Comparing Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:24, Psalm 22:24, John 8:29, and John 16:32, did God forsake Jesus while on the cross?

Matthew 27:46

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

Psalm 22:24

For He has not despised or detested the torment of the afflicted. He has not hidden His face from him, but has attended to his cry for help.

John 8:29

He who sent Me is with Me. He has not left Me alone, because I always do what pleases Him.”

John 16:32

Look, an hour is coming and has already come when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and you will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.

  • 3
    All of them are from diff authors, context, purpose. Don't mix & confuse them.
    – Michael16
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 10:14
  • Welcome to the site, Steven. As a newcomer, you might not be aware that going to the 'Related' list at the r.h.s. of your Q enables you to find out if previous Qs about this already have good answers. If you to to this link, hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/83130/… you will find 5 other related Qs on Mat.27:46 with some excellent answers. Somtimes Qs are closed down for being a repeat. It's a good Q, but if it's already archived as having been asked and answered, it might not remain open.
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 17:26
  • How can you ask that without challenging Jesus' oft-quoted opinion? In Hebrew or Greek or Latin or English or any other language, how could 'why have You forsaken Me?' be anything but the direct inquisitive equivalent of the statement, 'You have forsaken me'? Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 0:11
  • Yes. Just as He has forsaken the rest of humanity, during the Flood, during the plagues, during every disaster He causes and every evil in history in ad by His name, He has forsaken the undeserving, this is self-evident. If He had not, then by His grace things would be better. Look around at His works, His world, His plans.
    – user60705
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 16:53

9 Answers 9


The biblical verses Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:24 record crucial moments during the crucifixion of Jesus. In Matthew 27:46, Jesus exclaims, "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" which is translated as "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" In Mark 15:24, it is mentioned that they cast lots to divide Jesus' garments. To understand these verses, it is essential to consider the broader context of the Scriptures.

Looking at Psalm 22, which Jesus quotes on the cross, we see that it begins with a profound lament where the psalmist expresses distress and a sense of abandonment. However, the psalm does not end in despair; on the contrary, as we progress through the verses, there is a change in tone.

In Psalm 22:24, we read, "For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, and he has not hidden his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him." This is a powerful statement highlighting God's faithfulness in responding to the cry of the afflicted. The context of the final verses of Psalm 22 (from verse 23 to 31) is one of praise and trust in God, acknowledging His sovereignty and providence.

Therefore, considering Jesus' quotation of Psalm 22 on the cross, we can interpret that He was expressing the deep agony of feeling separated from God in the midst of suffering. However, the complete understanding of Psalm 22, especially when read to the end, emphasizes that God did not forsake the afflicted, and the situation eventually turns into praise and trust in divine faithfulness.

Furthermore, the New Testament provides additional insights. In John 16:32, Jesus speaks to the disciples about the impending hour of the cross, stating, "Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me." This statement highlights God's constant presence even in the most challenging moments of Jesus' life.

Therefore, considering the broader context of the Scriptures, we can conclude that God did not abandon Jesus on the cross, and the quotation from Psalm 22 reflects Jesus' profound anguish but also points to confidence in divine faithfulness, as expressed in the subsequent verses of that Psalm and in other passages of the New Testament.

  • 3
    Why assume that Jesus intends the entire context of Psalm 22 when He quotes a single verse? Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 12:59
  • 9
    @MikeBorden, because that is how references work - especially scriptural references. Quoting a part allows you to efficiently communicate the context along with the part and the part takes its significance and meaning from the greater context.
    – Austin
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 0:35
  • 3
    @Austin Yes, but sometimes an OT verse is quoted and the context within which the part is quoted informs the OT passage. Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 13:00
  • 3
    Did Jesus quote Psalm 22 or did Psalm 22 quote Jesus?
    – JiK
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 13:21
  • 2
    @JiK Psalm 22 was written by king David (as the inscription to it states). He reigned from 1010 to 970 B.C. Jesus was heard by witnesses at his crucifixion quoting the first verse around 33 A.D. giving a minimum time gap of at least 1,000 years from David first writing that verse.
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 17:36

Yes, God had forsaken Jesus on the cross (for about three hours).

The fact that the Father was Jesus' constant, incessant and unwavering companion throughout Jesus' life, as correctly documented by the OP, was that which made Jesus' cry about being deserted, so pathetic!

The reason for this temporary desertion by the Father is not difficult to find:

2 Cor 5:21, God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Heb 9:28 - so also Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many ...

Ps 5:4 - For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; no evil can dwell with You.

Thus, Jesus was sinless in every sense of the word (Heb 7:26). However, when He bore the sins of the world, all the world's sins were heaped upon Him; thus, Jesus suffered the same fate that all unrepentant sinners will endure - separation from God. It was this that caused Jesus to cry out:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matt 27:46)

  • But if, presumably, Jesus knew from the beginning every step and detail of what he was going to do in the plan of salvation, then he would have known that he was going to bear the weight of the sins of all humanity on the cross. And he would have known that since his Father cannot look on sin, that his Father was going to turn His back on him while on the cross. So the only answer that make sense to me is, in the agony of that moment, Jesus "forgot" some or all of this. Would that have been possible? Or, maybe God didn't tell him everything thing in advance after all.
    – moron
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 3:17
  • @moron - that might be the subject of another question but suffice to say here it involves the "kenosis" of Jesus as described in Phil 2:5-8.
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 18, 2023 at 4:23

I do not think the OP’s question can be answered based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 27:46. He quotes from Psalm 22, but Psalm 22 presents a fundamentally personal perspective that fluctuates from expressions of lamentation to those of trust and praise. Consider the opposing sentiments in the following sections:

Psalm 22:1-2 NKJ

1 My God, 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 do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent.

Psalm 22:23-24

23 You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! 24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard.

Based on the subjective character of Psalm 22, any attempt to draw objective conclusions about whether God did or did not abandon Jesus is tenuous as best. That the sentiments in the Psalm are subjective, however, do not make them any less genuine. Psalm 22 is a window into the very real inner struggles and torments of Jesus that would otherwise have remained hidden.

Jesus’ quotation of the first verse of Psalm 22 offers a glimpse of the profound darkness into which his soul is plunged. The nature of this suffering is spiritual and, considering the purpose of Jesus' suffering, is understood to be the effect of his having to bear the sins of all the world. Under the collective weight of that darkness, his soul could experience neither light nor warmth, no matter how near.

Though the Psalm begins in a state of despondency, it does not end so. This change is not brought about by any stated or identifiable comfort or relief but reflects an enduring faith, one that triumphs even amid suffering and darkness.

  • 1
    Surely Mat. 27 & Ps. 22 form part of the answer? Although Ps. 22:1-2 is subjective, could it not also be prophetic? Similarly, the curse of Deut. 21:23 was applied to Christ in Gal. 3:13, and forms another part of the answer, surely? I appreciate your last 2 paragraphs so +1
    – Anne
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 13:28
  • 1
    @Anne My intention in writing this response was only to say that even if God did not abandon Jesus, that did not mean Jesus did not experience the full effects of sin. I am open to the possibility that Ps 22:1-2 is not only subjective but also literally true. BTW Dt 21:23 is a great reference in support of that theory. This is a truly difficult question: whether it is sin that separates man from God, or it is God who abandons man because of sin. Because of my faith in God's love and mercy, my bias is ever toward the former.
    – Nhi
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 18:03
  • 1
    Just as Jesus had to plumb the depths of suffering to an extent we cannot grasp, so this apparently simple question actually approaches holy ground and we are silenced by the depth of it. We can never know this side of glory. Thank you.
    – Anne
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 18:36

The answer is an emphatic NO. Let me also say I agree with what Betho's stated. Isaiah 53:4, "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted."

Christ was clearly considered "accursed" in the eyes of humanity, particularly the Jewish nation, and yet He ever remained the holy Son with whom the Father was well pleased." (Mark 1:11, Matthew 3:17 and Luke 3:22.)

Regarding Psalm 22:1, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me." Here, Jesus was merely quoting the first line of Psalm 22 to show the spectators that His crucifixion had been prophesied by David thousands of years earlier, and that He was, in fact the "suffering Servant" that had been promised by the Old Testament prophets.

What's interesting is the fact that David's immediate reason for writing them was to describe his own feelings of forsakenness while he was being hunted down and persecuted by King Saul. Note what he says in the last part of vs1, "Far from my deliverance are the words of my groaning."

David was complaining that God had left him and in his plea, vs10, he says, "Upon Thee I was cast from birth; Thou hast been my God from my mother's womb."

David continues to explain his plight when at vs12 many, "Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me." Vs14, "I am poured out like water." Vs16, "For the dogs have surrounded me; A band of evildoers has encompassed me; They pierced my hands and feet." (sound familiar?)

Finally, at verses 22-25 David praises the Lord. Just as God did not turn away from David in his distress, neither did He turn away from His own begotten Son. I remember many, many years ago it was said that God cannot look upon sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 was used to support that opinion. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." What was not quoted was verse was 2 Corinthians 5:19, "namely, THAT GOD WAS IN CHRIST reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation."

Lastly, the following verse seals the deal that God the Father did not abandon or forsake His Son. The word of Jesus Christ Himself at John 16:32, "Behold, an hour is coming and has already come for you to be scattered each to his own home, and to leave Me alone; AND YET I AM NOT ALONE, BECAUSE THE FATHER IS WITH ME."


With regard to the Hebrew text, itself, John Brug offers this useful commentary:

Psalm 22:2

The quotation of verse 2 in Matthew 27:46, lama sabachthani, is Aramaic, the language which Jesus apparently used for his personal prayers.

There are two ways to read the second line of verse 2, It may be read as a continuation of the first line: "Why have you forsaken me? [why are you] far from saving me? [why are you far from] the words of my roaring?” Or the second line may be read as standing alone: “Far from saving me are the words of my groaning,” that is, my pleas do no good.

As verse 2 is translated above, the adjective רָחוֹק agrees with tho plural דִּבְרֵי. The adjective is singular because it is treated as a virtual adverb, which is not declined (JM 148b). If there is an ellipsis, however, רָחוֹק agrees with "you,” "why are you far?”

Psalm 22:3

No pain compares to the pain of being separated from God, our Creator. Such pain is the torment of the damned in hell. Nothing is more crushing than an awareness of the wrath of the holy God. Such pain should never be felt by an obedient child of God. In our self-pity we at times may feel we have the right to make this prayer our own and to cry out indignantly, “God, why have you forsaken me?" We think, “I have served you. I deserve better than this.” But only one sufferer has been innocent enough to truly claim, “I don’t deserve this," Only one innocent has been truly forsaken by God.

Jesus used these words as his own prayer on the cross (Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34; Heb 5:7). To the scoffers standing around the cross, it seemed that the Father had abandoned the one who had claimed to be his Son. In Gethsemane Jesus had fervently prayed, "Take this cup from me.” But on the cross it seemed that this prayer was not being answered. Certainly God had the power to deliver his own Son. Why wasn’t he using it? In the next sections of this prayer, the Messiah struggles to answer this question.

Reading this psalm is like watching a pendulum swing back and forth as the psalm alternates between expressions of distress and confidence. But even in deepest distress, the suffering one addresses the Lord as "my God."

As to the theology/doctrine contained in the cry of dereliction, I have found Francis Pieper's commentary the best (by far):

Christ's Suffering, Death, and Burial 

Christ's suffering extends through the entire state of His humiliation. The whole history of Christ's earthly life, from His birth on, is truly a “Passion story.” Baier writes of this suffering as follows: "He was subject to government; He was regarded as equal with, or even inferior to, others; to satisfy His hunger He ate, and to quench His thirst He drank; when He was weary, He slept; He bore to the end the burden of toils and the dangers of journeys, as also perils, temp tations, sorrows, poverty, and insults.” 35 The intensified suffering that came upon Christ during the last two days of His earthly life, on Thursday and Friday of the Passion Week, has been fitly denominated the Great Passion (passio magna). 

A part of the passio magna was His being forsaken by God, which was revealed in His cry of anguish: “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46.) We can understand the meaning of Christ's being forsaken by God only if we fully accept the central Scripture truth of Christ's substitution for us. Christ in Himself indeed was no sinner. The transfer of our sin to Him was a purely juridical divine act: “God made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21). But this divine juridical act of God penetrated to the very heart and conscience of the suffering Christ. When Christ was forsaken of God, He felt the sin and guilt of all men in His soul as His own sin and guilt. This is clearly brought out in the Old Testament prophecy in which Christ speaks of His own sin and guilt in the words: “O God, Thou knowest My foolishness; and My sins are not hid from Thee” (Ps. 69:5). With our sin and guilt, Christ also felt God's wrath, that is, God's verdict of condemnation and rejection, in His soul, just as if He had personally committed all sins of mankind. The desertion of Christ by God has therefore fitly been described as the feeling of divine wrath on account of the sins of men imputed to Him (sensus irae divinae propter peccata hominum imputata), and so the cry that God had forsaken Him expresses a very real fact and part of His suffering.

That Christ was but temporarily forsaken of God is explained by the fact that He is the eternal, divine Son of God. When the Person who is God was forsaken of God for a little while, this transient condition was the equivalent of all sinners' being eternally forsaken of God. This is not a man-made "theory of compensation,” but Scripture teaches this compensation by the divine majesty of the Person of Christ in all passages in which it asserts the truth that it is through the work and suffering of the eternal Son of God that we sinners have been redeemed (1 Pet. 1:18-19). When we inquire into the essence of this abandonment, in what it really consisted, we face the very core of the redemptive work of the Mediator between God and man, namely, as Isaiah calls it, “the travail of His soul” (Is. 53:11). Luther says very well: “This matter no man can so well depict in words as it is here stated in frank, terse, and plain terms. It does not treat of Christ's bodily suffering, which also was great and heavy, but of His deep spiritual suffering, which He felt in His soul and which far surpassed all bodily suffering. . . . In what this consisted no man on earth can understand, nor has any man the vocabulary adequately to describe and depict it. For to be forsaken of God is much worse than is death. Those who have tasted and experienced a little of it can somewhat sense it. But such as are secure, carnal, and have not endured or experienced such suffering neither know nor understand anything about it. . . . From Job's example we can somewhat understand what it means to be forsaken of God. . . . And Christ has truly been forsaken of God, not in such a way that the deity was separated from the humanity, but that the Deity withdrew into itself and hid itself. ... So the righteous and innocent Man had to tremble and fear like a poor, condemned sinner and in His tender, innocent heart had to feel God's wrath and judgment over sin, taste for us eternal death and damnation, and, in short, suffer all that a condemned sinner has deserved and must suffer eternally. ... He had to quench and put out in His soul the extreme agony that is called 'being forsaken of God and the devil's fiery darts, hell's fire and terror, and all that we had deserved by our sins. By this heaven, eternal life and blessedness, has been purchased for us, as also Isaiah says: 'He shall see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied.”” 37 

It would, however, be wholly improper to speak of despair (desperatio) on the part of Christ. Despair is iniquity and would conflict with the sinlessness of Christ, which is attested by Scripture. Besides, Scripture expressly bears witness that Christ, while forsaken of God, continued to trust in God (Ps. 22:1,19 ff.; Luke 23:46). While He was forsaken of God, He still cried to God as His God, saying: “My God, my God!” Gerhard writes of this: “Other men cannot, without sinning, feel the wrath of God deserved by their sins, because of the utter corruption of their nature; for secretly in their hearts they become impatient, and at times they also murmur against God in words, as the examples of Job and Jeremiah testify. But Christ bears these tortures without any sin, persists in holy obedience to God, and retains filial trust in His heart. For these are by no means the words of one despairing when He exclaims: ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?' But they are the words of one giving notice that He is enduring extreme agony of the soul and pains which are truly of hell. And so Christ, by wrestling with the power of the devil, with the horror of death, and with the agonies of the damned, brought back from them a glorious triumph for our salvation. ... To the Jesuits it seems absurd that Christ in His Passion felt the wrath and agony of hell, as is apparent from Bellarmine . . . while they nevertheless find themselves forced to concede that the patient human nature was forsaken in His punishment and that Christ felt no consolation whatever in His soul, which is the very thing we mean, and nothing else, when we say that Christ felt the wrath of God and the torment of hell.”

Furthermore, it must not be forgotten that while Christ was forsaken of God, the Father's declaration still was true: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17). By the very fact that Christ took upon Himself, in the place of sinful mankind, this extreme punishment of being forsaken of God and so fulfilled the Father's will, He remained the object of God's supreme love, even while He was under His wrath, just as He says: “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again” (John 10:17). Calvin certainly sets up a false contrast when he writes: “We do not admit that God was ever hostile to Him, or angry with Him. For how could He be angry with His beloved Son, ‘in whom His soul delighted (Is. 42:1)? 39 Calvin evidently forgot, when he was writing these sentences, that Christ is our Substitute, a truth which he means to teach in the words that precede and that follow the quotation. 

The death of Christ was a true death because in Christ's death occurred the very thing which constitutes the nature of death, namely, the separation of body and soul. This separation is recorded by all Evangelists, though in somewhat differing terms. Matt. 27:50: ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα; Mark 15:37 and Luke 23:46: ἐξέπνευσεν; John 19:30: παρέδωκεν τὸ πνεῦμα. True, since Christ's death is the death of the Son of God, and, accordingly, not merely the departed soul, but also the entombed body remained in personal union with the Son of God, the possibility of death in the case of Christ passes human understanding, as Gerhard in his Harmonia Evangelica (c. 202) well points out. But the fact of Christ's death must be believed because Scripture attests it so clearly.

Pieper's Dogmatics, p. 311 et seq.

I apologize for the somewhat lengthy quotation. But it is well worth the read. And it's well worth thinking through.

  • Interesting comparison between what Luther said on that point, and what Calvin said (in the quotes provided by Pieper). Am now looking through my notes on Calvin's 'Institutes', Book II ch. XVI point 6, Crucified, p.511 where he speaks of the curse coming on Christ enabling him to crush, break and scatter the whole force of the curse. It did not overwhelm him; he overwhelmed it! But I have a lot more material to wade through...
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 9:13
  • 1
    @Anne Pieper has a lot to say about Calvin. And all of it is worthy of chewing through in our minds.
    – Epimanes
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 9:18
  • "Calvin evidently forgot... that Christ is our Substitute"? I found this, "the Son of God had been laid hold of by the pangs of death that arose from God's curse and wrath...For what a small thing it would have been to have gone forward with nothing to fear and, as if in sport, to suffer death! ...Christ... is heard for his fear; he does not pray to be spared death, but he prays not to be swallowed up by it as a sinner because there he bore our nature. And surely no more terrible abyss can be conceived than to feel yourself forsaken and estranged from God; and when you call upon him, not to be
    – Anne
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 16:13
  • 1
    @Anne Pieper's quote (included in the footnote which I didn't include) is from Institut. II, 16, 11: "We do not, however, insinuate that God was ever hostile to him or angry with him. How could he be angry with the beloved Son, with whom his soul was well pleased?" (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge, Accordance electronic ed. (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1845), paragraph 1261.)
    – Epimanes
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 17:56
  • 1
    @Anne Just a heads-up to the context that Pieper is grappling with: Calvin will sometimes say perplexing things that are confusing if not conflicting. (e.g. Institutes 2.13.4.: The Son of God descended miraculously from heaven, yet without abandoning heaven; was pleased to be conceived miraculously in the Virgin’s womb, to live on the earth, and hang upon the cross, and yet always filled the world as from the beginning. (John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge, Accordance electronic ed. (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1845), paragraph 1185.)) ..
    – Epimanes
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 18:00

God did not forsaken Jesus on the Cross, not for three hours or even a minute. To believe this is to say that the Godhead can be divided, which it cannot. Jesus was proclaiming Psalms 22:1 because the people of Israel would have been aware of this portion of Scripture. Moreover, they had been in exile for over 400 years, so this question would have been not only on the mind of David but on the minds of Israel as a whole. By shouting out Psalms 22:1 Jesus was proclaiming to Israel that their God whom they likely felt had forsaken them was now in front of them, doing exactly as was foreshadowed and prophesied. More specifically, Jesus (the Son of God) sets the modelling principle for the sons of God to come, so to believe He could be forsaken would mean that any of the sons of God that are born of the Spirit could be forsaken due to sin. However, sin does not have this power to separate anyone from God, let alone His one and only Son Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:5 speaks to the sons of God that God will never leave or forsake them, how much more would this apply to God's begotten Son Jesus Christ. A study of David's life will show that David was going through a tumultuous struggle with sin, and thus the cry of Psalms 22:1 was one that belong to David, and the loud cry from the cross proclaiming Psalms 22:1 was an answer to David's question, in the forgiveness of David's sins. And it was a message to all of Israel that the One that they had felt forsaken them was now before them. People might say that Jesus was forsaken because He was made to be sin for us (2 Cor 5:21) or that Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many (Heb 9:28). However, they neglect to understand that Jesus did and could not sin because the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily in Christ (Col 2:8). Moreover, the Lamb sacrificed to God had to be without blemish or spot, just as Christ was without bleimish or spotless for us. The Sacrifice was for the forgiveness of sins; therefore what 2 Cor 5:21 and Heb 9:28 is conveying is that the weight of sin is forgiven by the unblemished sacrifice, not that the sacrifice becomes sinful or bleimished. If the sacrifice was blemished or spotted, it would not have been received by God. As Hebrews 9:28 points out Christ "bears" our sins for us, not that He becomes a sinner like us. More specifically, Christ takes our sins upon Himself, not that He becomes sinful. And by His death Christ pays the debt of our sins.

  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Dec 10, 2023 at 14:50

Did God forsake Jesus while on the cross?

Maybe or maybe not, but Jesus quoting Psalm 22:1 doesn't prove that He did. In interpreting OT quotations, you need to go back to whole context. Psalm 22 begins with despair, but ends with victory (and maybe even a reference to hope of the Resurrection... the Hebrew is difficult there). Just as a matter of human communication—not thinking at all about whatever theological implications there might be to God forsaking Jesus—it's more likely that Jesus is saying, “I'm in a terribly place and feeling abandoned, but I know that God will vindicate me.”


According to the introductory remarks in The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible by Abegg, Flint, and Ulrich, page xii, Figure 2, Psalm 1 in its Ancient Format:

The text contains no verse numbers, vowels, or other signs.

The numbering was added much later, so when referring to a particular Psalm, one would quote the beginning of the Psalm--just as Jesus did. One should also take the entire Psalm in context.

See also the Pesikta Rabbati, the famous Aggadic midrash. Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (Rashi) also considered this Psalm Messianic.

The structure of Psalm 22 is both amazing and hermeneutically helpful in that it's organized into a chiastic form, a literary form with symmetric reversal that’s typical in David's poetry and Hebrew poetry in general. In this case, the chiastic structure follows this pattern of paired references:

v. 12 - Bulls

....v. 13 - Lion

........v. 16 - Dogs

..............v. 16 – Dug/Pierced (1)

....................v. 17 - Nakedness

....................v. 18 - Garments

............v. 20 - Sword

........v. 20 - Dogs

....v. 21 - Lion

v. 21 - Wild oxen (Hebrew re'em or רֶאֵם) (2)

(1) DSS 5/6Hev – Col. XI, frag. 9 has been dated between 50-68 CE, and was translated by Dr. Peter W. Flint, who is considered a leading authority on Herodian Hebrew. Bible scholar and published author, Craig Davis, points out that a second Dead Sea Scroll fragment of this Psalm (4Q88 Psf) dated 100 – 25 BCE, also attests to k’aru, pierced. While the last letter, a vav or yod, is missing from this manuscript, the absence of an aleph in the word eliminates the possibility of the word being k’ari, like a lion. Dug or pierced is obviously related to sword, but as you can see, the chiastic structure is disrupted if verse 16 is rendered "like a lion."

(2) In early translations that used the Septuagint as a source, the last animal listed in verse 21 is named the unicorn, which has resulted in no small amount of derision from critics. However, based on similarities in related languages, most biblical scholars today translate re’em as “wild oxen,” which is very likely the now-extinct aurochs once present and hunted in the ANE. This connection was first noticed by Henry Rawlinson, an English officer stationed in Bagdad in the early 19th century who translated some Mesopotamian cuneiform text. He encountered the word rimu, an Akkadian cognate to re’em, and made the connection to the aurochs.


God Jesus sown unto us all, Today thou shall destroy this Temple but on the third day I shall rise it again glory to fulfill the scriptures. Therefore God Jesus as 15% Spiritual power of salvation cannot die, or the whole world shall die.So why,why he all whoes Religious Spiritual Fools Continues to proclaim God GodJesus died for the sin,sins of the almighty Flesh? So I will publish My I sown by God Jesus Spiritual Comforter,

  • 1
    As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 4:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.