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To the director: To the tune “The Deer of Dawn.”[a] A song of David.

22 My God, my God, why have you left me?
    You seem too far away to save me,
    too far to hear my cries for help!
My God, I kept calling by day,
    and I was not silent at night.
But you did not answer me.

God, you are the Holy One.
    You sit as King upon the praises of Israel.
Our ancestors trusted you.
    Yes, they trusted you, and you saved them.
They called to you for help and escaped their enemies.
    They trusted you and were not disappointed!
But I feel like a worm, less than human!
    People insult me and look down on me.
Everyone who sees me makes fun of me.
    They shake their heads and stick out their tongues at me.
They say, “Call to the Lord for help.
    Maybe he will save you.
    If he likes you so much, surely he will rescue you!”

God, the truth is, you are the one who brought me into this world.
    You made me feel safe while I was still at my mother’s breasts.
10 You have been my God since the day I was born.
    I was thrown into your arms as I came from my mother’s womb.

11 So don’t leave me!
    Trouble is near, and there is no one to help me.
12 My enemies surround me like angry bulls.
    They are like the powerful bulls of Bashan, and they are all around me.
13 Their mouths are opened wide,
    like a lion roaring and tearing at its prey.

14 My strength is gone,
    like water poured out on the ground.
My bones have separated.
    My courage is gone.[b]
15 My mouth[c] is as dry as a piece of baked pottery.
    My tongue is sticking to the roof of my mouth.
    You have left me dying in the dust.
16 The “dogs” are all around me—
    a pack[d] of evil people has trapped me.
    They have pierced my hands and feet.[e]
17 I can see each one of my bones.
    My enemies are looking at me;
    they just keep staring.
18 They divide my clothes among themselves,
    and they throw lots for what I am wearing.

19 Lord, don’t leave me!
    You are my strength—hurry and help me!
20 Save me from the sword.
    Save my precious life from these dogs.
21 Rescue me from the lion’s mouth.
    Protect me from the horns of the bulls.[f]

22 I will tell my people about you.
    I will praise you in the great assembly.
23 Praise the Lord, all you who worship him!
    Honor him, you descendants of Jacob!
    Fear and respect him, all you people of Israel!
24 He does not ignore those who need help.
    He does not hate them.
He does not turn away from them.
    He listens when they cry for help.

25 Lord, because of you I offer praise in the great assembly.
    In front of all these worshipers I will do all that I promised.
26 Poor people, come eat and be satisfied.[g]
    You who have come looking for the Lord, praise him!
    May your hearts be happy[h] forever.
27 May those in faraway countries remember the Lord and come back to him.
    May those in distant lands worship him,
28 because the Lord is the King.
    He rules all nations.
29 The people have eaten all they wanted
    and bowed down to worship him.
Yes, everyone will bow down to him—
    all who are on the way to the grave, unable to hold on to life.
30 Our descendants will serve him.
    Those who are not yet born will be told about him.
31 Each generation will tell their children
    about the good things the Lord has done.


  1. Psalm 22:1 Psalm 22 “The Deer of Dawn” This is probably the name of the tune for this song, but it might refer to a music style or type of instrument.
  2. Psalm 22:14 My courage is gone Literally, “My heart is melted inside me like wax.”
  3. Psalm 22:15 mouth Or “strength.”
  4. Psalm 22:16 pack A group of dogs. Dogs travel together in packs to hunt and kill other animals for food.
  5. Psalm 22:16 They … feet Literally, “Like a lion, my hands and feet.”
  6. Psalm 22:21 Protect me … bulls Or “You have answered me and protected me from the horns of the bulls.” This could be both a prayer for help (like the first half of the psalm) and also a statement that God had answered this prayer (like the second half of the psalm).
  7. Psalm 22:26 come eat … satisfied This person was giving a thank offering that would be shared with other people at the Temple. This was how someone shared their happiness when God blessed them. See Lev. 3:1-5 and Deut. 14:22-29.
  8. Psalm 22:26 be happy Literally, “live.”

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