Psalm 22:16.Nails it! psalms blog 9

easter scene with crown of thorns, hammer and nails with blood on sand

‘Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet’

Psalm 22:16

‘They pierce my hands and feet’’ is an interpretive bone of contention.

Disagreement and quarrels explaining the meaning of this verse continue.

Jesus exhorts us to ‘judge correctly’ John 7:24. To do this we have to put our opinions and feelings on hold and give a situation a fair hearing. If you are willing to do this while reading this blog, thank you.

So, this controversial word pierce (karari) literally “like the lion”. The literal translation is ‘lion like my hands and feet’


According to the NET Bible,

The psalmist may envision a lion pinning the hands and feet of its victim to the ground with its paws (a scene depicted in ancient Near Eastern art), or a lion biting the hands and feet.’


Some suggest a homonym of the root krh (bind) and translate ‘they have bound my hands and my feet’


Others propose another root (kala) relating to the word consume and translate,

my hands and feet are exhausted”

Shrink” or shrivel?

This translation suggests a reading based on Akkadain  (shrink) or (shrivel) therefore the New English Bible reads

they have hacked off my hands and feet

LXX (The Septuagint) and New International Bible?

Translate the text as a verb ‘they pierced’ from kara or kwr, pierce.

They have pierced my hands and feet”,

I’m a great believer that scripture interprets scripture. Without doubt ‘pierced my hands and feet’ is corroborated and supported by tangible New Testament evidence. Jesus purposely, and the disciples inadvertently, provide additional proof. Let us consider this proof.

Did not ‘Doubting Thomas’, object very strongly to the resurrection of Christ?

Unless I see the nail marks in his hands’ said Thomas ‘and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe’. John 20:25

One week later the disciples were hiding in a locked room. Jesus gate-crashed the house.

Peace be with you’ said Jesus. And he granted Thomas his wish.

put your finger here’ said Jesus to Thomas, ‘see my hands reach out your hand and put it into my side’ John 20:25. Thomas was never the same after this encounter.

The Gospel of Luke also supports the wounds Christ received on the cross.

Look at my hands and feet’ said Jesus. ‘It is I myself. Touch me and see. A ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have’ said Jesus, when he said this he showed them his hands and feet’ Luke 24:39-40.

Now what were the disciples looking at? Jesus’ hands and feet are certainly not bound. His hands are certainly not hacked off. His hands and feet are certainly not exhausted. His hands and feet are certainly not pinned down by a lion. So, what was Jesus showing disciples? Luke 24:39-40. What Marks did Thomas ask to see? John 20:25. The nail piercings. What Marks did Jesus show Thomas? The nail piercings.

Without doubt it was the ‘pierced hands and feet’, the redemptive wounds which Jesus received on the cross at Calvary. These piercing wounds were inflicted 1,000 years after psalm 22:16 was written.

And there’s more corroborative evidence we must add. Jesus shows the disciples his ‘pierced hands and feet’ But as he does so he mentions a jaw dropping verbal comment.

This, is what I told you while I was with you’ says Jesus. ‘Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms’. Luke 24:44

What did Jesus just say? Let’s go back and read that one more time. Did Jesus just say that there were things written about him in the psalms? YES, He did. Well what kind of things are written about him in the psalms? Before I answer this question please note,

Jesus didn’t tell the disciples the psalms speak about him when he fed 5000, people. Jesus didn’t say the psalms speak about him when he turned water into wine. Jesus didn’t say the psalms speak about him when he walked on water and rescued the disciples in the boat. What’s the context as Jesus informs everyone that there are things written in the psalms about him?

Jesus told the, disciples that the psalms spoke about him as he was in the process of showing them his pierced hands and feet.

The Bible has 150 psalms. Which one of these psalms do you think speaks about Jesus? All of them? Twelve of them? Two of them? Let’s just consider one.

Is there a psalm which speaks about someone having their hands and feet pierced? Yes. Which one? Psalm 22:16 NAILS IT! Did Jesus have his hands and feet pierced? Yes.Jesus shows the disciples his pierced hands and feet. As Jesus shows his piercings he so happens to mention that everything written in the psalms about him must be fulfilled. Did a psalm say that ‘hands and feet would be pierced’? Yes an ancient translation called the Septuagint LXX, predicted these piercings in psalm 22, long before Jesus and the disciples were born.

The LXX (The Septuagint) started to be written in the 3rd century BCE and it was completed by 132 BCE. The LXX (The Septuagint) was used regularly in the time of Christ.

Psalm 22:16 is more than a fulfilled prophecy. When the resurrected Christ showed his pierced hands and feet to his disciples and explained that the psalms speak of him, that was a moment. It was a moment of total divine brilliance. A moment of utter class which no other god, king, lord, or human being could ever produce from infinity past or infinity future.

But this is not just a moment for the disciples it’s a moment for you.

Some people will not accept the translation ‘pierced my hands and feet’ in Psalm 22:16. They will also insist Mark and Luke edited their gospel texts to fit in with events. Why?

Because these people who believe these things belong to a group of people that wouldn’t help Jesus even if they could. Find out more about this group of people Psalm 22:11 ‘where is everyone?’ These people have every right to their opinions and un-beliefs.

But for me Psalm 22:16 and Luke 24:44 is a moment. In Psalm 22:16, Christ is showing you His wounds before Calvary. In Luke 24:44 Christ is showing you His wounds after Calvary. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament bear witness to the crucifixion of Jesus.

Those wounds are for your healing. If you are not a Christian perhaps you might consider visiting the convert section of my website and decide to give your life to Jesus

If you are a Christian perhaps you might consider sharing the blog.

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