Psalm 22 is a powerful prophecy about the Messiah Yeshua Jesus. While it was originally written by David to describe the trials he was facing during his flights from King Saul, there is much more described in the passage than a simple distressed soul. Words like “my bones are out of joint,” “they are at my hands and my feet,” and “they part my garments among them,” seem to have found their ultimate fulfillment in the crucifixion death of Yeshua. Indeed, He Himself drew attention to this passage when he called out from the cross, the first words of this chapter: “My G-d, my G-d, why hast Thou forsaken me.” (Psalm 22, Jewish Publication Society) Yet, Jewish rabbis vehemently object to the Christian idea that this prophecy was fulfilled in Jesus claiming that the original text in the Hebrew did not contain the word “pierce” in the phrase, “they have pierced my hands and feet” found in the Christian Bible. Is there a textual variant at this passage that originally read “pierced” at verse 16? We will examine their claims in this video.
[ Music ] Did Christianity change the Old Testament Psalms 22:16? Should it read
“pierce” or “like a lion?” At Psalm 22:16, or verse 17 – if you’re talking about the Jewish Bible, it’s verse 17, and the Christian Bible it’s verse 16, we have an interesting passage. Christians all believe that Psalm 22 is a reference to Jesus as the Messiah being crucified and in verse 16 of the Christian Bible, it says “pierced,” that they pierced His hands and feet, but in the Jewish Bible it reads “as a lion” at my hands and feet. So which is it, was the Messiah pierced or were his hands ravished by lions?
We’re gonna be talking about that today in this episode of our series “Is Christianity the Mormonism of Judaism?” where we are examining the claims of the Jewish rabbis, who teach that Christianity has distorted the teachings of Judaism in much the same way that Mormonism distorts the teachings of Christianity. We’re going to examine those claims today and what I want to do at the very beginning of this video is I want to feature a clip from a popular Jewish rabbi who makes the claim that Christians have distorted the Old Testament teachings in Psalm 22, when in our Christian Bible, it reads that the Messiah had His hands pierced. In the Jewish Bible, it reads like a lion at my hands and feet. So listen carefully, as this rabbi misrepresents the textual basis that forms the foundation of the Christian rendering in this passage.
Rabbi Tovia Singer: “Psalm 22, 16 or 17, depending on which kind of Bible you use – and it sounds immediately very, very Christian, sounds for sure, sounds like a crucifixion. The answer to that question is that there’s one word that has been mistranslated by the church: the last phrase of Psalm 22, 17 in the Jewish Bible and 16 in the Christian Bible, says kā’ari yo divert agua [Hebrew]. The word kā’ari means “like a lion” the kas prefix, which means “like,” is a common word in the Hebrew language, biblical in modern Hebrew, so kā’ari means “like a lion.” Like a lion there at my hands and my feet. Now, imagine you take the word “like a lion” and instead you put in the word, “they pierced,” and suddenly you have a brand new message. And that’s what the church did.
“In fact, if you go a little further in the same chapter, yasha mimi peh aryeh [Hebrew], “save me from the lion’s mouth.” These texts are all speaking about the lions that are attacking him, but they don’t mean literally lions or wasn’t King David found himself in a circus in a zoo, in the lions’ den; literally, it means his enemies. The church changed one text, one verse, the one word and suddenly, the meaning of the whole chapter changes.
“Now you are going to again be hit with the Septuagint. And someone says to you, “It’s in the Septuagint. It may not be in Hebrew. The Jew has changed it. We have a Dead Sea scroll text, Nachal Hever.” That there is no fragment that says they
“pierced in Nachal Hever, which is a text later a little later than Qumran and the covers in areas some thirty kilometers south of of Qumran in the Dead Sea area. I don’t want that to interfere with your thinking.”
This rabbi specifically says that this textual variant does not occur in the Hebrew, but it most certainly does, and I’m gonna explain why. The textual variant, as you can see, is very similar. There’s only one character difference between the word in the ancient Hebrew manuscript right here, which means “pierced” and the one that’s in the more modern Hebrew manuscript, the one that’s in the Masoretic text, right here; that means “like a lion” at my hands and feet. This textual variation occurs in Psalm 22:16. Unfortunately, the Dead Sea Scrolls are too damaged at this point to be able to verify whether “pierced” or “like a lion” is what is seen in this text; however, a very ancient Hebrew manuscript that is just as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls that dates back to the first century, shows very clearly the word “pierced” being used in the manuscript, and not the word “like a lion” that shows up in the Masoretic text.
I have here an article that I found on Torahresource.com that provides a photocopy of that very ancient Hebrew manuscript. I thought it was in the Dead Sea Scrolls. I later read this article and realized that it is actually in a manuscript that’s as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls, and dates back to the first century. So it predates the Masoretic text reading by, let’s see, the oldest manuscript we have, a complete manuscript of the Old Testament in the Masoretic text, is a tenth century. This one goes back to the first century, so it predates the Masoretic text reading by nearly a thousand years. And you have a very clear example where, in that text, you have the word for “pierced” with the ending letter character, the vav being changed to yodh, this character right here in the Masoretic text in the later Hebrew manuscripts, when the varied manuscripts show textual variants that change the technical meaning of the very words that are being translated from “pierced” to “like a lion” in my hands of feet.
Now, why is this a significant textual variant? The rabbis claim that the word “pierced” was changed by the Christians when they translated the Septuagint rendering of “pierced” in Psalm 22:16, and they say that this prophecy was changed to try to prove that this Psalm 22 passage was referring to Jesus as the Messiah being pierced on a cross. So they claimed the word never appears in the Hebrew manuscripts and so, to the rabbis, they claim that this is a significant change that the Christians made to the text. So what does he do? He denies that they exist.
So rather than admit that this textual variant exists in the very ancient Hebrew manuscripts of this passage here in Psalms 22. This rabbi denies that it exists and I’m going to feature another video of this rabbi and yet another video done by Dr. Michael Brown, who talks about this passage in Psalms 22, and talks about the claims of this rabbi and shows not only how this textual variant appears here in Psalms 22 in the Nachal Hever manuscript, but in other manuscripts of the Hebrew text found both in the Dead Sea scrolls and in the Masoretic manuscripts.
You can see textual variants that support the Christian rendering. So let’s listen in as
Dr. Michael Brown, who is a renowned scholar on the biblical languages and very well-versed and knowledgeable in responding to Jewish objections. Let’s listen in as he discusses this passage.
Rabbi Tovia Singer: “Every Bible in the whole world says the same word in Hebrew. Not one Bible ever found says they ‘pierced.'”
Dr. Michael Brown: “Oh, sorry, squirming a little bit. Okay, he’s saying every Hebrew text, every Hebrew Bible that’s ever been found reads: kā’ari “like a lion.” None of them read ka’aru, which is taken to mean they “pierced” or they “dug through.” As a by-form of ka’aru, none of them say that, rather they all say, kā’ari “like a lion,” not a single Hebrew manuscript, not a single Hebrew Bible in the entire world ever read that way. Ever, ever, ever! None of them say this alleged ka’aru.
“Okay, I guess Rabbi Singer is not familiar with the massive collocation of all Masoretic manuscripts done by two scholars separately, a few centuries back, Kennicott and De Rossi. So these are books written in Latin that give every last Masoretic manuscript, and so you have to assume there are thousands of Masoretic manuscripts, and there are all kinds of variations, all right? So I copied this out. Okay, you can actually access the book and PDF form online. I copied this out. I magnified it, I underlined a few things, so I’m going to put it on the screen. If you’re listening, I’ll do my best to explain. Let’s go to image five, clip number five and oh, I’m sorry, first Dead Sea Scrolls. Okay, that’s the right image, put that up, number five, put that back up. Okay, so first from Quran Cave four. 4Q88 with further reference.
“This is a fragment from Psalm 22. Now it has the letters forhiki, funi [Hebrew] and and they are written with these little circles on top meaning that the text is not a hundred percent clear, alright? But then there’s qoph resh and then above ka’aru. Alright, so the vav is not certain and then yāḏ die raḡli [Hebrew], so my hands and my feet, but notice there’s no aleph there.
“This text is from hosvenian times, so this text is from well before the time of Jesus, all right? And it does not have the aleph and the most likely reading is kaaru, but certainly it does not have the aleph there, which would support the idea that the text originally said karu or ka’aru and karu, as we’re showing in a little while, can mean to dig through to bore through, hence can be used obviously to cut through, to bore through. Crucifixion would obviously work well with that concept.
“And then, although he tries to downplay this, from Nachal Hever, so these texts were a little bit later, this would be from a century or so after Jesus, but many of these have been dated to well before Jesus, but either way these are Jewish texts, okay? These are Jewish texts, Jewish collections, so there we have karu. You say, “Well, I think it’s just a yodh at the end, it’s kā’ari.”
“The best Dead Sea Scrolls scholars have examined this, looked at this, people who specialize in orthography
“don’t have an ax to grind, they just transcribing what it says, and they’re all looking at the same pictures and then studying it in person, looking at it, karu is the best reading, alright? But what about the Masoretic manuscripts? Let’s go to clip number six here, our sixth image. Let’s look at this and and Kyle, just leave this up for a little while, alright? So again, if you’re listening on radio and you’re not watching, I’m gonna do my best to explain this to you. But what you have here is a series of numbers. And what it’s telling you is, okay in this particular manuscript, which scholars number as thus and such a number 438 or 40, etc., that the main Masoretic text means one thing, but you have X number of manuscripts that read something different. So, for example, instead of kā’ari, “like a lion,” you have one manuscript, number 245, that reads: kā’aryeh. These are Masoretic manuscripts, Masoretic Hebrew texts, late medieval and after, okay?
“So it’s a more full spelling of lion: kā’aryeh instead of kā’ari. But you have the text and I underlined it, karu: qoph, aleph, resh, vav, which Rabbi Singer said does not exist in a single Masoretic text, Masoretic Bible anywhere in the world, false, false, false, false! How many times false? Well, here you have it. Manuscript number 39, 267, 270, 277 and then 288 and 660 and then some other variations, then you have some other marginal ones. So, overall you have it attested about eight different times. You say, ‘Well, it’s just eight!’ Oh hey! When someone says none exist, when someone says there’s not a manuscript on the planet where this exists, and any scholar knows the Kennicott collection, okay, De Rossi just supplemented it with with errors and with variations and the vowels as well.
“But any Hebrew scholar, biblical scholar, is familiar with this compilation. It is just a list of the Masoretic Hebrew manuscripts when Rabbi Singer says never curse, never curse, zero, no manuscripts, no Hebrew Bible, no one! He’s very dramatic. He got at least eight times and then four or five times you have karu. So this is a legitimate variant in these Masoretic manuscripts, ka’aru or karu. Okay. So, as I said, I’m kind of shocked to see these things, and I want to play one more clip from Rabbi Singer, but I just have to honestly say, I watch this stuff in a state of shock just out of scholarly – forget polemics, forget this right or wrong. Forget any of that for the moment. Okay, obviously, those are life and death issues, who the Messiah is and and and how we respond to Him.
“Of course, I understand that. Just put it aside, just simply from the standpoint of Hebrew scholarship, biblical scholarship, manuscript scholarship, shocking to see these things! I don’t mean to be insulting, it’s just when people make a big deal of it and say, ‘Well, look at this, he’s an authority.’ Maybe on certain things, I don’t know, but these areas, clearly not. Okay. So let’s listen again to Rabbi Singer, clip number seven.”
Rabbi Tovia Singer: “This is Chekov puzzle is a lie [Hebrew]. Qoph, aleph, resh, vav. What does that word mean? Anybody? What is the word in Hebrew? Where I’m standing here in the Land of Israel, filled with Hebrew speakers?Don’t tell me, none of you speak Hebrew, qoph, aleph, resh, vav. What does this word mean? It means nothing. There is no such word. I’m not gonna get it. You can’t have a verb with the aleph in the root. I don’t want to get caught with – there is no such word word. You have been lied to.”
Dr. Michael Brown: “Oh. Ah, that really makes me squirm! Whoa! For real! Okay, so let’s first start, he’s gonna ask a Hebrew speaking audience what ka’aru means and they say nothing. There’s no such word. Okay, first problem is: there are many words from Biblical Hebrew and Biblical vocabulary, and are not used in Hebrew today. In fact, I embarrassed myself talking the Israelis in the 70s when I was studying Hebrew
“’cause my biblical Hebrew is much better than my modern and I’d say things in biblical Hebrew, they’d shake their heads, ‘No! No! No! Oh! No! This is the way you say it now. We don’t use those terms.’ Not that they were bad terms, but they’re not used anymore: expressions, grammatical things. So he’s gonna prove a point about a biblical Hebrew word from 3 thousand years ago and say, ‘Well, is it spoken today? If not, it’s gibberish.’
“I guess though what gets the biggest reaction from me is when he says, ‘You can’t have an aleph as a root letter in a Hebrew verb.’ So, in other words, this has a middle aleph: qoph aleph resh. Right? You can’t have an aleph in a verbal root. What? I mean how many, how many verbs do you have? I mean just go – how do you say, ‘To elucidate?’ It’s beth, aleph, resh, that verb all right, [means] to worry; daleth, aleph, gimel, to redeem; gimel, aleph, lamedh – I mean word after word after word – to weary; lamedh, aleph, he; slowness is connected with lamedh, aleph, teth. I mean, on and on, example after example after example, just biblical Hebrew lexicon or even a modern Hebrew lexicon, if you want it, you’ll see the same phenomenon there.
“Just go through it and look for each verb, verbal roots and then just scroll down to where aleph would be the second one. You have example after example after example, words that he knows, words that he knows perfectly well! So what was that? Was that just a total brain freeze, or was there [an] intentional attempt to mislead an audience? Either way, yo, that that makes me squirm. And then what about this idea that there is no root qoph, aleph, resh? Well, may I just do this again. I know we’re on radio, so you can watch this later on, on YouTube. I’m Ask Dr. Brown, [www.askdrbrown.org]. You can watch this, but I’m just gonna put a few images up on the screen, (and Kyle, keep the image up until I tell you to switch.) Let’s look at image number eight. This is from the Klein’s Hebrew Lexicon Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, one of the greatest modern scholarly accomplishments in the Hebrew language, not just using Hebrew Bible, but Dead, Sea, Scrolls, etc.
“It has two possible roots, qoph, aleph, resh, alright, two possible roots, and one of them is pointing to Psalm 22, the very verse we’re looking at based on manuscript evidence, some of the evidence we just looked at, Masoretic manuscript evidence, so that’s a possible one. Does it mean ‘to bind,’ there is speculation there. And then there’s another root, qoph, aleph, resh, meaning ‘to be repulsive.’ It’s reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls, their citations given there etc. of the the word kaor, repulsive, and then it could be ‘they’re made repulsive, mutilated.’ Is that what it’s talking about in Psalm 22? So the question is: how do these relate to Psalm 22, but these are two different entries under a root that Rabbi Singer says never existed. Not only do we have it attested, the Dead Sea Scrolls and at Psalm 22, and Nachal Hever, and Dead Sea scrolls, but we have it used in other ways as well, so the root exists. The root certainly exists! Okay, so that’s one scholarly lexicon
“used by Jewish and Christian Old Testament scholars. Alright, let’s look at image number nine. This is from the Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament that started this, Koehler, Baumgartner [authors]. Then others worked on it as well, including the great Aramaic scholar, Hezichal Kutscher, Israeli scholar. This is widely used by Jewish and Christian scholars studying the Hebrew Bible. And they point to a root kārâ: Qoph, Resh, He. A root kārâ meaning (and we’ve got Palos, South Arabian and Arabic and Aramaic and Punic, etc.), meaning ‘to dig a channel,’ or a river in some of these other languages, and in the Bible, ‘to hollow out, to dig’ as in digging a well (Genesis 26:25 or Numbers 21:18, or ‘a cistern’ in Exodus 21:33. In verse after verse, ‘digging out a pit.’ In Psalm 40, verse 9, karitali, you have ‘dug out, and so opened up my ears.’ Alright. So this is a potential reading in some manuscripts in one Dead Sea Scroll manuscript, ka’aru, meaning they ‘dug out’ my hands and feet. Again, if it has to do with digging out, with piercing, is it a related concept? Could well be. Many scholars believe that is the case, hence the usage there, in a very violent way, pointing to crucifixion. And then, the other argument is that ka’aru is just a by-form of karu, and we know that this often happens where the aleph is part of a by-form of a word.
“Just look at how it occurs in Hebrew and Aramaic, in terms of certain words with what would be called weak roots, all right, so with a vav in the middle or stuff like that, sometimes you go to Aramaic, [it] has an aleph, so these are all perfectly plausible. Sorry if I lost anyone, but last image: okay, all right, the Brown Driver Biggs lexicon. This came out in early 1900s, an edition of the famous Gesenius Lexicon and one of the most widely used to this day by scholars of the Hebrew language, both Jewish and Christian.
“So at Psalm 22 has ari, ‘lion,’ use the references there, but then it says this, that they’re suggesting reading kaaru, which equals karu, so they ‘dug through,’ they ‘dug out’ my hands and feet, which would then mirror the Septuagint, that ‘pierced’ my hands and feet and, contrary to Rabbi Singer, there’s ample evidence of the Septuagint being completed as a Jewish work before the time of Jesus. So bottom line, here’s what we get and we’re done with that image. We’re good, now.
“Number one: massive error on Daniel 9. ‘If it was so important, why wasn’t it referred to?’ It is. It is by Jesus, Matthew 24, Mark 13, and not only so, early church leaders make reference to it as well, recognizing its significance having to do with messianic prophecy before the Second Temple was destroyed. That’s number one.
“Number two, Psalm 22 quoted, referred to explicitly in the New Testament. Therefore, you’re going to read all the passages, including ‘they pierced my hands and feet.’ All right, number three, Dead Sea Scroll evidence supporting a reading of kaaru without an aleph, therefore, not ‘like a lion’ and then yes, Nachal Hever, Quran scroll, strongly pointing to kaaru with a vav, not a yodh. So again, not ‘like a lion,’ and then contrary
“to Rabbi Singer’s denial, saying there’s not a single Hebrew manuscript in the world, Masoretic manuscript that reads this way, I post this actual image from the Kennicott volume, where he lists the Masoretic manuscripts, that read ka’aru or karu. All right and then, on top of that extraordinary or mind-boggling error, saying that you’re not gonna have a verbal root with an aleph in it. Again, either he failed to explain himself or just had a brain freeze. That can happen to anybody, but when people think you’re – then immediately correct the video or pull that part or make a statement, ‘Hi, [you] made an error there.’
“And then that there’s no root ka’ar. Well there is, and it’s attested in lexicons in different contexts, and there are explanations as to how you can have kārâ or kā’ar and how they are related. So can we prove that the earliest reading was they ‘pierced’ or they ‘dug through’ my hands and my feet? [I] can’t prove it, but there’s very, very strong evidence for it. And by the way, even if it was ‘like a lion’ my hands and feet the verb is – the verb is missing!
“Hence explanation: ‘like a lion,’ they mauled my hands and feet, which is also an excellent description of crucifixion. So this would be one of these things of like, when a pitcher strikes out the sides on a nine-pitches in a swing and miss at each one, each major point he was making was a swing and a miss. So I just wanted to take the time to set the record straight. Truth, pursue the truth, follow the truth. It’s worth it.”
Well, in the video we just watched, we saw many examples of how this Jewish rabbi will go to great lengths to deny the evidence of textual variants in this passage of Psalm 22, which support the Christian rendering of ‘pierced’ in this passage. And yet it’s these very textual variants that form the basis of the Christian reading in this passage of ‘pierced,’ and it discredits the Jewish rabbi’s claims that Christians have distorted the text of the Old Testament in their Bible in their translation of these passages.
So what do we do with textual variants? As we have been seeing in our series, many of the differences between how the Christian Bible renders different passages or how the New Testament, or Septuagint the Greek Septuagint reading of the Old Testament, many of the times when there [are] differences in the readings, we find that it’s actually supported in the Hebrew manuscripts and therefore, the Christians were not tampering with the text of the Old Testament, when they were quoting the Old Testament. Nor are Christians today tampering with the text of the Old Testament in their translation of passages like Psalm 22. Rather, quite often we find that it’s textual variants in the very Hebrew manuscripts that support the differences in the readings between the Christian Bibles rendering of certain passages and the Jewish Bibles rendering of these passages.
So what do we do with textual variants like these in very ancient Hebrew manuscripts? How do we reconcile the existence of textual variants, with our belief that God has inspired the Scriptures, and has preserved the readings of the Scriptures? How do we justify these textual variants with our view that all Scripture is God-breathed and inspired by God? Well, the reality is, I believe that to justify these textual variants, you have to go back to the very point that textual variants, scribal errors, mistakes in which a vav at the end of the word is accidentally changed to a yodh in later manuscripts merely show that God is sovereign over the Scriptures and they really don’t change the message of the text. The fact this man, no matter which rendering you go with, whether he’s pierced in his hands and feet, or whether he has an attack to his hands and feet, like a lion at his hands and feet.
Well, if the lions
maul your hands and feet, there’s still something overall going on between the textual variants, you could still see the reading or the message that this man had something very significant happen to the very hands and feet of this Messiah in Psalm 22. So whether you go with “pierced” or with “like a lion” in my hands and feet is really irrelevant, because the message of the text has not been changed.
I’d like to look back here at the context of this passage here in Psalm 22, and I’d like to read to you from the Jewish Bible. Beginning at verse 14 in the Jewish Bible, which is verse 13 in the Christian Bible, Psalm 22. I want you to think about what this passage is actually saying in context, where we find the passage about the Messiah being pierced or like a lion and my hands and feet. Listen to this. Listen to how it reads and ask yourself the question: when was this ever fulfilled in King David? Was this fulfilled in King David, or was it fulfilled in Messiah Jesus Yeshua?
Verse 14 in the Jewish Bible from chabad.org: “They opened their mouth[s] against me, [like] a tearing, roaring lion. I was spilled like water, and all my bones were separated” (Many of the translations will say: bones are out of joint or dislocated). “All my bones were separated.” When did that happen to David? We know that happened to Jesus when He was crucified, but when did that happen to David? “My heart was like wax, melting within my innards (verse 16, which is verse 15 in the Christian Bible). My strength became dried out like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my palate; and You set me down in the dust of death.” “Tongue cleaves to my palate.” Some translations will say, “tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth.”
Now, when did this happen to King David? Do we ever have any rendering or any example of this occurring in David’s life? Now, maybe you could argue when he was running from Saul, maybe he got real thirsty in the desert, but we don’t read of this kind of detail occurring to anyone, but with Jesus we do see this, because in crucifixion He was dying of dehydration in the midst of everything else that He was suffering, and they gave Him vinegar to drink. Remember that? In the crucifixion account we could see this being fulfilled. Now let’s go on. This is in verse 17 of the Jewish Bible, verse 16 of the Christian Bible. “For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me, like a lion my hands and feet.” Rashi, because it’s missing a verb here, says, “like lions [they maul] my hands and feet.” “They mauled my hands and feet.” So Rashi interpreted, the ancient Jewish rabbi interpreted, this of a mauling of his hands and feet. Whether you say it’s mauling, or (whether you say) pierced or the lions were digging at his hands and feet, either way this fits a crucifixion, but it doesn’t fit the life of King David. I mean, when did he ever have an attack to his hands and feet that looked like lions grabbed at them?
Then let’s read on, and this is verse 18 of the Jewish Bible. “I tell all my bones. They look and gloat over me. (Verse 19) They share my garments among themselves
and cast lots for my raiment.” Again, when did this ever happen to King David? When was (were) his garments ever torn from him? But we don’t see this in King David’s life, but we do see this fulfilled in the life of Yeshua, Jesus our Messiah. This was definitely fulfilled. We can read about it, how the enemies of Christ, when they crucified Him, stripped Him naked and divided His garments. They cast lots for His garments in fulfillment of this passage here in Psalm 22.
So here we see a clear example, when we read the passage in context, we definitely see a clear vision, a clear prophecy of crucifixion which occurred with Jesus Yeshua, our Messiah, and it does not fulfill (in) the life of David in any way, you have specific statements here that are never fulfilled in David’s life. So again, we have to ask the question: why did the Jewish rabbis make such a big deal of verse 16, verse 17 here in this passage, about whether it’s “like a lion” in my hands and feet or “pierced” my hands and feet. You have to ask that question, because when you read the rest of the text that surrounds that very verse here in Psalm 22, we can definitely see how it fits Jesus the Messiah, no matter what rendering you give to this passage.
And, incidentally, if it’s so important to have the word “pierced” in this passage, why wasn’t this particular verse, quoted by the Christians in their New Testament, if it was so important, if they were distorting the text of this passage to say “pierced,” instead of “like a lion” in my hands of feet, why isn’t it quoted in the New Testament? This particular verse is not quoted in the New Testament, but rather the New Testament refers to several of these verses in this passage of Psalm 22, and Jesus references the whole chapter when He quotes the first verse, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” when He’s dying on the cross to draw the attention of those viewers to this passage to show how He was fulfilling this passage.
We see this passage clearly fulfilled in the life of Christ, in the crucifixion of Christ, and hence several verses from this passage are referenced by the New Testament writers, but the particular verse the rabbis make a big deal about where there’s a textual variant that supports “pierced” over “like a lion” in my hands and feet – they make a big deal about this, and why do you think they do? I actually believe the reason they focus on that one verse and don’t look at the rest of the passage is because they’re trying to distract you. It’s a distraction technique to get you not to see what the text is actually saying in context and how it fits Jesus as a messiah. Indeed, just read the whole passage, read Psalm 22 and read the passage in context, and you have no other choice but to conclude this was fulfilled in Jesus our Messiah [Music].
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