Old Testament

Psalm 22
Psalm 22
Why Have You Forsaken Me?
For the choir director. According to “Doe of the Dawn.”[]
A psalm by David.
Part One: The Messiah's Suffering
The Messiah's Plea
1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
My groaning does nothing to save me.
2My God, I call out by day, but you do not answer.
I call out by night, but there is no relief for me.[]
God's Help in the Past
3Yet you are seated as the Holy One, praised by Israel.
4In you our fathers trusted.
They trusted and you delivered them.
5They cried out to you, and they were rescued.
They trusted in you, and they were not disappointed.
God's Present Absence
6But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by men and despised by the people.
7All who see me mock me. They sneer.
They shake their heads.
They say, 8“Trust in the Lord.”[]
“Let the Lord deliver him.
Let him rescue him, if he delights in him.”[]
The Mutual Love of Father and Son
9But you are the one who brought me out of the belly.
You made me trust when I was at my mother's breasts.
10I was cast on you from the womb.
From the belly of my mother you have been my God.
11Do not be distant from me, for distress is near,
and there is no one to help.
The Power of His Enemies
12Many bulls surround me.
Strong bulls from Bashan encircle me.
13Enemies open their mouths wide against me,
like a lion that tears its prey and roars.
14Like water I am poured out.
All my bones are pulled apart.
My heart has become like wax.
It has melted in the middle of my chest.
15My strength is dried up like broken pottery,
and my tongue is stuck to the roof of my mouth.
You lay me in the dust of death.
16For dogs have surrounded me.
A band of evil men has encircled me.
They have pierced[] my hands and my feet.
17I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me.
18They divide my garments among them.
For my clothing they cast lots.
The Greater Power of God
19But you, O Lord, do not be distant.
O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
20Deliver my life from the sword,
my only life from the power of the dog.
21Save me from the mouth of the lion.
From the horns of the wild oxen you have answered me.[]
Part Two: The Messiah's Glory
The Messiah's Vow
22I will declare your name to my brothers.
In the midst of the congregation I will praise you.
23You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel!
24For he has not despised nor detested the affliction of the afflicted.
He has not hidden his face from him,
but when he cried out to him, he heard.
25You are the source of my praise in the great congregation.[]
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who fear him.
The Glory of Messiah's Kingdom
26The poor will eat and be satisfied.
Those who seek him will praise the Lord
—may he live in your hearts forever![]
27All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations will bow down before you.
28For the kingdom belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
29All the rich of the earth will eat and bow down.
All who go down to the dust will kneel before him
—those who cannot keep themselves alive.[]
30Descendants will serve him.
For generations people will be told about the Lord.
31They will come and proclaim his righteousness
to a people yet to be born
—because he has done it.


  • 22:0 This may be the name of the tune. An alternate reading is help at dawn.
  • 22:2 Or I am never silent
  • 22:8 Literally roll [your troubles] to the Lord
  • 22:8 The first part of the quotation is addressed to the suffering Messiah. The second part is addressed to their fellow mockers, so they are marked as two separate quotations.
  • 22:16 The reading they have pierced is found in some Hebrew manuscripts, including one of the oldest, as well as in other ancient versions. Most Hebrew manuscripts read like a lion instead of a verb.
  • 22:21 Or answer me
  • 22:25 This verse may mean that the Son praises the Father in the great congregation (as in verse 22) or that the Father praises the Son in the great congregation. The first option seems to fit the context best.
  • 22:26 Or may your hearts live forever
  • 22:29 The ancient versions read my soul will live for him rather than my soul will not live.