Psalm 22 and the Crucified Messiah

Much like Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 describes the Messiah’s torment, rejection and death.

“To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1-2).

Son of David: King David, who wrote Psalm 22 under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, predicted that the Messiah – who would be his descendant – would suffer, be rejected and killed. When Jesus was on the cross, He cried out quoting the first line of the Psalm, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” That is: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Psalm 22 foretells how God had to separate from the Messiah. God turns His face away from the Messiah so that, as he dies, He may take the sins of Israel and of all mankind upon Himself.

Rashi (who was a famous Jewish sage) gave his commentary on this verse: “Why have You forsaken me?: They are destined to go into exile, and David recited this prayer for the future” (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki). Even Rashi could see that this psalm is a prophecy about the future and not just some past experience of David.

“But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; He trusts in the Lord; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, for He delights in him!” (Psalm 22:6-8).

Now these verses describe the scorn and derision towards the Messiah by all those around him.

“Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help” (Psalm 22:9-11).

The Messiah’s trust is not in people, but in God, and has been from the beginning. However, God is not there in His time of trouble. Interestingly, even here like the rest of the biblical prophecies about the Messiah, only the Messiah’s mother is mentioned, there is no human father mentioned.

“For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; Like a lion are my hands and feet” (Psalm 22:16).

And now, here comes the interesting part! For the past millennia, all Hebrew bibles say: “Like a lion are my hands and feet.” Or, in other words: my hands and my feet are like those of a lion. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, does it? 1,000 years ago, the Masoretes who made the “Masoretic text” that Israelis all use today, changed one single letter in this verse:

They shortened the letter VAV ( ו )

 into the letter YUD  ( י ).

Originally, the text actually read they have pierced my hands and my feet. The original Hebrew word means to mine or bore, to make a hole or dig a pit. According to Bar-Ilan University’s Biblical Hebrew Dictionary the meaning of “mine” is the same as “dig.” This is reinforced in various places throughout the Old Testament. For example, in Exodus 21:33 or in 2 Chronicles 16:14. However, this sounded a little too much like Jesus for the rabbis, they decided to shorten the letter VAV ( ו ) to become the letter YUD  ( י ). Any person who reads any ancient version of the Old Testament, such as the Septuagint or the Dead Sea Scrolls, will see for themselves that the original text doesn’t say “like a lion”, but rather “they have bored / pierced.” The Dead Sea Scrolls, dated hundreds of years before the time of Jesus or as in the New Testament, were written at least 1,200 years prior to the Masoretic text.

That description is remarkably similar to the one in Zechariah 12, verse 10: “When they look on me, on Him whom they have pierced” as well as to the description in Isaiah 53 where the Messiah is said to be “pierced for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5).

Even the Jewish Sages recognized and admitted that Psalm 22 was a prophetic psalm about the Messiah. In fact, Rashi explains verse 27 as referring: “To the time of redemption, to the days of the Messiah.” (Rashi’s commentary on Psalm 22:27).

When one properly understands Psalm 22, the true Messiah and Savior can be easily discerned. It describes one who has suffered unbearable agony, pierced in his hands and feet, tortured and killed, but then rose from the dead. King David wasn’t referring to himself – even the rabbis agree about that. However, unlike David, Jesus not only risked His own life for His people, but He GAVE His life – for us all!

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Psalm 22 and the Crucified Messiah

Friday, January 18, 2019 |  Eitan Bar

Much like Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 describes the Messiah’s torment, rejection and death.

“To the choirmaster: according to The Doe of the Dawn. A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?” (Psalm 22:1-2).

Son of David: King David, who wrote Psalm 22 under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, predicted that the Messiah – who would be his descendant – would suffer, be rejected and killed. When Jesus was on the cross, He cried out quoting the first line of the Psalm, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” That is: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). Psalm 22 foretells how God had to separate from the Messiah. God turns His face away from the Messiah so that, as he dies, He may take the sins of Israel and of all mankind upon Himself.

Rashi (who was a famous Jewish sage) gave his commentary on this verse: “Why have You forsaken me?: They are destined to go into exile, and David recited this prayer for the future” (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki). Even Rashi could see that this psalm is a prophecy about the future and not just some past experience of David.

“But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; He trusts in the Lord; let Him deliver him; let Him rescue him, for He delights in him!” (Psalm 22:6-8).

Now these verses describe the scorn and derision towards the Messiah by all those around him.

“Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help” (Psalm 22:9-11).

The Messiah’s trust is not in people, but in God, and has been from the beginning. However, God is not there in His time of trouble. Interestingly, even here like the rest of the biblical prophecies about the Messiah, only the Messiah’s mother is mentioned, there is no human father mentioned.

“For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; Like a lion are my hands and feet” (Psalm 22:16).

And now, here comes the interesting part! For the past millennia, all Hebrew bibles say: “Like a lion are my hands and feet.” Or, in other words: my hands and my feet are like those of a lion. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, does it? 1,000 years ago, the Masoretes who made the “Masoretic text” that Israelis all use today, changed one single letter in this verse:

They shortened the letter VAV ( ו )

 into the letter YUD  ( י ).

Originally, the text actually read they have pierced my hands and my feet. The original Hebrew word means to mine or bore, to make a hole or dig a pit. According to Bar-Ilan University’s Biblical Hebrew Dictionary the meaning of “mine” is the same as “dig.” This is reinforced in various places throughout the Old Testament. For example, in Exodus 21:33 or in 2 Chronicles 16:14. However, this sounded a little too much like Jesus for the rabbis, they decided to shorten the letter VAV ( ו ) to become the letter YUD  ( י ). Any person who reads any ancient version of the Old Testament, such as the Septuagint or the Dead Sea Scrolls, will see for themselves that the original text doesn’t say “like a lion”, but rather “they have bored / pierced.” The Dead Sea Scrolls, dated hundreds of years before the time of Jesus or as in the New Testament, were written at least 1,200 years prior to the Masoretic text.

That description is remarkably similar to the one in Zechariah 12, verse 10: “When they look on me, on Him whom they have pierced” as well as to the description in Isaiah 53 where the Messiah is said to be “pierced for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5).

Even the Jewish Sages recognized and admitted that Psalm 22 was a prophetic psalm about the Messiah. In fact, Rashi explains verse 27 as referring: “To the time of redemption, to the days of the Messiah.” (Rashi’s commentary on Psalm 22:27).

When one properly understands Psalm 22, the true Messiah and Savior can be easily discerned. It describes one who has suffered unbearable agony, pierced in his hands and feet, tortured and killed, but then rose from the dead. King David wasn’t referring to himself – even the rabbis agree about that. However, unlike David, Jesus not only risked His own life for His people, but He GAVE His life – for us all!


Eitan Bar is author of the new book Refuting Rabbinic Objections to Christianity and Messianic Prophecies, available from Amazon.

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Israel vs Iran: How Israel Is Working To Defeat The Iranian Axis

On Tuesday, during the appointment ceremony of incoming IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told Iran to get out of Syria fast.
 “I’m telling you, get out of there fast. We won’t stop attacking,” Netanyahu told participants in the ceremony.
His comments followed an official statement at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday in which Netanyahu confirmed the latest Israeli action against Iran in Syria.
“Just in the last 36 hours the air force attacked Iranian warehouses with Iranian weapons at the international airport in Damascus. The accumulation of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to take action against Iran in Syria, just as we promised,” Netanyahu told his cabinet.
The Israeli leader claimed the IDF and IAF had “worked with impressive success to block Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria” and had struck “Iranian and Hezbollah targets hundreds of times.”
In interviews with Israeli broadcasters and The New York Times (NYT) the outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot revealed more about how the Israeli military had succeeded to trim the Iranian military build-up in Syria and Lebanon.
 
Eisenkot said that the Israeli military had carried out “thousands of strikes” against the Iranian axis in Syria and in 2018 alone had used more than 2,000 missiles and bombs to stop Iran from building up its forces in the war-torn country.
 
The outgoing IDF commander also confirmed Israel could try to assassinate Qassem Soleimani the shrewd commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Soleimani is the driving force behind the attempt to encircle Israel and has established umbrella organizations of Shiite militias in both Syria and Iraq which are functioning as Iran’s proxy army in the region.
 
 
The turning point in the covert war between Israel and Iran came when Soleimani ordered the launch of 30 missiles at northern Israel in the night of May 10, 2018.
None of these missiles reached their target but it gave the IAF the opportunity to deliver a devastating blow to the Iranian axis in Syria.
A fleet of 28 F-15 and F-16 warplanes launched missiles and dropped bombs at “80 separate Iranian military and Assad regime targets in Syria,” according to Eisenkot.
Operation Northern Shield has so far resulted in the destruction of six attack tunnels which were already crossing the Israeli border. The operation not only deprived Hezbollah from an important weapon but also delivered a mortal blow to the Iranian plan to surprise Israel in a future multiple-front-war.
The IDF operation also restored Israel’s deterrence vis a vis Hezbollah as it bore all the hallmarks of psychological warfare.
It was no coincidence Eisenkot waited for four years before ordering the destruction of the tunnels at the moment Hezbollah neared their completion.
The video of a scared Hezbollah operative who came to inspect an IDF robot which was equipped with a small explosive device and a camera was another example of the psychological warfare the IDF uses against the Iranian axis.
The images of the Hezbollah men fleeing after the device exploded in his face were very humiliating for the Iranian proxy.
Then there is Gaza where the Iranians acted via its IRGC branch Islamic Jihad and its newfound ally Hamas in the beginning of November 2018.
Soleimani reportedly ordered the escalation on November 9 and 10 and asked the Palestinian terror organizations to open up a new front in southern Israel.
Eisenkot now revealed why he opposed a new ground operation in Gaza.
The former IDF chief told NYT that he thought Israel should focus its attention on winning the war against Iran and called Hamas “a weak enemy”.
“When you fight for many years against a weak enemy, it also weakens you,” Eisenkot claimed while adding the IDF is making “continuous and kinetic efforts” to degrade the military capabilities of Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.
His successor  Maj-Gen Aviv Kochavi is expected to continue Eisenkot’s sophisticated and intelligent warfare.
“The IDF is getting an excellent Chief of Staff,” President Reuven Rivlin said during the appointment ceremony of Kochavi while PM Netanyahu praised the incoming IDF chief of staff for his out-of-the-box thinking.

Over 10,000 protesters clash with IDF forces on Gaza Border

More than 10,000 Palestinians protested along the Gaza security fence on Friday in what they call March of Return protests. Clashes with Israeli security forces occurred at five different locations.
Palestinian media reported that 14 protesters were injured, three were badly wounded and two were medics. Beirut based television channel Al Mayadeen reported that one of its reporters was injured in his leg.
This is the 43’d week that the Friday protests have taken place. They were originally started following the American decision to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that IDF forces fired tear gas on ambulances and medical teams present at the protests.
 
 
“We will continue with the March of Return protests until the blockade on Gaza is lifted,” said Hamas official Ahmed Bahar in a speech he gave east of Gaza, “despite all those who bet that it [the protest] would fail, our people will not give up its rights,” he said.
He continued that “the Zionists must know Jerusalem is ours.” “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu must leave our lands” Bahar said, adding “shame upon those who serve as agents of the occupation and all those who try to normalize relations with the Zionist enemy, such acts are a betrayal to the Palestinian people and the blood of the martyrs.”
Israeli media reported that Israel is conditioning the future transfer of Qatari funds to Gaza with how the Friday protests will be conducted.