Chapter from The Jewish Jesus Revelation, Reflection, Reclamation (Purdue University Press: 2011)
By Rivka Ulmer
Department of Religion
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I think there are more possible translations of Psalm 22:16-17 than the usual Jewish and Christian translations.
In Psalm 22:7, the writer says he is a worm and not a man. A worm doesn't have hands, feet, or bones. 22:9 could say 'a heap is to the L-rd, let him save him (it)". 22:15-16 could say that his bones have separated, which could be why he collapsed into a heap . When he was afraid of his enemies, maybe he felt like a worm because he fell apart. Maybe he felt strong again (like a lion) in 22:16-17. "And You will put me to the dust of death (where worms are) because dogs have surrounded me, companies of evildoers have surrounded me like a lion. My hands and my feet I will count. All of my bones they will see." Now he is strong like alion, so poetically he is saying he is not a worm anymore. He can count his hands and feet which worms don't have, and they will see his bones supporting his body unlike a worm that does not have bones.
There is also another possible translation. Instead of "and You will put me to the dust of death because dogs have surrounded me. Companies of evildoers have surrounded me. They have dug (pierced) my hands and my feet. I will count all of my bones." It could say "and You will put me to the dust of death because dogs have surrounded me, companies of evildoers have surrounded me, my hands and my feet dug, I will count all of my bones..."
If he is dying, then he feels like Ps.22:30 "a descender of dust", so he is digging like a worm (except with his hands and feet) to go down into the dust of death.
#1 - Kenneth Greifer - 11/25/2011 - 07:17
Concerning Psalm 22:22, the early Christians considered it to be fulfilled by the Cross including the horns of the wild oxen.
The Massoretic text reads: "Save me from the lion’s mouth; for you have answered me from the horns of the wild oxen."
But the LXX reads: ""Save me from the lion’s mouth, and save me from the horns of the unicorns."
And the Early Fathers Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian are on record as having declared the horns of the unicorns to be the five extremities of the Cross. Four of them we know about. The fifth one was a 'horn' in the middle upon which the person of the crucified rested, or in Justin's description in the original Greek, "rode."
#2 - Ed-M - 11/29/2011 - 03:19