Psalms 22:15 MEANING

Psalm 22:15
(15) My strength.--The conjecture, "my palate," instead of "my strength," improves the parallelism. Others, but not so happily, "my moisture."

The dust of death.--Comp. Shakespeare's "Macbeth:"

"The way to dusty death."

Verse 15. - My strength is dried up like a potsherd. All strength dies out under the action of the many acute pains which rack the whole frame, and as little remains as there remains of moisture in a potsherd. And my tongue cleaveth to my jaws. An extreme and agonizing thirst sets in - the secretions generally fail - and the saliva especially is suppressed, so that the mouth feels parched and dry. Hence the cry of suffering which was at last wrung from our Lord, when, just before the end, he exclaimed, "I thirst" (John 19:28). And thou hast brought me into the dust of death. "The dust of death" is a periphrasis for death itself, which is so closely associated in our thoughts with the dust of the tomb (see below, ver. 29; and comp. Psalm 30:10; Psalm 104:29; and Job 10:9; Job 34:35; Ecclesiastes 3:20; Ecclesiastes 12:7, etc.).

22:11-21 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.My strength is dried up like a potsherd,.... The radical moisture of his body was dried up through his loss of blood and spirits, and through the violent fever upon him, brought on him by his being hurried from court to court; and which generally attends persons under a panic, in consternation and fear of danger and death, and at crucifixion; or this was occasioned by the inward sorrow and distress of his mind, which affected his body and dried his bones, as a broken spirit is said to do, Proverbs 17:22; and chiefly it was brought upon him through the sense he had the wrath of God, which like fire dried up his strength, just as a potsherd burnt in a furnace; which expresses his dolorous sufferings, which were typified by the passover lamb being roasted with fire, and the manna being baked in pans;

and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; so that he could not, or rather would not, speak; this phrase sometimes signifying silence, Job 29:10, Ezekiel 3:26. Thus Christ answered not a word to the charges of the false witnesses before the high priest, nor to the accusations of the chief priests and elders before Pilate; nor did he open his mouth, when he was led to be crucified, neither against the law and justice of God, nor against his people for whom he suffered, nor against his enemies who used him cruelly; when he was reviled he reviled not again; but rather this was occasioned by thirst, through the violent fever that was upon him; see Lamentations 4:4; Hence, when he hung upon the cross, he said, "I thirst", John 19:28;

and thou hast brought me into the dust of death; meaning either death itself, which brings to the dust, and which is signified in this psalm by going down to it, Psalm 22:29; or the grave, where the body crumbles into dust, and where it is covered with dust, and therefore is said to sleep in the dust of the earth, Daniel 12:2; and accordingly the Targum renders it here, "thou hast shut me up in the house of the grave": now Christ both died and was laid in the grave, though he did not lie there so long as to corrupt and decompose, yet he might be truly said to be laid in the dust: and this is attributed to God, to his counsel, disposal, and Providence; and even whatever was done to Christ antecedent to his death, and which led on to it, were what God's hand and counsel had determined to be done; and though it was with wicked hands the Jews took Christ and used him in the manner after related, and crucified and slew him, he was delivered to them by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God; and by these he was delivered into the hands of justice, and brought to death itself, Acts 2:23.

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