Psalm 22:16 like a lion they mauled, the emendation question
Ben and Jo Crick
ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Sun Sep 15 09:15:36 EDT 2002
On Sun 15 Sep 2002 (07:54:58), schmuel at escape.com wrote:
> I would like the experts view of such additions/emendations by the
> Are they common in the Tanach.. ?
> Are they "legitimate" or "ok" or "marginal" or "dubious" .. (in your
> opinion) :-)
> And any other comments, examples, grammar and what-have-you...
I only have limited resources here to hand, but FWIW here are my comments.
The JPS 1985 translation is a thoroughgoing "Jewish" translation which IMHO
(and if I may say so) seems to go out of its way to exclude any possible
Christian interpretation from the text, here or for example in the Isaiah
passages claimed as christological.
Psalm 22:1 was quoted by Jesus from the cross, which is why Christian editors
and commentators prefer the "Pierced my hands and my feet" option. The last
verse of Psalm 22 (32 BHS) also seems to be alluded to in Jesus' dying words
from the cross, "It is finished", KiY `a&aH, "for it is done"/"that he has
The earliest version we have is the Greek LXX, which is pre-Christian, and
renders verse 16 (17 in BHS)
hOTI EKUKLWSAN ME KUNES POLLOI, SUNAGWGH PONHREUOMENWN PERIESCON ME:
WRUXAN CEIRAS MOU, KAI PODAS, ...
which is whence the Christians got it.
Unfortunately, the Dead Sea Scrolls do not include Psalm 22.
Kittel has Ka'a:RiY YaDaY W:RaG:LaY, but the LXX clearly reads this as
Ka'a:RuW YaDaY W:RaG:LaY. Kittel's unedifying footnote in the app: crit:
simply says "prps dl (Var)" which I paraphrase as "perhaps delete; it is a
variant". (BHS, 11th ed). Commentators suggest that a rare verb Ka'a:RuW
(they pierced) has been mistaken for the similar Ka'a:RiY (like a lion) in
unpointed text. We might expect K-'-R to be a verb, not a noun with prefix K:.
Some editions of the Vulgate have /fixerunt/, they bound my hands and my feet
(Psalm 21:16), and some have /vinxerunt/, they overpowered; but the majority
reading is /me foderunt manus meas et pedes meos/, "they stabbed my hands and
my feet". /Fodio/ means to dig out or excavate; metaphorically to stab or
prick or goad.
More complicated reconstructions of the text would seem to be candidates
for Occam's Razor.
Just my thoughts...
Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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