very words at the time of His crucifixion. Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"

Verse 5: Jewish tradition (Midrash Shochertov) connects the beginning of this passage (they cried out) with the exodus of Israel (Exodus 2:23). The end of the passage (and were delivered) is connected with Exodus 14:30. Although this interpretation does not prophetically tie into the death of the Messiah, is does show that Psalm 22 was a psalm known to reflect on Israel's past, present and future (see notes below). This Psalm transcended the time that David lived and wrote it.

ArtScroll commentary for this Psalm recognizes that the Psalm "primarily deals with events which were destined to occur hundreds of years after David's time."(1)

The Talmud says that David foresaw into the future that Israel's salvation was at stake (Megillah 13a). Although this Talmudic passage connects this psalm with Purim miracles, there is no doubt that traditional Jewish rabbinical thought knew the context of Psalm 22 included the salvation of Israel.(1) Even the great Jewish commentator Rashi, recognized this psalm as having Messianic significance (see note below on verse 26).

Verse 8: "Let Him deliver Him." Midrash Shacher Tov comments that God promised to help Israel escape from the burden of sin, if they will only repent and thus "Roll Over" their sins to God, their complete pardon is assured.(1)

Christian theology teaches that the penalty for our sins can be transferred to Jesus at the cross. It is through faithful repentance for our sins, recognizing Jesus' Lordship, His death and resurrection, that we "Roll Over" our sins back to God (Jesus) and our complete pardon (Salvation) is promised. Using Christian theology, this verse is saying to let the Father deliver the Son from death (through resurrection).

Verse 12: "Encircled me." The Hebrew word here has a literal meaning of "they crown me."(1)

The New Testament teaches in Matthew 27:29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"

Verse 16: "They pierced My hands and My feet." Some Hebrew translations use a different interpretation of this verse. Some anti missionary groups, prefer an alternative translation claiming that Christians have intentionally mistranslated this verse (Jesus' hands and feet were pierced when He was nailed to the cross). There is however support for using the translation found on this page from sources before Christ was even born (Septuagint and Vulgate).

For a deeper understanding of this verse 16 support issue Hadavar Ministries has graciously provided the following information A Textual Analysis Of Psalm 22:16-17.

It may be possible that this Psalm is prophetically related to more than one event in Israel's history. When this occurs, it is sometimes referred to as the doctrine of dual fulfillment's. This doctrine states that a prophecy may be fulfilled in some part or in whole more than one time.

Verse 17: "I count all my bones" Traditional Jewish thought taught that there are 248 limbs in the human body. There are also 248 Hebrew words in this Psalm.(1)

Interesting Talmudic Note: The great German Talmudist Rabbi Jacob ben Moses Moellin (d.1427) known as MaHaRiL calculated the number of times the torah is taken out and read in a year. His number was 248. He concludes, "Everyone wants to see (God's) Limbs" (Magen Avraham to Shulchan Arukh, O. Ch.134, 2).

Verse 18: "They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots." Christians find fulfillment of this prophetic verse in Matthew 27:35 "Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots."

Verse 25: "I will pay My vows before those who fear Him." Jewish commentary teaches that this verse refers to all the Gentile nations who will ultimately come to fear God when they witness His salvation. At that time I will praise you and fulfill my vows in their presence.(1)

One must wonder if the vows being fulfilled here might be messianic prophecies becoming fulfilled. God's word is certainly as good as a promise or vow because God cannot lie, it is against His nature.

Verse 26: "The poor shall eat and be satisfied." The great Jewish commentator Rashi comments that this verse describes the future era of Messiah, when abundance of food will fill the earth.(1)

Verse 27: "Let your heart live forever"! The Targum (an Aramaic translation or paraphrase of a portion of the Old Testament) interprets this phrase to mean "May the spirit of prophecy dwell in your hearts for all times."(1)

Verse 28: "And He rules over the nations." There is a Messianic passage in Zechariah 14:9 that confirms that the LORD is also king over all the earth. Jesus explained in John 10:30 that "I and My Father are one." This is how God/Jesus can rule as king. Jesus also claimed that He was King of the Jews (Matthew 27:11).

When He (Jesus) returns, He will rule as Messiah and King from Jerusalem over all the earth. ArtScroll confirms in its commentary this connection between this verse and Zechariah 14:9. It also confirms that sometime in the future, God will rule the entire earth as king.(1)

Verse 29: Because no man shall see Gods face and live (Exodus 33:20) it is believed that based on the wording of this verse "All those who go down to the dust Shall bow before Him" we will all see God's face at the time of death (Rabbinic statement on this verse Sifri, Parshas B'haaloscha) concerning Exodus 33:20. The New Testament teaches in 2 Corinthians 5:8 that to be dead (absent from the body) also means to be present with the Lord.

Verse 29: "go down to the dust" It is taught in Jewish tradition that those who are the enemies of Torah (Rashi) or those who shed Jewish blood (Radak) will "go down to the dust" meaning to Gehinnom, (Hell), never to be released.(1) The Book of Revelation chapter 20 confirms anyone who is not found written in the Book of Life is thrown into a "Lake of Fire" to be tormented day and night forever and ever. There is an eternal Hell along with an eternal Heaven.

Verse 29: "Shall bow before Him" Many Christian scholars see this verse reconfirmed in Philippians 2:10-11 which reads, "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

This phrase "every knee should bow" is similar to Isaiah 45:23.

Related Prophecy:

Zechariah fore-told that some day Israel will look upon the one who has been pierced. To learn more about this prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled, please read Zechariah 12:10 and Jerusalem: In The Eye Of The Storm (Zechariah Chapter 12). This is an area of end time prophecy that the reader should be familiar with.

Messiah was not only prophesied to die by crucifixion in Palm 22 but in Psalm 16 He was prophesied to rise from the dead.


Sometimes this Psalm is referred to as "The Death Psalm."

Because the New Testament refers to this psalm around 15 different times, the early church gave it the nickname of "the fifth gospel."

Other New Testament books that refer to this psalm are Matthew 27:35,46, Mark 15:34, John 19:24,30 and Hebrews 2:12.

The Hebrew text is numbered differently than the English text because the Hebrew counts the title as the first verse.

Articles related to the Messiah in the Psalms include:


1). ArtScroll Tanach Series Psalms 1-30 Psalm 22 Notes: pp.267-285.

The Messiah in the Old Testament by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.

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