Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Psalms 22:20

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Deliver my soul from the sword - Deliver נפשי naphshi, my life; save me alive, or raise me again.

My darling - יחידתי yechidathi, my only one. The only human being that was ever produced since the creation, even by the power of God himself, without the agency of man. Adam the first was created out of the dust of the earth; that was his mother; God was the framer. Adam the second was produced in the womb of the virgin; that was his mother. But that which was conceived in her was by the power of the Holy Ghost; hence the man Christ Jesus is the Only Son of God; God is his Father, and he is his Only One.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Deliver my soul from the sword - The word soul here means life, and denotes a living person. It is equivalent to “deliver me.” “The sword” is used to denote an instrument of death, or anything that pierces like a sword. Compare 2 Samuel 11:24-25. As applied to the Saviour here, it may mean those extreme mental sufferings that were like the piercing of a sword.

My darling - Margin, “my only one.” Prof. Alexander, “my lonely one.” DeWette, my life. The Hebrew word - יחיד yâchı̂yd - means “one alone, only,” as of an only child; then one alone, as forsaken, solitary, wretched, Psalm 25:16; Psalm 68:6; then it means one only, the only one, in the sense of “most dear, darling.” Here, according to Gesenius (Lexicon), it is used poetically for life, as being something most dear, or as denoting all that we have, and, therefore, most precious. Compare Job 2:4. This is the most probable interpretation here, as it would thus correspond with the expression in the first part of the verse, “deliver my soul.”

From the power of the dog - Margin, as in Hebrew, from the hand. The enemy is represented, as in Psalm 22:16, as a “dog” (see the notes on that verse); and then that enemy is spoken of as inflicting death by his hand. There is a little incongruity in speaking of a “dog” as having hands, but the image before the mind is that of the enemy with the character of a dog, and thus there is no impropriety in using in reference to him the language which is commonly applied to a man.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
In these verses we have Christ suffering, and Christ praying; by which we are directed to look for crosses, and to look up to God under them. The very manner of Christ's death is described, though not in use among the Jews. They pierced his hands and his feet, which were nailed to the accursed tree, and his whole body was left so to hang as to suffer the most severe pain and torture. His natural force failed, being wasted by the fire of Divine wrath preying upon his spirits. Who then can stand before God's anger? or who knows the power of it? The life of the sinner was forfeited, and the life of the Sacrifice must be the ransom for it. Our Lord Jesus was stripped, when he was crucified, that he might clothe us with the robe of his righteousness. Thus it was written, therefore thus it behoved Christ to suffer. Let all this confirm our faith in him as the true Messiah, and excite our love to him as the best of friends, who loved us, and suffered all this for us. Christ in his agony prayed, prayed earnestly, prayed that the cup might pass from him. When we cannot rejoice in God as our song, yet let us stay ourselves upon him as our strength; and take the comfort of spiritual supports, when we cannot have spiritual delights. He prays to be delivered from the Divine wrath. He that has delivered, doth deliver, and will do so. We should think upon the sufferings and resurrection of Christ, till we feel in our souls the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.
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