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Christ In Type And Prophecy: Volumes 1&2 by Rev. A.J. Maas S.J.

Section I. What are these Wounds in the Midst of Thy Hands?

Zach. 13

1. CONNECTION OF THE PROPHECY WITH ITS CONTEXT.—In ch. 11 the prophet has told us that the Jews esteemed their divinely constituted shepherd equal to the vilest slave, because they paid him the price of a slave for his services. In the same chapter were described the negative effects of the Messianic shepherd on the Jewish nation. In ch. 12 the prophet describes the positive effects of the Messianic shepherd on the new theocracy. It will have enemies indeed, but it will also enjoy God’s special assistance in its hardships. Besides, the spirit of prayer and of grace shall be poured upon it by God himself, by means of which it will be led to contemplate him that is pierced (the rejected shepherd) with the greatest sorrow. In ch. 13 the prophet shows us what God on his part is about to do in recompense, as it were, for this sorrow: a perennial fountain of purification is to be opened, and sin and idolatry are to disappear from the new theocracy (vv. 1–6). At the same time he again shows us that the shepherd has been slain, and that the faithful part of the flock may expect to have a share in the shepherd’s sufferings (vv. 7–9).

2. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE PROPHECY.—a. Several authors apply the following words directly to Christ: “What are these wounds in the midst of thy hands? And he shall say: With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved me.” The principal reason for this explanation is based on the fact that the passage is referred to the five wounds of our Lord in the mass of that mystery. But α. it is well known that the Church often uses texts in her liturgy by way of accommodation, so that an argument based on the liturgical use of a passage is not by itself conclusive. The patrons of this opinion feel keenly that the letter of the text is against their explanation. Hence they contend that we must understand “in the house of them that should have loved me” instead of “in the house of them that loved me.” Not to mention the arbitrariness of such an explanation, it β. contradicts the proper meaning of the Hebrew word “lover,” which always denotes one who actually loves and not merely a person who might possibly love, or who even ought to love. γ. Finally, the whole passage is so closely connected with what precedes that we cannot separate it without doing violence to the sense. Now in the preceding verses there is a kind of a dialogue with the false prophets; hence these latter are questioned and answered also in the passage here under consideration. δ. Coming from the mouth of the false prophets, these words are perfectly clear: It is certain (3 Kings 18:28; Jer. 16:6; 48:37; Movers, Phœniz. I. 682) that the priests and prophets of several idols wounded and mutilated themselves. And since the servants of the idols are supposed to love them, they may well say of their wounds: “With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved me.” ε. This becomes the more probable, because the word used in the Hebrew text for “lover” in this passage always denotes either impure carnal love or the idolatrous adherence to a creature. ζ. It is true that a great many commentators understand the answer of the false prophets as referring to the house of their parents by whom they have been bodily afflicted in order to bring them to a better life (Cyril, Theodoret, Haimo, Albertus, Sanchez, Mariana, Vatable, Clarius, Schegg, Trochon). But as we shall see from the commentary, the relatives are according to the context supposed to kill the false prophets, and not merely to wound them. Again, parental love is not expressed by the word used in the Hebrew text. η. If another argument is needed to show that the words “with these I was wounded in the house of them that loved me” cannot refer to Christ either literally or typically, we may point to Rom. 5:10, where the Apostle tells us that we have been reconciled to God by the death of his Son when we were still enemies. It was not therefore the lovers of Christ that put him to death.

b. But if it is certain that the words “with these was I wounded …” refer to Christ only by way of accommodation, it is also certain that those other words of v. 7, “awake, O sword, against my shepherd …,” apply to him in their literal sense. Among the ancients, St. Ephrem applies the literal sense to Onias, the typical to Christ; and Theodore of Mopsuestia interprets the words of bad princes without mentioning Christ. Ewald is of opinion that the passage refers to Phacee (Pecach), Hitzig refers it to Manasses, Jahn to Judas Machabeus, Pressel to the Davidic kings who followed Ezechias. Most of these conjectures imply that the prophecy was written before the exile, and are, therefore, refuted in the discussion on the authenticity of the second part of Zacharias (Introduction to Zach. 11). The application to Judas Machabeus will be excluded by reasons which we shall advance for the Messianic reference of the passage.

(1) The text and the context render a Messianic reference at least probable. The opening words “awake, O sword,” indicate an irrevocable divine decree, and the solemnity of the words shows the supreme importance of the decree. God calls the shepherd “my shepherd;” he is, therefore, the same person of whom there was question in 11:4, 11, 12, i.e., the Messias (cf. Zach. 11). Moreover, God calls the shepherd “the man that cleaveth to me,” or according to the Hebrew text “my fellow-tribesman.” The divine speaker and his shepherd are, therefore, equal to a certain extent, which can apply to none but the Messias.

(2) The New Testament explicitly refers the prophecy to Christ, as we see from the Master’s own words: “Then Jesus said to them: All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed” (Matt. 26:31; cf. Mark 14:27; John 16:32). It must be noted here that Jesus does not apply the prophecy to himself merely by way of accommodation; for he is most emphatic about the fact that all his apostles will abandon him at the time of his suffering, and this fact he bases on the prophetic words of Zacharias. If he had argued from a merely proverbial meaning of the passage, expressing what usually happens when the shepherd is attacked, he could not have applied it to himself with such undeniable certainty.

(3) The patristic testimonies regarding the Messianic character of the prophecy, or rather the references to those testimonies, are collected in Kilber’s Analysis Biblica, ed. II. vol. i. pp. 522 f.

ZACH. 13

In that day there shall be a fountain open to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for the washing of the sinner, and of the unclean woman. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will destroy the names of idols out of the earth, and they shall be remembered no more; and I will take away the false prophets, and the unclean spirit out of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that when any man shall prophesy any more, his father and his mother that brought him into the world shall say to him: Thou shalt not live, because thou hast spoken a lie in the name of the Lord; and his father, and his mother, his parents, shall thrust him through, when he shall prophesy. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be confounded, every one by his own vision, when he shall prophesy; neither shall they be clad with a garment of sackcloth to deceive. But he shall say: I am no prophet, I am a husbandman; for Adam is my example from my youth. And they shall say to him: What are these wounds in the midst of thy hands? And he shall say: With these I was wounded in the house of them that loved me.

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleaveth to me, saith the Lord of hosts; strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn my hand to the little ones. And there shall be in all the earth, saith the Lord: two parts in it shall be scattered and shall perish; but the third part shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say: Thou art my people; and they shall say: The Lord is my God.

The prophecy of Zacharias promises: a. a constant means of sanctification in the Christian theocracy; b. the cessation of idolatry; c. the disappearance of false prophets; d. it repeats the announcement of the shepherd’s suffering and violent death; e. it foretells the affliction of the sheep, with the result that two-thirds will perish, and only one-third be saved; f. even this one-third will have to suffer with the shepherd, but God will be always ready to assist them.

Section II. Let us Condemn Him to a Most Shameful Death

Wis. 2

1. ANALYSIS OF THE CHAPTER.—a. The writer gives the thoughts of the wicked concerning the end of man: there is no spiritual principle in man, and therefore he is not immortal (vv. 1–5). b. Two inferences may be drawn from this principle: 1. One must endeavor to enjoy the present life to the utmost (vv. 6–9); 2. one must persecute the righteous, because their manner of life, their principles, and their very presence are opposed to right reason (vv. 10–20). c. The inspired writer maintains against the wicked that their principles are false, that God exists, that the soul is immortal, and that death is the work of the devil (vv. 21–24).

2. MESSIANIC CHARACTER OF THE CHAPTER.—The Messianic nature of the passage is especially proved from vv. 10–20. a. The Fathers explain these verses as referring to the death of Christ: Barnabas, Justin, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Cyprian, Lactantius, Hilary, Athanasius, Augustine, Maximus, Evagrius (cf. Kilber’s Analysis Biblica, ed. II. vol. ii. p. 154).

b. The passages of the Old and the New Testament that are parallel to vv. 10–20 refer to Jesus Christ. We must, therefore, infer that these verses too must be applied Messianically. “He is contrary to our doings,” the inspired writer says in v. 12, “and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law, and divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life.” St. Matthew (23:23) furnishes, as it were, a commentary on these words: “Wo to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.…” St. Luke (11:45) has a similar passage: “And one of the lawyers answering saith to him: ‘Master, in saying these things thou reproachest us also.’ ” The fourth Gospel, too, tells of Christ reproaching the scribes and Pharisees (John 7:19).

Wisdom 2:13 reads: “He boasteth that he hath the knowledge of God, and calleth himself the Son of God.” Compare with this John 8:54, 55: “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is the Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God.…” The dialogue between Jesus and his enemies in which he professed his divinity, and which led to an attempt on the part of the Jews to stone the Master, is another parallel passage to the foregoing text (John 10:29–33). The words of St. Matthew (27:43) are nothing but a paraphrase of the passage of the Book of Wisdom addressed to Jesus crucified: “He trusted in God; let him now deliver him, if he will have him; for he said: I am the Son of God.”

Wisdom 2:14 is verified in Jesus Christ according to John 7:7; Luke 6:8; Matt. 9:4; for the evangelists really show us how Jesus became “the censurer of … thoughts” of his enemies.

Wisdom 2:15 reads: “He is grievous unto us even to behold, for his life is not like other men’s, and his ways are very different.” Jesus himself comments on this passage in John 3:20, where he explains that he who does evil hates the light; 1 Cor. 7:31 says of the just that they use the world as if they did not use it (cf. John 15:19). Matt. 7:28 describes the difference between the actions of Jesus and those of the scribes; John 15:24 testifies that Jesus did what no one else could do; Acts 6:14 shows us the fears of the Jews that Jesus would change their traditions and destroy their city.

Wisdom 2:16 reads: “We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just, and glorieth that he hath God for his father.” The commentary on this passage we find again in the gospels: according to Matt. 12:39 Jesus calls his enemies a wicked and adulterous generation; according to Matt. 23:27 he likens them to whitened sepulchres; according to John 8:55 he openly calls them liars. The gospel of St. Luke (12:1) gives Christ’s warning against the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. And St. Matthew (5:10) contains Christ’s open declaration that blessed are those that suffer persecution from his enemies. John 8:27 gives a commentary on the last part of the verse of the Book of Wisdom.

Wisdom 2:18 reads: “For if he be the true Son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies.” This is parallel to Ps. 21:9: “He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him; let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him.” The fulfilment is told in Matt. 27:40–43: “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.…” We may even compare the passage with the words of the tempter in the desert (Matt. 4:6), telling Jesus to change the stones into bread if he be the Son of God.

Wisdom 2:19 reads: “Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his meekness and try his patience.” The whole history of the passion is a running commentary on this verse; we may, however, specially refer to John 18:30: “If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee.”

Wisdom 2:20: “Let us condemn him to a most shameful death; for there shall be respect had unto him by his words.” It is well known that the most shameful death was that of the crucified, as may be seen in Deut. 21:23. The sentence of death itself is given in Matt. 26:65, 66: “He hath blasphemed, what further need have we of witnesses?… He is guilty of death.”

Grotius finds the prophecy so clear that he believes it has been interpolated by a Christian hand.

WISD. 2

For they have said, reasoning with themselves, but not right: The time of our life is short and tedious, and in the end of a man there is no remedy, and no man hath been known to have returned from hell. For we are born of nothing, and after this we shall be as if we had not been. For the breath of our nostrils is smoke, and speech a spark to move our heart; which being put out, our body shall be ashes, and our spirit shall be poured abroad as soft air, and our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be dispersed as a mist which is driven away by the beams of the sun, and overpowered with the heat thereof. And our name in time shall be forgotten, and no man shall have any remembrance of our works. For our time is as the passing of a shadow, and there is no going back of our end; for it is fast sealed, and no man returneth.

Come therefore, and let us enjoy the good things that are present, and let us speedily use the creatures as in youth. Let us fill ourselves with costly wine and ointments, and let not the flower of the time pass by us. Let us crown ourselves with roses, before they be withered; let no meadow escape our riot. Let none of us go without his part in luxury; let us everywhere leave tokens of joy, for this is our portion and this is our lot.

Let us oppress the poor just man, and not spare the widow, nor honor the ancient gray hairs of the aged. But let our strength be the law of justice; for that which is feeble is found to be nothing worth. Let us, therefore, lie in wait for the just, because he is not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and upbraideth us with transgressions of the law, and divulgeth against us the sins of our way of life. He boasteth that he hath the knowledge of God, and calleth himself the son of God. He hath become the censurer of our thoughts. He is grievous unto us, even to behold, for his life is not like other men’s, and his ways are very different. We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstaineth from our ways as from filthiness, and he preferreth the latter end of the just, and glorieth that he hath God for his father. Let us see then if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be. For if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies. Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his meekness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a most shameful death; for there shall be respect had unto him by his words.

These things they thought and were deceived, for their own malice blinded them. And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honor of holy souls. For God created man incorruptible, and to the image of his own likeness he made him. But by the envy of the devil death came into the world; and they follow him that are of his side.

The circumstance that most of the particular afflictions mentioned in the chapter were verified in Jesus crucified leads us to apply the prophecy especially to the crucifixion.

Section III. They Have Dug My Hands and Feet

PS. 21 (22)

1. STRUCTURE OF THE PSALM.—The psalm consists of nine stanzas, each of which contains eight heptasyllabic iambic verses. According to the division of the psalm in our Bibles, the stanzas end with vv. 4, 8, 12, 15, 18, 22, 25, 28, 31. The thought of the psalm proceeds thus: Why dost thou not hear my prayer? seeing that thou hast always helped our fathers, and that I am in the greatest distress. They now reproach me with my hope in thee, a hope which I have cherished from my infancy. My enemies have prevailed against me; they have inflicted on me the greatest sufferings. Therefore do thou hear my prayer … Let all Israel praise God, because he has heard me; let the poor ones and the Gentiles praise the Lord for his mercy to them. His kingdom shall extend over all the nations.… Hengstenberg does not agree with this division given by Prof. Bickell. He divides the psalm into three stanzas, including vv. 2–11, 13–22, 23–31, respectively. Of verse 12 he makes a mere link, connecting the first with the second stanza. Cf. Ps. 17. De Wette and Köster are of opinion that the psalm consists of a number of stanzas comprising five lines each. But they do not divide it properly, for they break the connection of thought.

2. AUTHOR OF THE PSALM.—Hitzig contends that Jeremias is the author of the psalm. His reasons for this opinion are too vague to convince the reader. If the style of Jeremias, in passages which picture deep distress, is copious and flowing like that of the present psalm, his practice of borrowing from previous authors is so well known that we must suspect him in this peculiarity of style too. There is no decisive argument against David’s authorship of the psalm, which is asserted in the title. Without determining here the subject of the psalm, we may state the opinions regarding the occasion and the time of its composition. 1. Bucer, Venema, and a number of other scholars refer the composition of the psalm to the circumstances related in 1 Kings 23:28. David, on all sides surrounded by the adherents of Saul, was saved only because the Philistines made an inroad into Saul’s territory. 2. Rudinger and several others hold that the psalm was composed at the time of the rebellion of Absolom. Its history is, according to these authors, contained in 2 Kings 16, 17. From verse 26 they infer that the psalm was composed after David had sent back the priests and the ark of the covenant. Cf. 2 Kings 15:24, 25. To the same period they refer Pss. 6, 24, 68, 85:3. Schulze, Paulus, and others place the composition of the psalm in the time of the Syrian war, the history of which is told in 2 Kings 10. This conjecture is based on the “strong ones of Basan” (in our version “fat bulls”) of verse 13, as compared with Ps. 83:3–9; for it appears from these passages that a powerful confederation of that region marched against David. Paulus, moreover, conjectures from Pss. 43 and 83. that at the same period David labored under the anxiety of a doubtful war and was afflicted with a dangerous illness. 4. It will appear in the next paragraph that David is not the subject of this psalm. Hence the foregoing three opinions are based on a false supposition, unless we understand them in such a manner that they assign mere external circumstances in connection with which God may have inspired the psalmist to compose his prayer of woe and of triumph. The precise time at which the psalm was composed has thus far remained a mystery.

3. SUBJECT OF THE PSALM.—Opinions: 1. The psalm is referred to David by Venema, Rudinger, Paulus, and others; to Ezechias by Jahn; to Jeremias by Hitzig. But all must confess that its literal sense has been verified in no single person of the Old Testament. Hufnagel, one of the many who refer the psalm to its author David, gives in his commentary a fair example of the makeshifts to which that school is reduced. According to him, vv. 2, 3, 13–16 are historical, while vv. 8, 9, 17, 18 are merely fanciful, i.e., they express how the enemies would insult the prisoner, how they would rejoice over his reduced body, and how they would, after his death, divide his garments should David have the misfortune of falling into their hands.

2. De Wette is inclined to refer the psalm to the Jewish people during the Babylonian captivity. He follows, in this view, several of the older Rabbinic writers, who applied the psalm to Esther. Kimchi and Jarchi see in the psalm a description of the Jewish people in its present state of misery and exile. But, as Hengstenberg well remarks, the whole passage from v. 23 to v. 27 is inexplicable according to that view. In fact, this circumstance is fatal to every commentary which rejects the individual application of the psalm. Besides, unless we see in the sufferer an individual, we hardly understand his constant reference to such things as are wholly peculiar to individuals, e.g., his hands and feet, his tongue, his bones, his mouth, his eyes, etc.

3. Next a word about the Messianic application of the psalm. This is commonly received among Christian writers. Theodore of Mopsuestia, who contended that the psalm literally refers to David persecuted by his son Absolom, and that it is applied to Christ by mere adaptation in the writings of the evangelists and the apostles, was condemned in the second council of Constantinople (or the fifth ecumenical one). But Christian writers differ in their Messianic explanations.

a. Hengstenberg, in his later works, is of opinion that the psalm literally refers to the just man in general. It offers, in other words, a description of suffering righteousness delivered, which by its very deliverance promotes God’s interests among both Jews and Gentiles. Christ’s righteousness, suffering, and deliverance exceeding the corresponding characteristics of all other sufferers, the psalm has in Christ its highest fulfilment. In general, it may be said of Hengstenberg’s theory that it rests on no solid ground; the details of the suffering, as given in the psalm, are by far too personal and special for a subject representing a general idea.

b. Another class of authors advocate the application of the typical meaning of the psalm to Christ, referring its literal meaning to David. But we have seen that a great number of details contained in the psalm were not verified in the case of David, or in any other single person of the Old Testament. Consequently this opinion is not satisfactory.

c. Patrizi, Tholuck, Dathe, and many others apply the literal sense of the psalm partially to David and partially to Christ, thus blending type with antitype. They contend that certain passages of the psalm cannot literally refer to Christ. But the passages advanced are not conclusive; for verses 12, 13, 21, 22 do not necessarily imply that the sufferer is not yet in the midst of his trials; if the trials are said to be near, this phrase does not deny their presence, but merely excludes their absence. The prayer of the sufferer to be freed from death (vv. 20–22) does not necessarily suppose preservation from death, but applies equally well to restoration to life through the resurrection. Nor can v. 3 be appealed to as showing that the psalmist’s prayer for delivery lasted longer than Christ’s; for Christ prayed in this manner not only at the hour of his actual suffering, but he did so long before the time of his passion, as may be inferred from John 12:27; Matt. 26:39, 42; etc. Verses 15, 16 only show the exceeding great affliction and pain which the sacred humanity of Jesus had to endure on the cross. Finally, vv. 5, 6 contain a beautiful motive why the heavenly Father should hear his afflicted Son: had he not heard the ancestors of his people in all their troubles? Consequently it seems clear that the grounds for referring the literal meaning of the psalm partially to David are very unsound.

d. It is commonly held by Catholic theologians that the literal meaning of the entire psalm refers to Christ, though its figures and expressions may have been adopted from circumstances of David’s own life. Even Protestant writers, such as Michaelis, Knapp, Ringeltaube, Muntinghe, Hensler, Uhland, Dereser, Pareau, Kaiser, etc., agree on this point. Moreover, Jewish tradition, in spite of the unwelcome idea of a suffering Messias, gave to Ps. 21 (22) a Messianic interpretation (see below). Besides, according to Matt. 27:46 and Mark 15:34, Jesus uttered the first words of the psalm on the cross; St. Paul (Heb. 2:12) puts the words of verse 23 into the mouth of Jesus; and St. John (19:24) relates the fulfilment of verse 19. The words of Matt. (27:39, 43) correspond so closely with vv. 8, 9 of the psalm that they appear to be quotations. Michaelis, indeed, thinks that Christ’s enemies quoted verse 9 of the psalm, because it expressed their own sentiments regarding him, but that they were not aware how unhappily they fulfilled the prophecy. The minute fulfilment of vv. 15, 16 in the crucifixion and its attendant sufferings; the piercing of Christ’s hands and feet (Luke 24:39), according to verse 17; the cleaving of his tongue to his jaws (John 19:28), according to verse 16; finally, the share of the rich and poor, of the Jews and Gentiles, in Christ’s sacrificial feast, according to the last part of the psalm—all these are facts which confirm the Messianic character of the psalm.

The references to the patristic testimony regarding the Messianic character of the psalm may be found in Kilber’s Analysis Biblica (ed. II., vol. ii., pp. 23 ff.); see also Reinke, “Messianische Psalmen,” vol. i., pp. 220 ff. The more important testimony of the Jewish tradition is exhibited in the following passages:

Verse 7. Yalkut on Isaias 60 fol. 56, col. 4, has the following explanation: “Our Rabbis have handed down: At the time when Messias comes he will stand on the roof of the temple and will call to the Israelites, saying: Ye pious sufferers, the time of your redemption is at hand, and if you believe, rejoice over my light, which rises upon you, for it is said: Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee (Is. 60:1). And upon you alone it rises, for it is said: For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people (verse 2). In that same hour the Holy One, blessed be he, will make rise his light, which is the light of the Messias and of the Israelites, and all will walk in the light of king Messias and of Israel, as it is said: And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising (verse 3). They will come also and lick up the dust under the feet of king Messias, as it is said: And lick up the dust of thy feet (Is. 49:23). They will come and fall upon their faces before Messias and before Israel, and exclaim: We will be thine and Israel’s servants, and each Israelite will have 2800 servants, as it is said: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (Zach. 8:23). Rabbi Simeon ben Pasi said: In that hour the Holy One, blessed be he! lifts up the Messias to the highest heavens and spreads over him the splendor of his glory before the nations of the world and before the impious Persians. The Holy One then said to him: Ephraim, Messias our righteousness! judge them and do as thy soul pleaseth; for were it not for my compassion which I have shown unto thee in such a degree, they would have soon killed thee at once, as it is said: Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still; therefore my bowels are troubled for him, I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord (Jer. 31:20). Why does he say: I will surely have mercy? It is written: I will have mercy, because at the time when he was bound in prison they gnashed with their teeth and twinkled with their eyes and shook their heads and opened their mouths, as it is said: All they that see me, laugh me to scorn, they shoot out the lip, they shake the head.…” (Ps. 21:7).

Verse 15. Yalkut on Is. 60, fol. 56, col. 4, reads thus: “When the son of David will come, they will bring iron sticks and place them on his neck, till his stature is pressed down and he cries and weeps and, lifting up his voice, says: Lord of the universe! how much strength have I still! how much spirit have I yet! how much breath is still in me, and how many members are there yet! Am I not of flesh and blood? At that hour the son of David weeps and says: My strength is dried up like a potsherd. The Holy One, blessed be he, then says to him: Ephraim, Messias, my righteousness! thou hast already taken upon thee this suffering since the days of creation; let thy suffering be like mine which I felt at the time when Nebuchadnezzar the impious went up and destroyed my house, and burned the temple, and banished me and my children among the nations of the world. By thy life and the life of my head! ever since I have not returned to my throne. And if thou wilt not believe this, behold the dew which is upon my head, as it is said: For my head is filled with dew [Cant. 5:2]. In that hour Messias says to him: Lord of the universe, now my mind has become easier within me, for it is sufficient for the servant to be like his master.” Cf. Hebraica, vol. ii. pp. 131 ff.; Edersheim, “Life and Times of Jesus,” vol. ii. app. ix. p. 718.

4. TITLE OF THE PSALM.—The title of the psalm is rendered in our version “unto the end, for the morning protection, a psalm for David.” The last clause must be understood as meaning “psalm of David.” About the phrase “unto the end” we have spoken in the Introduction to Psalm 8. It means “to the chief musician” or “to the leader of the choir.” A word must be said about the remaining clause, “for the morning protection.” As it stands, it follows the Vulgate and the LXX. rendering. Agelli applies it beautifully to Christ’s resurrection. But the phrase supposes the Hebrew reading “’ejaluth” instead of the actual “’ayyeleth.” Faithfully rendered, the Hebrew text has the meaning “on the hind of the morning.” Kimchi is of opinion that the hind is a figurative expression for the Hebrew people, which is compared to a hind in Cant. 2:7; 3:5. This opinion prepares the way for an application of the psalm to the people of Israel, an explanation that has been rejected in the preceding paragraph. Others think that the Hebrew phrase rendered “hind of the morning” was the name of a musical instrument (Herenberg, Theodor., etc.) which was to accompany the singing of the psalm, or of a division of the temple musicians by whom it was to be chanted (Calmet, etc.), or that a well-known popular song began with these words, after the melody of which the psalmist wished to have his hymn chanted (Aben-Ezra, Eichhorn, etc.). Many object to these explanations that they are fancies rather than facts, and that they are advanced without any solid basis to rest on. There is another class of interpreters who see in the title of the psalm a reference to the time of day for which it was destined. To these authors belong Fabier and Anton, who follow the Chaldee rendering “for the early dawn” or “for the might of morning,” either reading “’eyaluth” in the Hebrew text instead of “’ayyeleth,” or following Gesenius in explaining the “hind” as a figurative expression for the rising sun. Neither view has found many adherents among commentators. Other scholars have found in the title a reference to the contents of the psalm. The hind is to them a figure of persecuted innocence; they point to 2 Kings 1:19, where David compares Jonathan to a roe slain in the high places, to Is. 13:14 and Prov. 6:5. Cf. Gen. 49:21; Prov. 5:19; Cant. 2:7, 9; 8:14; 1 Kings 17:20; 24:15. In the phrase “of the morning” this last class of commentators see either an indication of the time at which the hind is supposed to be hunted, or a figurative expression for prosperity coming after misfortunes. Similar figures are found in Is. 58:8, 10; 47:11; 8:20; Os. 6:3; 10:15. The whole clause, expressed in proper terms, means, then, “the suffering just man delivered” (Hengstenberg). Thus far none of the foregoing explanations has attained such a degree of certainty as to exclude the probability of the others.

PS. 21 (22)

O God, my God, look upon me;

Why hast thou forsaken me?

Far from my salvation

Are the words of my sins.

O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear;

And by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me;

But thou dwellest in the holy place,

The praise of Israel.

In thee have our fathers hoped,

They have hoped and thou hast delivered them;

They cried to thee, and they were saved,

They trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

But I am a worm, and no man,

The reproach of men and the outcast of the people;

All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn,

They have spoken with the lips and wagged the head.

He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him;

Let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him;

For thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb,

My hope from the breasts of my mother;

I was cast upon thee from the womb,

From my mother’s womb thou art my God.

Depart not from me,

For tribulation is very near, for there is none to help me.

Many calves have surrounded me,1

Fat bulls have besieged me;

They have opened their mouths against me,

As a lion, ravening and roaring;

I am poured out like water,1

And all my bones are scattered,

My heart is become like wax

Melting in the midst of my bowels.

My strength is dried1 up like a potsherd,

And my tongue hath cleaved to my jaws,

And thou hast brought me down into the dust of death;

For many dogs1 have encompassed me,

The council of the malignant hath besieged me,

They have dug my hands and feet,

They have numbered all my bones,1

And they have looked and stared upon me.

They parted my garments1 amongst them,

And upon my vesture they cast lots;

But thou, O Lord, remove not thy help to a distance from me.

Look towards my defence.

Deliver, O God,1 my soul from the sword,

My only one from the hand of the dog;

Save me from the lion’s month,

And my lowness from the horns1 of the unicorns.

I will declare thy name1 to my brethren,

In the midst of the church will I praise thee;

Ye that fear the Lord, praise him,

All ye the seed of Jacob glorify him;

Let all the seed of Israel fear him, because he hath not slighted

Nor despised the supplication of the poor man;

Neither hath he turned away his face from me,

And when I cried to him, he heard me.

With thee is my praise1 in the great church,

I will pay my vows in the sight of them that fear him;

The poor shall eat, and shall be filled,

And they shall praise the Lord that seek him,

Their hearts shall live for ever and ever;

All the ends of the earth shall remember,

And shall be converted to the Lord,

And all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in his sight.

For the kingdom is the Lord’s,2

And he shall have dominion over the nations;

All the fat ones of the earth have eaten and have adored,

All they that go down to the earth shall fall before him.

And to him my soul shall live,2 and my seed shall serve him;

There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come:

And the heavens shall show forth his justice

To a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made.

The psalm contains three mysteries: 1. the mystery of the Messianic humiliation; 2. the mystery of the Messianic glory; 3. the mystery of the connection between the suffering and the glory, the mystery of the cross.








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