Regarding Psalm 22:16

By Psalm 22:16, I mean "Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet."

(v17 in the jewish verse numbering) "For dogs have encompassed me; a company of evil-doers have inclosed me; like a lion, they are at my hands and my feet."

Hebrew from the masoretic tradition enter image description here

https://mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2622.htm (has hebrew and english though they've put english punctuation marks into the hebrew)

https://mechon-mamre.org/c/ct/c2622.htm (has the hebrew without english punctuation marks thrown into the hebrew, and with trope/cantillation marks)

(i'm not concerned about kaari/karu. lion or pierced/dug..or what is written in the nahal hever fragment, i'm just looking at where the Hebrew of psalms 22:16 is in 4Q88)

Is Psalms 22:16 missing from Qumran Dead Sea Scroll 4Q88? It seems to me it isn't but then can anybody circle or graphically point at the Hebrew of it on the fragment?

(like tovia singer graphically points to the hebrew of the verse on the nahal hever fragment as shown in an image later).

According to this article https://web.archive.org/web/20220127185557/https://tr-pdf.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/articles/psalm-22-16-like-a-lion-or-they-pierced.pdf

"Unfortunately, the Psalms Scroll found at Qumran did not include 22:16[17] because the manuscript was damaged at the very place where it would have appeared."

And the author of that link mentions that (while it's not in fragments from qumran, it's in the fragments from Nahal Hever/Chever (Hebrew: נחל חבר), and i've seen a picture of exactly where, so i'm not asking about that(nahal hever), i'm asking purely regarding the fragments of qumran scrolls)

(added note- I just noticed, that while that link then mentions about nahal hever, later in the article, it goes on to say that there is a scrap from the DSS 4Q88 f1-2 that has words from the verse. "In fact, another scrap from the Dead Sea Scrolls, 4Q88 f1-2, 2:24–25, gives evidence that כרה was originally known by the scribes at Qumran. While the fragment is small and damaged, it has been transcribed by Ulrich3 as containing this line, ורגלי ידי כרו” ,they pierced (כרה (my hands and my feet.” While the כ and ר of כרו are marked as difficult to read (see the transcription above in the boxed graphic), it is clear that no letter is interposed between them....")

Note- i'm not asking about the whole pierced/dug, vs like a lion thing. Just interested in what's the hebrew that it has for that verse on the fragments, pointed to so I see it there.

If I look at the site dssenglish


http://dssenglishbible.com/scroll4Q88.htm (Note, 4Q88 is aka 4Q88 Psalmsf, and that link has an option to flick through the translated scroll/fragments, by clicking "previous scroll" or next scroll, so e.g. seeing 4Q89 aka 4Q89 Psalms g, or 4Q87 aka 4Q87 Psalms e).

That link also at the side, describes for when it shows text in Black, Blue, Green, Struck through, or as Red. If a word is present but unreadable then it's in blue. And if a word is not present then it's in italics. And spelling differences that don't affect the meaning, are in green.

it shows Psalm 22:16 translated from 4Q88 aka 4Q88 Psalmsf (aka 4QPsf)

And It also shows the verse translated from the nahal chever fragments.

enter image description here

enter image description here

So judging by that link, it looks like it's in both, nahal hever(which btw is technically not considered to be of the dead sea scrolls) and 4Q88(which is of the dead sea scrolls). So not missing in those.

Though a tiny bit of the verse "for" and "have surrounded me" is written in italics to say that those words are not in the fragment(i don't know if that means that's cos the words are unclear or outside of it but doesn't matter). The rest of the verse is, according to dss english website. Since the rest of the verse isn't italicised.

Even putting that link aside, there's no question that the verse is in the nahal chever fragments.

as e.g. there's this image from rabbi tovia singer

enter image description here

That is a useful image from tovia singer re Nachal Hever, because it points to the unclear hebrew on the fragment and shows it in clear hebrew letters. So I can see on the Nahal Hever fragment where the words/letters are.

I don't have that for 4Q88 though.

And so I can't tell properly if the verse is in the Qumran fragments too, without an image like that. So i'd like it pointed out to me in that kind of image, where the verse is in 4Q88

The dssenglish site suggests that it is in the qumran fragments in 4Q88 (From what I understand, 4Q means fourth qumran cave)

But that pdf I linked to says it is not in qumran scrolls. (note- the pdf was misleading, as the pdf later stated - correctly - that parts of it is). Still, i'd like to see the hebrew of the verse pointed to on the fragments.

This link https://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/explore-the-archive/manuscript/4Q88-1 shows 4Q88 fragments, but I can't tell where if anywhere Psalms 22:16 would be.

This link http://bhebrew.biblicalhumanities.org/viewtopic.php?t=777 mentions a book by ulrich on the qumran fragments


enter image description here


enter image description here


enter image description here

should be there.

As this link does


enter image description here

The image from ulrich suggests it's in 4QPsf (which is aka 4Q88), fragments 1 and 2 (as does the torahresource dot com link that references him)

wikipedia also shows 4QPsf aka 4Q88, covering the verse


enter image description here

I see this link that shows manuscript fragments


But as fragments don't have verse numbers I can't find it, whether it's there or not, or how much of v16 is there.

That might even suggest it's specifically fragment two, as it says f2, but I can't see what is what.

I understand that dots above the letters mean that the letters are unclear in the manuscript, but I can't determine where the unclear letters i'm looking for are. For the scroll of isaiah the .org.il site have some digital effects where you hover over a scroll and it shows chapter and verse, but they haven't done it for psalms.

I don't know if it is on fragment two, but this is fragment two, but looking at the link I mentioned, that shows all fragments


They let you zoom in on it on that website, it shows two images for fragment 2.


enter image description here


enter image description here

But as for where on that fragment the verse is or if it's on a different qumran fragment, I don't know?


I notice this is actually a very big subject if there are many fragments involved.

There's "52 results" pertaining to 4Q88 aka 4Q Ps f


enter image description here

DSS English website shows that it has a few verses from Psalm 22, and quite a bit from Psalms 107 and 109


4Q88 Psalmsf

Language: Hebrew

Date: 100-25 B.C.

Location: Qumran Cave 4

Contents: Psalms 22:13-16 (Hebrew 22:14-17); 107:2-5, 8-16, 18-19, 22-30, 35-42, 109:4-7, 24-28, followed by non-canonical Psalms “Apostrophe to Zion,” “Eschatological Hymn” and “Apostrophe to Judah”

Main ones of 4Q88 Psf are on plates 436 and 1149.

And the main ones are two of the fragments on Plate 436 fragments 2 and 3 look like the biggest on that plate.

enter image description here

And on Plate 1149 Fragments 3 and 4 look like the biggest

enter image description here

There's an image showing the whole of plate 436, and an image showing the whole of plate 1149. Thten an image for each of the 10 fragments on those plates, plus an infrared of it. So that's 1+1+20+20=42.

The remaining 10 images are just showing lots of plates and cover things other than psalms 22, in addition to psalm 22.

enter image description here

Ulrich doesn't mention which plate he used re when he says fragments 1 and 2, maybe Plate 1149 (since an answer mentions plate 1149 and highlighted something possibly of the verse on it). Maybe the other fragments don't have Psalms 22:17.

that does simplify things if the only fragments of 4Q88 Psf that have Psalms 22:17 on them are Plate 1149 fragments 1 and 2.

  • It's definitely not in the images you have in the question. The tops of the letters are visible in this image, but none of the others seem to fit below it. Based on the transcription, the second fragment should clearly have ידי ורג with a big margin below. I suspect that any remnant of the alleged כר may already be visible in the bottom of the first image just before the crack at the bottom of the manuscript
    – b a
    Sep 11, 2019 at 13:22
  • This image (from Google's snippet view of DJD) has some more information, probably someone with the original could find the fragment more easily
    – b a
    Sep 11, 2019 at 13:25
  • 1
    Don't know if it would be useful for you or not, but there is a technical disc. of your query of Dead Sea Scroll for this Psalm on MiYodeya SE: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/64954/…
    – tblue
    Sep 13, 2019 at 22:39
  • 1
    @Michael16 in your wikipedia link en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_Dead_Sea_Scrolls expand where it says qumran cave 4, i.imgur.com/GNSFviF.png see where it says "show" for qumran cave 4, , expand that. Then see here i.imgur.com/5IZ0Uwa.png it says 4QPsf Psalm 22:14–17
    – barlop
    Aug 5, 2022 at 16:26
  • 1
    @Michael16 well ,this question can only be answered by somebody that does read hebrew. The letters are very hard to make out. If you see my question it has a relevant snip from Eugene Ulrich. It says what is there.. Though even for somebody that can read hebrew letters, and read hebrew words, it's hard to map what he transcribed, to the very faint partial lettering. It'd need like lines going from the transcribed words, to the words on the scroll!
    – barlop
    Aug 5, 2022 at 16:43

2 Answers 2


4Q88 –  4Q Psf Frag 1


4Q88 –  4Q Psf Frag 2


I compared the two fragments together and compared the text from the book 'The Biblical Qumran Scrolls' by Eugene Ulrich Here's what happened

enter image description here

The book has added many letters that are not on the fragment, and made determination on other smudges and partial letters that could be any number of other letters. In short, and to be brutally honest, I don’t see how the editor of the scrolls made the determination that this is of Psalm 22:17

  • 1
    thanks.. what would you say are the clearest words on that fragment(indicating it's psalms 22:17)? כלבים עדת ? And how plausible is it that a fragment would have a few words of a verse on one line and a few words in a similar position horizontally on the next line (as if the original parchment was really narrow)? i.stack.imgur.com/PebRq.png
    – barlop
    Sep 22, 2022 at 0:13
  • 1
    Maybe there are tiny fragments not shown in the image or if they're visible with special imaging. You should email the Jerusalem center that studies such Scrolls, maybe they will themselves answer you.
    – Michael16
    Sep 22, 2022 at 2:42
  • @barlop The clearest words pointing to 22:17 are כלבים עדת But it is doubtful that this small fragment of the manuscript can refer to Psalm 22 Perhaps there are still other fragments that we don't know.. Sep 22, 2022 at 13:10
  • You have shown from Plate 1149 but there is also plate 436 deadseascrolls.org.il/explore-the-archive/manuscript/4Q88-1
    – barlop
    Sep 22, 2022 at 14:54

The OP says, the dssenglishbible site "shows Psalm 22:16 in 4Q88 not missing."

If I understand the OP question correctly, this is not what the site shows. The verse is shown in italics. A sidebar explains:

"Words in italics cannot be seen in the scroll, since the scroll is fragmentary. These words are supplied for readability by the World English Bible translation."

  • You show some words that mean that words in italics are missing. OK. And you write "The verse is shown in italics". Actually the only words in italics are "have surrounded me" . dssenglishbible.com/scroll4Q88.htm The whole verse is "For dogs have surrounded me. A company of evildoers have enclosed me. They have pierced my hands and feet." Your "answer" is more of a comment 'cos my main question is mainly about where in the hebrew 4Q88 2 fragments is that verse.
    – barlop
    Sep 17, 2022 at 15:34
  • But I will make my question clearer.. 'cos rather than 4Q88 being "not missing", it's simply mostly not missing. Judging by the italics on the dssenglishbible website link, 4Q88's coverage of Psalms 22:16 is only missing one hebrew word. mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2622.htm encompassed/svavoonee
    – barlop
    Sep 17, 2022 at 15:34
  • not sure if we are looking at the same thing. I see the words in italics as "16 For... have surrounded me. " sorry for such a short "answer". I really have nothing more to add. Sep 17, 2022 at 18:27
  • In 4Q88 the word dogs is not in italics (the word for is). i.stack.imgur.com/sdbmV.png likewise in nahal hever i.stack.imgur.com/7Wzai.png The verse continues after "surrounded" too e.g. me, a company of evil-doers have... . And none of that is in italics
    – barlop
    Sep 17, 2022 at 18:27
  • More correctly. the word "For" is in italics. And the words "have surrounded me" is in italics. The rest of the verse is not in italics though.
    – barlop
    Sep 17, 2022 at 18:48

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