Psalm 22 Commentary2017-11-13T17:52:14+00:00

Biblical Commentary
(Bible study)

Psalm 22

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Psalm 22 Biblical Commentary:

INTRODUCTION:

This psalm is a lament––a literary form expressing sorrow over a loss. There are a number of laments in Hebrew scripture, to include several psalms of lament as well as the book of Lamentations. Biblical laments typically include (1) a complaint, (2) a contrast between former good times and current bad times (times when God favored Israel contrasted with the current time when God seems absent), (3) a prayer for relief, and (4) a statement of trust in God.

A lament might be inspired by any form of calamity, such as illness, death, exile, death or defeat in battle. The lamenter might engage in any number of outward signs of sorrow, such as wearing sackcloth, sitting in ashes, fasting, or loud weeping. The purpose of the lament was to persuade God to provide relief from the calamitous circumstances.

Laments could be either individual or communal. A lament could be sung by a congregation. “The king led at any occasion requiring national lamentation. David mourned the death of Saul and composed a lament for him (2 S. 1:17–27). Later he lamented the death of Abner (3:33f)” (Hartley, 64).

Craigie sees Psalm 22 as a liturgical psalm to be “used for those persons who were severely sick and threatened by death; they participated in the liturgy, in the context of the community as a whole, who gathered as a congregation in the temple.”

The character of this psalm changes dramatically at verse 21b, “Yes, from the horns of the wild oxen, you have answered me.” (Some say that the shift comes with verse 22). Prior to those words, the emphasis was complaint and prayer for relief. Beginning with those words, the psalmist acknowledges relief and expresses joy. This has led some scholars to propose that two psalms were melded into one, but that is a minority opinion.

The last section of this psalm (vv. 27-31) is unusual in that it anticipates a day when “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh. All the relatives of the nations shall worship before you” (v. 27). Most Israelites at the time this psalm was written would separate people into two camps: Israel (good) and others (bad)

PSALM 22:1-2. MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?

For the Chief Musician; set to The Deer of the Morning. A Psalm by David

1My God (Hebrew: e·li), my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?

2 My God, I cry in the daytime, but you don’t answer;
in the night season, and am not silent.

“For the Chief Musician; set to The Deer of the Morning. A Psalm of David.” This is called the superscription. Many psalms include a superscription, which we believe were added after the fact by the people putting together the psalm book.We have no idea what was meant by “The Deer of the Morning.”

There are two systems for numbering the verses in the Psalms. One system counts the superscription as verse 1. In the other system, the superscription is not numbered. Most modern Bibles use the second numbering system––do not assign a number to the superscription. Thus verse 1 in this instance begins with “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” However, in some Bibles and commentaries the superscription will be verse 1 and “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” will be verse 2.

As an example of the kind of confusion that this can cause, my English-language Bible uses one system and my Hebrew-language Bible uses the other. Most of my commentaries track with my English Bible, but the Word Biblical Commentary tracks with the Hebrew Bible. The numbers are just one number off from each other, so it is easy to compensate––but it has been helpful to understand why the difference exists.

This is one of a number of psalms that include a superscription concerning David. Readers through the centuries have interpreted “A Psalm of David” to mean “A Psalm written by David,” but a number of scholars question that interpretation today. There are a number of reasons for that, including the fact that “several Davidic psalms refer to the ‘temple’ (e.g., 5:7, 27:4; 65:4; 68:29” (Broyles, 28)––but the temple was built by David’s son, Solomon, and was not in existence during David’s lifetime.

Also, the Hebrew word le (usually translated “of” in English translations) is ambiguous. Broyles notes that it could have any one of five meanings that range from authored by David to dedicated to David (Broyles, 27-28).

The issue of Davidic authorship of the psalms is sufficiently complex that I can’t do it justice here. For further study, see Craig C. Broyles, New International Biblical Commentary: Psalms, pages 26-31 and A.A. Anderson, The New Century Bible Commentary: Psalms (1-72), pages 43-45.

“My God (e·li), my God, why have you forsaken me?” (v. 1a). These words are familiar to us because Jesus quoted them from the cross––“Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” (Aramaic) which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46). The Jews of Jesus’ day were highly conversant with the Hebrew scriptures, and knew Psalm 22. While some bystanders at the cross either misunderstood Jesus or deliberately misinterpreted him (“Behold, he is calling Elijah”), Jesus cited the first verse of this psalm to evoke the full psalm of lament.

While verses 1-2 reflect great despair, the words, “my God,” reflect hope. This is not just any god whom the lamenter is addressing, but “my God”––the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to be sure (Exodus 2:24; Acts 7:32)––the God who had covenanted with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (2 Kings 13:23)––but nevertheless “My God”––the God with whom the lamenter has had a personal relationship in the past and is seeking to renew that relationship for the present.

“Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? My God, I cry in the daytime, but you don’t answer; in the night season, and am not silent” (v. 1b-2). The person offering the lament feels deserted by God, because God is not helping him in his hour of need. He seeks more than a spiritual awareness of God’s presence. He wants God to manifest his presence by relieving his misery. He prays––he groans––he pleads––but God has not answered.

God’s silence in the face of a supplicant’s pleadings is disturbing. The supplicant feels abandoned, and has no way to know whether that abandonment is permanent or temporary. It might represent God’s judgment for the supplicant’s misdeeds, or it might not. Supplicant has no way to know–– and no way to effect a remedy. That’s what makes the silence so troubling.

PSALM 22:3-5. BUT YOU ARE HOLY

3But you are holy,
you who inhabit the praises of Israel.

4Our ancestors trusted in you.
They trusted, and you delivered them.
5They cried to you, and were delivered.
They trusted in you, and were not disappointed.

“But you are holy, you who inhabit the praises of Israel” (v. 3). Yahweh is distinguished by holiness (Psalm 99:3, 9), which has two manifestations:

The first is Yahweh’s separateness––his apartness from that which is ordinary. He is the Creator. All else is that which he created.

The second manifestation of Yahweh’s holiness is his moral perfection. Yahweh acts justly, honors covenants, and in all ways does what is righteous and holy (Isaiah 5:16).

“Our fathers trusted (Hebrew: batah) in you. They trusted, and you delivered (Hebrew: palat) them” (v. 4). The Hebrew word batah means “to feel secure” or “to have confidence in.” In relationship with God, that kind of confidence is circular. (1) People trust, and God vindicates their trust. (2) God’s positive response then gives them all the more reason to trust.

The Hebrew word palat means to rescue or to deliver or to effect an escape. The history of the Israelites is replete with accounts of deliverance. The archetypical example is the Exodus, where God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and put them on the road to the Promised Land. The next great deliverance was from the Babylonian Exile–– but there were many examples in between, such as God using the boy David to deliver Israel from the Philistines and the giant Goliath.

“They cried to you, and were delivered. They trusted in you, and were not disappointed” (v. 5). This history of deliverance should be the basis for rock-solid faith in God. However, in this case, the psalmist is setting up a dramatic contrast. When Israel cried to God, God delivered them. However, the psalmist’s experience has been different. He cried out, and has not been delivered. He trusted, and has been disappointed.

PSALM 22:6-8. I AM A WORM

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

7All those who see me mock me. They insult me with their lips.
They shake their heads, saying,
8“He trusts in Yahweh;
let him deliver him.
Let him rescue him, since he delights in him.”

“But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people” (v. 6). This represents an attempt on the part of the psalmist to understand his situation. Since God has failed to heed his cries, he must be such a lowly creature as to be unworthy of God’s attention.

He says that he is a worm––a truly lowly creature. He is a reproach, a person worthy only of scorn. This represents the opinion of other people, but it also represents the psalmist’s opinion of himself. He bases that opinion on God’s refusal to heed his cries. God must think him unworthy of response.

“All those who see me mock me. They insult me with their lips” (v. 7a). Their low opinion is based on the assumption that people in misery somehow deserve their misery.

We find that assumption frequently in both Old and New Testaments. For instance, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2).

In modern times, we have tended to turn this assumption on its head, preferring to believe that a person’s troubles are the fault of his parents, his environment, his poverty, his teachers, or the justice system. While there is a kernel of truth in this belief, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. While some suffering appears randomly, there is also a strong correlation between the decisions we make and the outcomes we receive. By relieving the suffering person of accountability, we tend to perpetuate the sufferer’s condition.

But in this instance, the psalmist has probably not done anything to effect his misery.

“They shake their heads, saying, ‘he trusts in Yahweh; let him deliver him. Let him rescue him, since he delights in him'” (vv. 7b-8). The psalmist’s detractors scorn his faith. They see that he does trust in Yahweh, so they mockingly say, “Let God deliver him. Let Yahweh rescue him, since he delights in Yahweh.”

Matthew applies these scornful words to Jesus’ crucifixion, placing them in the mouths of the chief priests, scribes, and elders (Matthew 27:41-43).

PSALM 22:9-11. YOU ARE MY GOD

9 But you brought me out of the womb.
You made me trust at my mother’s breasts.

10 I was thrown on you from my mother’s womb.
You are my God since my mother bore me.

11 Don’t be far from me, for trouble is near.
For there is none to help.

Verses 9 through 21 constitute a prayer. Verses 9 through 11 introduce the prayer by reminding God of the psalmist’s long-standing relationship with God. It was God who “brought (the psalmist) out of the womb.” It was God who “made (him) trust at (his) mother’s breasts” (v. 9).

The psalmist was “thrown on God from his mother’s womb” (v. 10). He learned dependence on God from the very beginning of his life. Yahweh has been his God since birth.

The fact that the psalmist can speak of Yahweh as “my God” (v. 10) is significant. While his relationship with God goes back to the beginning of his life, he now feels abandoned by God. Nevertheless, he prays and acknowledges that Yahweh is his God.

“Don’t be far from me, for trouble is near” (v. 11a). The psalmist pleads with God not to remain far away, because trouble is near. The psalmist needs God to be near as well––to protect him––to guide him––to strengthen him––to save him.

“For there is none to help” (v. 11). If God has abandoned him, the psalmist is truly alone with “none to help.”

This brings to mind Paul’s comment, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Paul was saying, “If God is for us, what difference does it make who is against us. God’s support seals the victory.”

But the opposite is also true. If God is NOT for us, it doesn’t matter WHO is for us. God’s absence seals the defeat.

PSALM 22:12-13. BULLS AND LIONS

12 Many bulls have surrounded me.
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me.

13 They open their mouths wide against me,
lions tearing prey and roaring.

“Many bulls have surrounded me” (v. 12a). Bulls (male cattle) are impressive and fearsome animals, weighing as much as a ton (1000 kg.). Bulls can be quite aggressive. If a bull attacks a person, it will most likely kill the person. Anyone caught in a field with a bull should hope that the bull will not notice while the person makes his escape.

Used metaphorically, as it is here, the bull stands for a super-strong adversary. The psalmist feels surrounded by bulls––a no-win situation.

“Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me” (v. 12b). Bashan was an area east of the Sea of Galilee that was famous for its cattle. The psalmist intends the term, “bulls of Bashan,” to stand for especially large and dangerous adversaries. To be encircled by such foes would be a fearsome prospect.

“They open their mouths wide against me, lions tearing prey and roaring” (v. 13). With this verse, the metaphor changes from bulls to lions––but the principle is the same. The psalmist is beset by powerful and dangerous adversaries, who are threatening to tear him apart.

While Old and New Testaments alike use lions metaphorically in a positive way, (Numbers 23:24; 2 Samuel 17:10; Revelation 5:5), Peter likens “Your adversary, the devil” to “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

PSALM 22:14-15. I AM POURED OUT LIKE WATER

14 I am poured out like water.
All my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax;
it is melted within me.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have brought me into the dust of death.

The psalmist describes his lot in graphic terms:

He is “poured out like water”––water that has lost its usefulness and so is poured out into the sand.

His “bones are out of joint”––a painful and disabling medical malady.

His “heart is like wax” that has been melted, and thus has no power to function.

His “strength (Hebrew: koah) is dried up like a potsherd”––like baked clay. Strength is a better translation than mouth (NRSV) for the Hebrew word koah.

His “tongue sticks to the roof of (his) mouth”––a condition that we call “dry mouth”––caused in this instance by anxiety and stress.

He accuses God of bringing him “into the dust of death”––another way of saying “to the brink of death, so close that he can taste the dust of the grave.”

PSALM 22:16-21a. A COMPANY OF EVILDOERS HAVE ENCLOSED ME

16 For dogs have surrounded me.
A company of evildoers have enclosed me.
They have pierced my hands and feet.

17 I can count all of my bones.
They look and stare at me.

18 They divide my garments among them.
They cast lots for my clothing.

19 But don’t be far off, Yahweh.
You are my help: hurry to help me.

20 Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog.

21a Save me from the lion’s mouth!

These verses continue the psalmist’s litany of suffering:

“Dogs have surrounded (him).” While dogs were sometimes kept as pets, wild dogs often traveled in packs and preyed on the weak.

“A company of evildoers have enclosed (him).” Earlier it was bulls and lions that surrounded the psalmist. Now it is evildoers, those whose hearts are bent on malice.

“They have pierced (his) hands and feet.” The early church interpreted this as a reference to Jesus (Luke 24:39; John 20:25).

“(He) can count all of (his) bones” a sign of malnutrition or starvation.

“They look and stare at (him).” The word “they” could refer to his adversaries, but it could also refer to onlookers. People tend to gawk at those whose misfortune is manifested in a bodily disorder (lame, blind, disabled).

“They divide (his) garments among them. They cast lots for (his) clothing” (v. 18). As with verse 16b, this points to Jesus’ experience on the cross (Mark 15:24; Luke 24:34; John 19:24).

The casting of lots was used frequently for decision-making in the Old Testament (Leviticus 16:8; Numbers 33:54; Joshua 18:8-10; 1 Samuel 14:41-42; etc.). After Judas’ death, the apostles cast lots to choose his successor––Matthias (Acts 1:26). In Jewish hands, casting lots was not a game of chance, but a way for discerning God’s will.

But in this verse, and for the Roman soldiers who cast lots for Jesus’ clothing, it was a game of chance.

“But don’t be far off, Yahweh. You are my help: hurry to help me” (v. 19). Having expressed the extreme nature of his situation, the psalmist restates his plea from verse 11 that God would not be far off and God is his help. He adds a plea that God will hurry to help him.

“Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog” (v. 20). The sword and dog are symbols of the power of the psalmist’s adversaries. The psalmist prays for deliverance from these destructive forces.

“Deliver my soul (Hebrew: nepes) from the sword” (v. 20a). The Israelites thought of the person holistically, and would never have divided the person into body and soul, as the Greeks were later to do. They could not conceive of a soul apart from a body–– or of the soul continuing to live after the body died.

The Israelites used the word nepes to mean breath, the animating force that gives the creature life––and, by extension, the living creature itself. Therefore, when God breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, “the man became a living being” (nepes) (Genesis 2:7).

“my precious (Hebrew:  yahid) life from the power of the dog” (v. 20). The Hebrew word yahid means “only,” and can mean “only life,” as it does here. A person is granted only one life. That life is precious. If it is taken away, that is the end. That understanding would have been especially prevalent in Old Testament times, when the idea of resurrection had not been fully developed.

“Save me from the lion’s mouth! Yes, from the horns of the wild oxen, you have answered me” (v. 21a). Again, the “lion’s mouth” and “the horns of the wild oxen” are symbols of the power of the psalmist’s enemies. In the first part of this verse, the psalmist pleas for salvation from his foes. In the last part of this verse, he acknowledges that God has answered his plea.

PSALM 22:21b-24: I WILL DECLARE YOUR NAME AND PRAISE YOU

21b Yes, from the horns of the wild oxen, you have answered me.

22 I will declare your name to my brothers.
In the midst of the assembly, I will praise you.

23 You who fear Yahweh, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify him!
Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel!

24 For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted,
Neither has he hidden his face from him;
but when he cried to him, he heard.

“Yes, from the horns of the wild oxen, you have answered me” (v. 21b). I found this part of verse 21to be problematic.

On one hand, it appears to be the second part of a couplet in verse 21, which would suggest grouping it with verses 16-21.

On the other hand, the content appears to fit better with verses 22-24, which shift from a litany of woes (vv. 16-21) to a song of praise for deliverance.

The commentaries didn’t prove useful on this point. One says this, and another says that––but none provides compelling evidence for its point of view. I have chosen to include 21b with 22-24, because it sounds a note of joy that is in keeping with these verses.

But that’s a fine point best left to scholars. The preacher will do the congregation a service by not belaboring academic points such as this in his/her preaching.

“I will declare your name to my brothers. In the midst of the assembly, I will praise you” (v. 22). This is a natural response for a person who has been saved from a terrible situation. While the person might not be able to adequately compensate the one who saved him, he could sing the savior’s praise. That would require little effort, because praise will naturally well up from within and demand expression.

“You who fear Yahweh, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify him! Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel!” (v. 23). Verses 23-24 constitute the praise that the psalmist promised in verse 22.

The psalmist calls the “descendants of Jacob” and “the descendants of Israel” (the Jewish people) to glorify God and to stand in awe of him.

“For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted. Neither has he hidden his face from him; but when he cried to him, he heard” (v. 24). In this verse, the psalmist gives reasons why Israelites should praise God. God has neither despised the afflicted nor “hidden his face from him.” Instead, when the afflicted person cried out, God heard his cry. The feeling of abandonment expressed in verses 1-2 has dissolved into nothingness, because God has answered and God has saved.

PSALM 22:25-26. THE HUMBLE SHALL EAT AND BE SATISFIED

25 Of you comes my praise in the great assembly.
I will pay my vows before those who fear him.

26 The humble shall eat and be satisfied.
They shall praise Yahweh who seek after him.
Let your hearts live forever.

“Of you comes my praise in the great assembly” (Hebrew: qahal­­––congregation). (v. 25a). The term, “great congregation,” recurs several times in the psalms (22:25; 35:18; 40:9-10; 107:32). It surely refers to the worship gathering at the Jerusalem Temple, and might refer more specifically to the gathering at one of the annual festivals.

“I will pay my vows before those who fear him” (v. 25b). A vow is a solemn promise to God, often made as a part of a bargain where the petitioner promises a specific action in return for a blessing from God.

There is no indication in these verses that the psalmist has struck a bargain of this sort. However, he has pulled out all the stops when describing his forsakenness (vv. 1-2), God’s faithfulness to past generations (vv. 4-5) and his woeful need (vv. 6-21a). It is only natural, therefore, that he wants to serve God faithfully in return for his blessed relief.

“The humble (Hebrew: anawim––the poor, the vulnerable, the humble) shall eat and be satisfied” (v. 26a). Elsewhere, the psalmist promises that, in contrast with the wicked, “the humble shall inherit the land, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (37:11). Jesus alludes to that verse in his Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).

The promise here is that the humble “shall eat and be satisfied” (Hebrew: saba––be filled or satisfied), which is close to Jesus’ “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

While Biblical satisfaction usually has to do with a full stomach, it can also serve as a metaphor for other needs. Even prosperous people can find themselves profoundly dissatisfied. Malls are full of affluent people looking for something to feed their maw––to slake their spiritual hunger. They aren’t likely to find it on a retail shelf. Satisfaction is a Godly gift that wells up from within the person who has received the gift.

“They shall praise Yahweh who seek after him. Let your hearts live forever” (v. 26b). It is only natural that those who seek after God should praise him, because they are likely to experience the satisfaction that only God can offer.

“Let your hearts live forever” (v. 26c). A celebratory toast by a person who has experienced mercy at God’s hand.

PSALM 22:27-31. ALL THE EARTH SHALL TURN TO YAHWEH

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh.
All the relatives of the nations shall worship before you.

28 For the kingdom is Yahweh’s.
He is the ruler over the nations.

29 All the rich ones of the earth shall eat and worship.
All those who go down to the dust shall bow before him,
even he who can’t keep his soul alive.

30 Posterity shall serve him.
Future generations shall be told about the Lord.

31 They shall come and shall declare his righteousness
to a people that shall be born,
for he has done it.

“All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh. All the relatives of the nations (Hebrew: goy, goyim) shall worship before you” (v. 27).

Two key phrases in this verse are: “ends of the earth” and “relatives (or families) of the nations” (Hebrew: goy, goyim). While the word goyim can mean nations in general, it was often used to mean Gentiles––heathen.

These two phrases add breadth to the usual Jewish understanding of Israel as God’s chosen people to the exclusion of others. That understanding had theological underpinning in God’s prohibition of intermarriage with neighboring tribes (Deuteronomy 7:3; Joshua 23:12; Ezra 9:1-4, 12; 10:11; Nehemiah 13:23-30) and God’s requirement that the Israelites keep themselves separate from neighboring tribes, even to the point of killing entire populations (Leviticus 20:26; Numbers 25:5; Deuteronomy 7:1-6; 13:6-11; Joshua 9:24; 23:6-13; Judges 2:1-4; 1 Samuel 15:3).

The broadened understanding of God’s kingdom to include people other than the Israelites goes back to the beginning. God promised Abram, “All of the families (Hebrew: mispahah––families, tribes, clans) of the earth will be blessed in you” (Genesis 12:3).

It also famously includes the book of Jonah, where God charged Jonah to preach Gentile Ninevites in the hope of saving them––a hope that was, to Jonah’s dismay, fully realized.

For other Old Testament references , see Genesis 22:18; Psalm 22:27; 72:17; 86:9; Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9; 49:6b; 60:3; Jeremiah 3:17; Daniel 7:13-14; Joel 2:28-32; Zechariah 2:11; Malachi 1:11.

This broadened understanding reached its peak with Peter’s vision at the home of Cornelius, a Roman centurion, in Acts 10. In that vision, God commanded Peter to kill and eat animals that had been on the forbidden list for Jews. When Peter protested that he had never eaten anything unclean, God answered, “What God has cleansed, you must not call unclean” (Acts 10:15). It soon became apparent that God’s intent was for Peter to embrace Cornelius and other faithful Gentiles without the requirement that they first convert to Judaism.

“For the kingdom is Yahweh’s. He is the ruler (Hebrew: masal, a verb––he rules) over the nations” (Hebrew: goyim) (v. 28). This verse continues the broadened vision of all people as subjects of God.

“All the rich ones (Hebrew: dasen––prosperous, affluent, rich) of the earth shall eat and worship. All those who go down to the dust shall bow before him, even he who can’t keep his soul alive” (v. 29). In this verse, the psalmist captures both ends of the spectrum: Those who are alive and prosperous, and those who are no longer alive. He is saying that, from A to Z, everyone will be subject to the Lord.

“Posterity shall serve him. Future generations shall be told about the Lord” (v. 30). Now the psalmist looks in another direction––to the future. Generations yet to be born will be told about the Lord, and will serve him.

“They shall come and shall declare his righteousness to a people that shall be born” (v. 31). The future generations who have not yet been born, will proclaim God’s righteousness to their generations and the generations that follow. There will be no end to the proclamation of God’s righteousness and his love.

 

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) modern English translation of the Holy Bible. The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. The ASV, which is also in the public domain due to expired copyrights, was a very good translation, but included many archaic words (hast, shineth, etc.), which the WEB has updated.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

COMMENTARIES:

Anderson, A.A., The New Century Bible Commentary: Psalms 1-72 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972)

Broyles, Craig C., New International Biblical Commentary: Psalms (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999

Brueggemann, Walter, The Message of the Psalms A Theological Commentary (Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, 1984)

Clifford, Richard J., Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries: Psalms 1-72 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002)

Craigie, Peter C., Word Biblical Commentary, Psalms 1-50, Vol. 19 (Dallas: Word Books, 1983)

Hartley, J.E., in Bromiley, Geoffrey (General Editor), The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume Three: K-P – Revised (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1986)

Kidner, Derek, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Psalms 1-72, Vol. 14a (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1973)

Limburg, James, Westminster Bible Companion: Psalms (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2000

Mays, James Luther, Interpretation: Psalms (Louisville: John Knox, 1994)

McCann, J. Clinton, Jr., The New Interpreter’s Bible: The Book of Psalms, Vol. 4 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1996)

Waltner, James H., Believers Church Bible Commentary: Psalms (Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 2006

 

DICTIONARIES, ENCYCLOPEDIAS & LEXICONS:

Baker, Warren (ed.), The Complete WordStudy Old Testament (Chattanooga; AMG Publishers, 1994)

Baker, Warren and Carpenter, Eugene, The Complete WordStudy Dictionary: Old Testament (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2003)

Bromiley, Geoffrey (General Editor), The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised, 4 vols. (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979-1988)

Brown, Francis; Driver, S.R.; and Briggs, Charles A., The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1906, 2004)

Doniach, N.S. and Kahane, Ahuvia, The Oxford English-Hebrew Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1998)

Fohrer, Georg, Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of the Old Testament (SCM Press, 2012)

Freedman, David Noel (ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, 6 vol. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007)

Freedman, David Noel (Ed.), Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000)

Mounce, William D., (ed.), Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 2006)

Renn, Stephen D., Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words: Word Studies for Key English Bible Words Based on the Hebrew and Greek Texts (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2005)

Richards, Lawrence O., Encyclopedia of Bible Words (Zondervan, 1985, 1991)

Sakenfeld, Katharine Doob (ed.), The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 5 vol.  (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2006-2009)

VanGemeren, Willem A. (General Editor), New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, 5 vol., (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997)

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