David J. Armitage, «Rescued Already? The Significance of yntyn( in Psalm 22,22», Vol. 91 (2010) 335-347
The final word in the Masoretic Text of Ps 22,22, ynitfyni(j, has been understood by many commentators to represent a sudden declaration of rescue received. Others, often believing that such an announcement would represent a shift in the progression of the Psalm of excessive awkwardness, have preferred a variant reading reconstructed from the Septuagint in which such a dramatic transition is absent. Recent proposals regarding the semantics of the qatal form of the Hebrew verb strengthen the case for retaining the MT reading and interpreting it as a precative perfect which reiterates the preceding pleas for deliverance.
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Rescued Already? The Significance of yntyn[
in Psalm 22,22
At the end of the Masoretic Text (MT) of Psalm 22,22 the word
yityi"Ë† is found. Many commentators have understood this word as a
n : n[
verbal declaration of an answer received or perceived during the
recitation of the Psalm, implying a transition from the preceding
lament to the succeeding praise of almost shocking rapidity. Others
have argued for interpretations that blend this word more closely
into the lament, delaying and softening the transition to praise, and
arguably shifting the focus from present praise to commitment to
future praise. In this article the textual validity of yntyi"Ë† and its
i : n[
possible functions in the text will be considered.
Apart from yntyi"Ë† the interpretation of Ps 22,22 is generally
i : n[
straightforward. The first part of the verse is a plea: â€œSave me
from the mouth of the lionâ€. This is followed by Î¼ymr yerQmW, a
ie n Ë† " i
phrase commonly rendered as: â€œand from the horns of the wild
oxen â€. Regarding yntyi"Ë† two key issues present themselves. Firstly
i : n[
there is the question of whether the reading of the MT is reliable.
A number of commentators and translators have favoured an
emendation based primarily on retroversion from the Septuagint,
which has thn tapeÄ±nwsÄ±n in the position corresponding to yntyi"Ë†1.
Ã¹ Â¥ Â¥ i : n[
Secondly questions arise concerning the semantic range of the
qatal form of the verb used in the MT. In particular, these
questions concern time reference and modality.
Concerning the textual question it should be emphasised that
there is no intrinsic reason why the MT should be given a
See for example: C.A. BRIGGS â€“ E.G. BRIGGS, A Critical and Exegetical
Commentary on the Book of Psalms (ICC; Edinburgh 1907) I, 197; H. GUNKEL,
Die Psalmen (GÃ¶ttingen 51968) 89; S.L. TERRIEN, The Psalms. Strophic
Structure and Theological Commentary (ECC; Grand Rapids, MI 2003) 233;
F.G. VILLANUEVA, The Uncertainty of a Hearing. A Study of the Sudden
Change of Mood in the Psalms of Lament (VTS 121; Leiden 2008) 88.
Translations based on the Septuagint reading are found in the Revised Standard
Version, the New Jerusalem Bible, the French Bible de JÃ©rusalem, and in
German, the EinheitsÃ¼bersetzung. Note also the Vulgate: â€œhumilitatem meamâ€.