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Psalm 22 Is Not A Prophecy

QUESTION: Why do some people claim that Psalm 22 is not a prophecy?


Skeptics will say that Psalm 22 is not a prophecy and that Jesus prayers were not answered when He prayed, "My God, my God, why have you rejected me?" (Psalm 22:1, NCV). However, the fact that Jesus was raised three days later from the dead by God His Father, the victory more than revealed a fulfilling of prophecy, showing God had not permanently rejected Jesus.

Some will debate that this psalm does not reveal or connect the date of Jesus' crucifixion to this Scripture in the Old Testament since no date was mentioned.

They do not think the author is telling about Jesus. However, if someone tells me the particular way I might die, and all the possible ways it could happen, and then it came to pass; would it not be prophetic?

The writers in the Bible often used foreshadowing, symbolism, and parallelisms connecting the Old Testament and New, the thematic agreements consistent throughout.

Nowhere in the psalm do the verses indicate a prediction of a future event, on the face of it, since it appeared like another prayer for deliverance. And yet, the recounting of distress, the plea for help, the song of rejoicing, and finally praise to God bare witness with the steps Jesus took to the cross, and victory prevailed.

Many skeptics emphasize the fact that this psalm does not actually mention the act of crucifixion. This isn't surprising since execution of this type was not known in David's time, yet the Scripture tells of a time when this will take place.

In verse 16, we read "pierced my hands and feet" and yet right behind that verse is the mention of dogs in this same verse further complicating interpretation. Because most Hebrew manuscripts have the word "lion" in place of "pierced," skeptics say it does not make sense.

In the New Jerusalem Bible, it translates verse 16 as "a gang of villains closing in on me, as if to hack off my hands and feet..." There's a footnote which mentions "as a lion," and none of the evangelists for Jesus quoted this verse as being fulfilled by Jesus.

So at first, the psalm appears to not be prophetic, at least initially by David, yet it follows the theme and structure giving way to elements that apply to Jesus and His crucifixion, telling of His death many years prior to His birth.

And thus, divinely telling a prophetic account of a Savior who was to come on our behalf, who was born of a virgin, suffered and died, and rose again.

Learn More about Christian Prophecy!

What do you think?
We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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