New European Commentary


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Deeper Commentary

Psa 22:1 For the Chief Musician; set to The Doe of the Morning- The hind is the symbol of grace and innocence (Song 2:7,9). This is in intentional contrast to the abusers who are called bulls, lions and dogs. Perhaps "the morning" alludes to the hope of resurrection.

A Psalm by David- Not all the experiences listed here appear to have been true of David, nor of any Biblical character. We conclude that some of the language of piercing and crucifixion was therefore initially intended symbolically. But it all came together in a literal sense for the Lord Jesus.


My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?-
David felt as if he had been a sacrifice bound to an altar, and therefore about to be pulled into the grave (Ps. 18:5,6; 116:3; 140:5). The allusion is to Isaac and his miraculous deliverance from such cords, thanks to the ram in the thicket whom David is later to understand as representative of the future Messianic saviour; for the Lord quotes David's "My God, why have You forsaken me?" (Ps. 22:1) as the Aramaic sabachthani, "entangled", the word used of the ram entangled in the thicket.


This verse is quoted by the Lord Jesus just moments before He died, and it has been suggested He cited the entire Psalm on the cross, as the last verse finishes (in LXX) with something similar to His last words, "it is finished". It certainly reflects a crisis in the Lord in His last few minutes of human life. He had been crying out aloud for deliverance, presumably for some time, according to Ps. 22:1-6, both during and before the unnatural three hour darkness. He felt that His desire for deliverance was not being heard, although the prayers of others had been heard in the past when they cried with a like intensity. The Lord Jesus was well aware of the connection between God's refusal to answer prayer and His recognition of sin in the person praying (2 Sam. 22:42 = Ps. 2:2-5). It is emphasized time and again that God will not forsake those who love Him (e.g. Dt. 4:31; 31:6; 1 Sam. 12:22; 1 Kings 6:13; Ps. 94:14; Is. 41:17; 42:16). Every one of these passages must have been well known to our Lord, the word made flesh. He knew that God forsaking Israel was a punishment for their sin (Jud. 6:13; 2 Kings 21:14; Is. 2:6; Jer. 23:33). God would forsake Israel only if they forsook Him (Dt. 31:16,17; 2 Chron. 15:2). The Lord was so identified with our sin that He felt as a sinner, although he wasn't in fact.

The Greek word translated "forsaken" occurs in Acts 2:27, where Peter quotes from Psalm 16 concerning how Christ was always aware of His own righteousness, and therefore confidently knew that God would not "leave (forsake) his soul in hell". In Ps. 22:1, our Lord was doubting His previous thoughts, as prophesied in Ps. 16:10. He now feared that God had forsaken Him, when previously He had been full of confidence that God would not do so, on account of His perfect character. Because He felt such a sinner deep within Him, He even doubted if He really was the Messiah. This is how deeply our Lord was our representative, this is how thoroughly He bare our own sins in His own body on the tree, this is how deeply He came to know us, to be able to exactly empathize with us in our spiritual weakness; this was how He became able to have a fellow feeling with those who are out of the way, who have lost the faith, "for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity" (Heb. 5:2).

 In every other recorded prayer of His in the Gospels, the Lord addressed the Almighty as “Father"; but finally He used the more distant “My God", reflecting the separation He felt. But therefore His mind flew to Ps. 22:1, and He quoted those words: "My God, why have You forsaken me". But the fact His mind went to the Scriptures like that was His salvation. There is reason to think that in His last few minutes, the Lord quoted the whole of Ps. 22 out loud. . Thus He asked for a drink "that the Scripture might be fulfilled", or finished, and then His words "It is finished" followed- which are actually an exact quote from the Septuagint of the last verse of Ps. 22. Psalms 22 and 69 can be clearly divided into two halves; the first half speaks of the confused thoughts of the Lord Jesus as He hung on the cross, but then there is a sudden rally, and His thoughts become clearly more confident and positive, centered around the certainty of our future salvation. As Christ quoted or at least thought through Psalm 22, He came to the glorious conclusion: Of course this is how Messiah must feel, He must feel forsaken, as Ps. 22 prophesied, but He would go on to save God's people! Just because Messiah would feel forsaken didn't mean that He Himself had sinned! We can almost sense the wave of reassurance that swept over our Lord, that deep knowledge of His own good conscience. And therefore how desperate He was, despite that ravaging thirst, to utter to the world that cry, "It is finished" ; to show to us all that He had achieved God's work, that He had perfectly manifested the Father, and that thereby He really had achieved our redemption.


Why are You so far from helping me- "Helping" is Yeshua. The words clearly have relevance to the Lord Jesus; He wondered whether He was really 'Jesus'.

And from the words of my groaning?- Literally, as AV, "roaring". This is how David felt at the time of desolation he felt after the sin with Bathsheba (s.w. Ps. 32:3). This was probably the historical context of the Psalm. And yet it is those Psalms written whilst far from God which are most appropriate to the Lord Jesus on the cross. He didn't sin; but on the cross He was so identified with us as sinners that He felt as a sinner, and the words of David whilst far from God therefore seemed appropriate to Him. See on :19.

The same word is used of the roaring of the enemies as lions (:13). In response, David / Jesus roared to God. Because the weight is on the arms, the crucified can't speak easily. The whole conversation between the thief and the Lord would probably have been whispered, with long intervals between words. The final two loud cries of the Lord must have been made with immense pain. It also explains why they confused His "Eli, Eli" with 'Eliyahu' (Elijah); He was probably speaking very quietly. There is no recorded reaction of the crowd to His prayers. Yet Ps. 22:1 speaks of His prayer as a lion roaring to God, and yet He felt that the abuse of the crowd was like the ravening and roaring of a lion (Ps. 22:13). It may be that they hurled abuse back at Him in response to the roaring of His prayers.

Psa 22:2 My God, I cry in the daytime, but You don’t answer; in the night season, and am not silent-
As suggested on :1, the Lord did so both during and before the unnatural three hour darkness.

Psa 22:3 But You are holy, You who inhabit the praises of Israel-
The simple take away from this is that whether or not God comes through for us as we hope or expect, or even think He should- we accept He is right and holy, and we are never to charge God foolishly. Both David and the Lord were very aware that they were not alone, but there was an "Israel" of God's true people over time and space who were still faithful- even if they were not immediately visible.

David's focus of all his praises upon Yahweh as alone "worthy" of praise was what he wanted his people to follow (Ps. 18:3; 22:3). The implication of "worthy" could imply a contrast with other gods, as in Ps. 96:4 "He is to be feared / praised above all gods". This would confirm the hints we have that Saul was an idolater (see on :31; Ps. 12:8; 16:4), and that idolatry was prevalent in Israel at the time.

Psa 22:4 Our fathers trusted in You- they trusted, and You delivered them-
As noted on :1, whether or not God comes through for us as He has done in history is no reason to charge Him foolishly. This experience is to humble us, as we see in :6. See on :20.

Psa 22:5 they cried to You, and were delivered. They trusted in You, and were not disappointed-
The idea in the Lord's mind was surely that men less spiritual than Himself had received miraculous deliverance, but His cry for deliverance was unheeded. As explained on :6, this brought Him to the final humility required before His death. The nature of the argument requires that the Lord expected some form of immediate deliverance, as David did. And we naturally struggle to reconcile this with His clear awareness that He must die on the cross and be resurrected. But this is the same question as to how He knew Judas would betray Him, and yet treated Judas as His own familiar friend in whom He trusted. It is a legitimate part of being human that we may know something on one level, and yet desperately believe and feel in a different way. We think of Samson trusting Delilah when he surely knew the inevitable was going to happen. Love and identity with others can be reasons this happens- and they were exactly what the Lord was full of in His time of dying.

Psa 22:6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people-
Phil. 2:4-7 speaks of the Lord Jesus as being progressively humbled right up to the point of His death. The Lord quoted this Psalm just moments before His death. What brought Him to this final humility was the reflection that although God had come through for men who were less perfect than Himself (:5), God had not done so for Him, at least not immediately. "Worm" is the word for 'scarlet' but probably the idea is simply of a worm, and this Psalm was likely used in the context of the exiles, "you worm Jacob" (Is. 41:14). They too had to be humbled before they could be saved and become the salvation of others. The reference to "worm" maybe significant in that worms "are simultaneous hermaphrodites, meaning worms have both male and female reproductive organs. During sexual intercourse among earthworms, both sets of sex organs are used by both worms. If all goes well, the eggs of both of the mates become fertilized". Some worms are capable of parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction). There could therefore be a reference here to the virgin birth.

Psa 22:7 All those who see me mock me, they insult me with their lips, they shake their heads and say-
This is again the language of Job, whose book David would have been familiar with.
The connection between Ps. 22:7 and Mt. 27:39 would suggest that the 'passers-by' were there with the express intent of taunting Him. Because His eyes were inevitably downward, it would have been difficult for the Lord not to look at them. Their words were exactly those of the Sanhedrin (Mt. 26:61), so presumably they came from there- the work colleagues of Joseph and Nicodemus.

Psa 22:8 He trusts in Yahweh; let Him deliver him. Let Him rescue him, since He delights in him-
We wonder why men so versed in the Old Testament would actually quote these words about the Lord. For by quoting them, they were presenting Him as the suffering believer of Psalm 22 who was to be justified. It seems that it was a case of hate blinding the eyes and sense of those caught up in it. They knew the words, and quoted them out of context, as they thought. They surely later realized what they had done. And were driven either to even deeper psychological blindness, or repentance.

Psa 22:9 But You brought me out of the womb, You made me trust at my mother’s breasts-
The Lord’s mother and aunty stood by the cross- the tragedy of His mother being there needs no comment. If dying men do indeed think back to their childhood, His thoughts would have been with His mother. She would have seen the blood coming from the feet. Her head would have been parallel with His knees. His face marred more than the sons of men (Is. 52:14), sore from where His beard had been pulled off (Is. 50:6), teeth missing and loose, making His speech sound strange, fresh and dried blood mixing... and His mother there to behold and hear it all. She must have thought back, and surely He did too; for He was only a man. Mother around the house as a child, mending clothes, getting food, explaining things, telling Him about Simeon's prophecy, of how a sword would break her heart as well as His. This isn't just emotional speculation. Ps. 22:9,10 emphasizes the Lord's thoughts for His mother and His babyhood with her: "Thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou keptest me in safety (AVmg.- a reference to Herod's persecution) when I was on my mother's breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly". The temptation would have been to go on and on. Was I too hard on her in Cana? How I must have stung her when I said " Behold my mother and my brethren" are these half hearted, superficially interested people (Mt. 12:49). She was the best mother I could have ever had. Like any man would think. And He was a man. Not a mere man, but a man. I wonder if He said those words of breakage, of severance, between Him and her, because these feelings welling up within Him were affecting His concentration on the Father.

Psa 22:10 I was thrown on You from my mother’s womb; You are my God since my mother bore me-
See on ::9. The Lord's thoughts for His mother are absolutely psychologically credible; for she was the only person who knew for sure that there had been a virgin birth, and He was God's Son.

Psa 22:11 Don’t be far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none else to help-
"None else to help" felt so appropriate for the Lord, for His mother and few loyal friends stood "far" from the cross. The same words are used for how Israel and the exiles were under persecution with none to help apart from God (Ps. 107:12; Lam. 1:7). The paradox was that God saved His people through the Lord Jesus exactly because they had "none to help" (Is. 63:5 s.w.). But He Himself had to go through that experience of having none to help (Ps. 22:11). Their salvation was achieved through His being their total representative.

Psa 22:12 Many bulls have surrounded me, strong bulls of Bashan have encircled me-
It could be in the historical application that David felt surrounded by enemies from Bashan. Bulls don't usually encircle a man to kill him. There is a sense that there is a supernatural, divinely controlled way in which the opposition was being orchestrated. The parallel is in :16, where it is the assembly (NEV "company") of the wicked who do this, alluding to the Sanhedrin.

Psa 22:13 They open their mouths wide against me, lions tearing prey and roaring-
The same word is used of the roaring of the enemies as lions (:1 AV). In response, David / Jesus roared to God. The repeated reference to lions may reflect the later usage of the Psalm at the time of the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions, where again the imagery of lions was used.

Psa 22:14 I am poured out like water, all my bones are out of joint-
The emphasis upon David's sense of dehydration looked forward to the Lord's thirst on the cross. Every word He spoke out loud was an expenditure of effort and saliva. He was intensely aware of this. He realized that unless He had more moisture, He just would not be able to speak out loud any more. And yet He so desperately wanted His last words to be heard and meditated upon. His sweat in the Garden had been dropping like blood drops; the nervous tension of bearing our sins sapped moisture from Him. There would have been a loss of lymph and body fluid to the point that He felt as if He had been "poured out like water" (Ps. 22:14); He "poured out his soul unto death" (Is. 53:12), as if His sense of dehydration was an act He consciously performed; He felt that the loss of moisture was because He was pouring it out Himself. This loss of moisture was therefore due to the mental processes within the Lord Jesus, it was a result of His act of the will in so mentally and emotionally giving Himself for us, rather than just the physical result of crucifixion. The same word for "poured out" is used of pouring out the soul to the Lord (1 Sam. 1:15; Ps. 62:8; 102:1; 142:2).

My heart is like wax; it is melted within me- The language of condemnation (Ps. 68:2; 97:5); and meting or fainting hearts is the description of the faithless (s.w. Dt. 20:8; Josh. 2:11; 7:5; Ps. 112:10; Is. 13:7). As discussed on :1, the Lord felt like a sinner, totally identifying with the feelings of sinners and their condemnation, whilst being personally innocent.

Psa 22:15 My strength is dried up like a shard of pottery; my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. You have brought me into the dust of death-
As noted on :1, the initial context of the Psalm was David's collapse of health after the sin with Bathsheba. The dehydration would be associated with various serious diseases. And it pointed forward to the Lord's thirst on the cross. David felt dead, already back to dust, when he wasn't. Perhaps the Lord likewise reasoned (for a moment, in the crisis of the cross) that He might somehow experience effective death without dying. Although before that He clearly predicted His death for three days. Perhaps the extreme language is because David is continually alluding to Job's feelings in suffering.

Psa 22:16 For dogs have surrounded me, a company of evildoers have enclosed me-
The assembly (AV) of the wicked who do this alludes to the Sanhedrin. They are unclean animals (as in :11)- when they prided themselves upon their purity.

They have pierced my hands and feet- As discussed on :1, not all the experiences listed here appear to have been true of David, nor of any Biblical character. We conclude that some of the language of piercing and crucifixion was therefore initially intended symbolically. But it all came together in a literal sense for the Lord Jesus. There is also the possibility that there were historical sufferings of David which are simply not recorded, and yet are alluded to in the Psalms.


Psa 22:17 I can count all of my bones, they look and stare at me-
This is from the perspective of the crucified Lord Jesus looking downwards at His own body. And yet o
n the cross He saw all His bones, which represented the future members of His body (Eph. 5:30). David was presumably seriously, perhaps terminally ill as a result of the sin with Bathsheba; and the Psalms written at that time are descriptive of the Lord's time of dying. For then He was supremely identified with sinful people.

Psa 22:18 They divide my garments among them, they cast lots for my clothing-
Again we wonder as to how this could be done without people instantly perceiving a fulfilment of the Psalm. As noted on :8, it seems that it was a case of hate blinding the eyes and sense of those caught up in it. They knew the words, and quoted them out of context, as they thought. They surely later realized what they had done. And were driven either to even deeper psychological blindness, or repentance.


Psa 22:19 But don’t be far off, Yahweh. You are my help: hurry to help me-
David prayed at the time of the Bathsheba incident for God not be far from him nor forsake him (Ps. 38:21). But in Ps. 22:1,19 he feels he has been forsaken and that God is "far off". But this Psalm is absolutely the feelings of the Lord Jesus on the cross- because He was so intensely identified with sinners. I noted on :3 that the historical context of this Psalm was the sin with Bathsheba. David repeatedly asks God to "hurry to help me" (Ps. 22:19; 38:22; 40:13; 70:1,5; 141:1). But David had hurried (s.w.) to be obedient to God, always wanting to 'say yes straight away' (Ps. 119:60). Our response to God's voice is therefore related to His response to our voice; if His words abide in us, then we experience positive experience in answered prayer (Jn. 15:7).

Psa 22:20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!-
Life is perceived rightly as our most precious possession. The Lord's desire for deliverance, like David's, meant that He wanted immediate deliverance; He had to come to realize that the prayer would be answered, but not immediately. Such deliverance from the sword became appropriate to the salvation from Assyria (s.w. Mic. 5:6). But it is a quotation from the situation of Moses, who was saved from the sword of Pharaoh (s.w. Ex. 18:4). Moses was one of the 'fathers' whose prayers for deliverance had been heard (:4,5). The pinnacle of the Lord's humility just before He died was in realizing that others less spiritual than Himself had been delivered. What seemed so unfair and unjust, God coming through for him or her but not for me... caused the Lord to reach the required acme of humility with which He died (Phil. 2:6-12). And yet for many, those issues of injustice lead them to lose faith in God, because they refuse to humble themselves.

Psa 22:21 Save me from the lion’s mouth! Yes, from the horns of the wild oxen, You have answered me-
At this point the tone of the psalm changes. Whilst at the lion's mouth, the Lord Jesus felt answered. It seems He perceived that the answer was going to come in resurrection, rather than in immediate deliverance after the pattern of Isaac (see on :1). This of course was what the Lord had earlier believed, reflected in His clear teaching that He was to die and be dead for three days.

Psa 22:22 I will declare Your name to my brothers, in the midst of the congregation I will praise You-
The Name was declared in the Lord’s death, as He had foretold (Jn. 17:26). Forgiveness of sins is through baptism into the Name (Acts 2:38), as even in OT times forgiveness was for the sake of the Name (Ps. 79:9). And yet through the cross and blood of Christ is forgiveness made possible. His blood and death therefore was the supreme declaration of God’s Name; through His cross the grace and forgiveness, love, salvation and judgment implicit in the Name was all enabled and revealed in practice. Ps. 22:22 prophesied that “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation [ekklesia, LXX]", and this is quoted about the Lord Jesus and His church in Heb. 2:12. "In the midst of..." is interpreted in Heb. 2:12 as a reason for understanding that the Lord had our human nature. He died with the vision of being one with us, singing along with us; not of being above us. It was to us His brethren that the Name was declared; in the eyes of an unbelieving world, this was just another crucified man, a failure, a wannabe who never made it. But to us, it is the declaration of the Name. It was and is done in the midst of the ecclesia, as if the whole church from that day to this beholds it all at first hand. And our response is to in turn “Declare his righteousness" (Ps. 22:31), in response to seeing the Name declared, we declare to Him…in lives of love for the brethren. For the Name was declared, that the love that was between the Father and Son might be in us.

The Lord died with the vision of us His "brothers", the congregation in whose midst He would walk and fellowship, as He does today. We, and His fellowship with us, was the vision He died with and was His comfort all through His time of dying. So the Lord's prayer thoughts to the Father on the cross included His awareness that the ekklesia, the church or "congregation", were His brothers. For He realized that it was through His sacrifice that a new family was being created. The declaration or preaching of the Father's Name to us was supremely through the Lord's death on the cross. The cross was the supreme declaration of the Name (Jn. 17:26); the first letters of the Hebrew title over the cross spelt 'YHWH'. And that declaration of the Name in the naked, bleeding, betrayed and crucified Christ was to us. And the Lord looked forward, perhaps in literal terms, to singing praise to the Father in the midst of His brothers. This all hardly sounds as if the Lord Jesus was "God the Son". He positioned Himself in the midst of His brethren, singing God's praise- even after His exaltation.


Psa 22:23 You who fear Yahweh, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him! Stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel!-
The seed of Jacob, the true Israel, were understood by the Lord as "my brothers", the ekklesia (:22), the "humble" (:26), the new people who were to be born through His sacrifice (:31). This was to be the new Israel of God. The Lord died with us in view.

Psa 22:24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him, He heard-

In deep sickness or depression it can simply be that we find formal, verbalized prayer impossible. Ps. 77:4 speaks of this: "I am so troubled that I cannot speak" (formally, to God). It's in those moments that comfort can be taken from the fact that it is our spirit which is mediated as it were to God. Tribulation is read as prayer- hence even the Lord's suffering on the cross, "the affliction of the afflicted", was read by the Father as the Lord Jesus 'crying unto' the Father (Ps. 22:24). This is sure comfort to those so beset by illness and physical pain that they lack the clarity of mind to formally pray- their very affliction is read by the Father as their prayer.

Psa 22:25 Of You comes my praise in the great assembly; I shall pay my vows before those who fear Him-
Verse 22 prophesied that “I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the congregation [ekklesia, LXX]", and this is quoted about the Lord Jesus and His church in Heb. 2:12. "In the midst of..." is interpreted in Heb. 2:12 as a reason for understanding that the Lord had our human nature. He died with the vision of being one with us, singing along with us; not of being above us. And here we have the same idea; the Lord looked ahead to the day when along with other God fearers, He would pay his vows before God. His God was their God, as He specifically stated after His resurrection (Jn. 20:17).

As discussed on :1, this was originally a Psalm written at the time of the sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. David increasingly recognized his sinfulness and his reliance upon the grace of God. One would have thought that after the Bathsheba incident, David would have kept his mouth shut so far as telling other people how to live was concerned. But instead, we find an increasing emphasis in the Psalms (chronologically) upon David's desire to teach others of God's ways- particularly the surrounding Gentile peoples, before whom David had been disgraced over Bathsheba, not to mention from his two faced allegiance to Achish (1 Sam. 27:8-12). There is real stress upon this evangelistic fervour of David (Ps.  4:3; 18:49; 22:25,31; 35:18; 40:9,10; 57:9; 62:8; 66:5,16; 95:1,8; 96:5-8,10; 100:1-4; 105:1,2; 119:27; 145:5,6,12). Indeed, Ps. 71:18 records the "old and greyheaded" David pleading with God not to die until he had taught "thy strength unto this generation". As with Paul years later, the only reason he wanted to stay alive was in order to witness the Gospel of grace to others. David therefore coped with his deep inner traumas by looking out of himself to those around him, eagerly desiring to share with them the pureness of God's grace. He didn't do this as some kind of self-help psychiatry; it came naturally from a realization of his own sinfulness and God's mercy, and the wonderful willingness of God to extend this to men.  

Psa 22:26 The humble shall eat and be satisfied, they who seek after Him shall praise Yahweh. May your hearts live forever-
Psalms 22 and 69 describe the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross foreseeing "the great congregation" gratefully and humbly eating in memory of Him (cp. the breaking of bread), serving Him, inheriting Zion and declaring His righteousness and His victory on the cross to others down the generations. Let us remember this as we break bread and witness to Him (Ps. 22:30,31).

Psa 22:27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to Yahweh, all the families of nations shall worship before You-
As a result of the Lord being lifted up on the stake, “all the ends of the world shall… turn unto [s.w. ‘convert to’] the Lord” (Ps. 22:27). Jn. 12:38-41 draws a parallel between being converted, and understanding the prophecies of the glory of the crucified Christ. To know Him in His time of dying, to see the arm of Yahweh revealed in Him there and to respond, is to be converted. This is why the cross is at the center of all truly Christian witness.  The Lord saw a new community developing from His dead and resurrected body, comprised of people from all nations, and thereby fulfilling the implications of the promises to Abraham.

In Lk. 24:45-47 we read how Christ explained to the disciples that their preaching of the Gospel "among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" was foretold in the Psalms and prophets. So the Bible student asks: Where  in the Psalms and prophets? The Lord spoke as if the prophecies about this were copious. There do not seem to be any specific prophecies which speak of the twelve spreading the Gospel from Jerusalem in the first century. Instead we read of the Gospel being spread from Jerusalem in the Kingdom, and often the phrase "all nations" occurs in a Kingdom context, describing how "all nations" will come to worship Christ at Jerusalem (Ps. 22:27; 67:2; 72:11,17; 82:8; 86:9; 117:1; Is. 2:2; 66:18,20; Jer. 3:17; Dan. 7:14; Hag. 2:7; Zech. 8:23). This selection of "Psalms and prophets" is impressive. Yet the Lord Jesus clearly interpreted these future Kingdom passages as having relevance to the world-wide spreading of the Gospel. "All nations" also occurs in many passages exhorting us to praise Yahweh among all the nations of this world. The reason for this is that God's glory is so great it should be declared as far as possible by us. 1 Chron. 16:24,25 is typical of many such verses: "Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. For  great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised...for all the gods of the people are idols". World-wide preaching is therefore an aspect of our praise of Yahweh, and as such it is a spiritual work which is timeless.

Psa 22:28 For the kingdom is Yahweh’s, He is the ruler over the nations-
The "for" connects this with surrounding verses, where the Lord has foreseen the new community of worshippers as emerging from the dust of death through a resurrection of the body similar to that which was to be His experience, in answer to His prayer in this Psalm (:29). And this was to be at the time when Yahweh's Kingdom was established over the nations; that new community which was to be created (:31) would comprise peoples from all nations (:27).   

A number of Psalms appear to have some verses relevant to the exile, and others relevant to earlier historical situations. It would seem that an inspired writer inserted the verses which spoke specifically to the exilic situation. Psalm 22 thus appears to have had vv. 28-32 added or rewritten with reference to the exiles; other examples in Psalms 9, 10; 59; 66; 68; 69:34; 85; 107; 108 and 118.


Psa 22:29 All the rich ones of the earth shall eat and worship, all those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who can’t keep his own soul alive-
In :26, the community envisaged by the Lord who would "eat ad worship" were "the humble". He looked to the day when the poor would become the eternally rich, and the hungry would eat. This situation was envisaged as happening when those humble ones who had returned to dust would again "bow before Him". As the Lord Jesus perceived that the answer to His prayer was to be through resurrection, so He further perceived that this would enable the resurrection of those in Him. They are characterized as those who recognize they cannot keep their own soul alive. They denied that they had any inherent immortality (no immortal soul), and their search for a resurrection of the body by grace was to be met in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

Psa 22:30 Posterity shall serve Him, future generations shall be told about the Lord-
AV "a seed". The Lord perceived that through His death and resurrection (in answer to His prayer for deliverance from death in this Psalm), the "seed" of promise would be developed. They were to be comprised of people from "all nations" (:27,29), and as noted on :31, the Lord perceived that the new community of saved ones would be characterized by telling others about Him, His death and resurrection.

Psa 22:31 They shall come and shall declare His righteousness to a people that shall be born, for He has finished it
The seed of Jacob, the true Israel, were understood by the Lord as "my brothers", the ekklesia (:22), the "humble" (:26), the new people who were to be born through His sacrifice (:31). This was to be the new Israel of God who were 'to come'; their lead characteristic was that they would "declare His righteousness" to others. Witness is to be at the core of the redeemed community. The Lord died with us in view.