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Bible verses about Prophetic Psalms
(From Forerunner Commentary)

2 Samuel 23:1-7  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Because of his zeal for Him and His Kingdom, God used David mightily as a prophet to flesh out many of those promises in his writings, the Psalms. In his last words, David refers to the fact that God had inspired him: "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue" (II Samuel 23:2). We should not understand this to mean that God inspired him only in his last words but that the Holy Spirit was behind his entire contribution to the Old Testament, which was primarily the compositions we know as "psalms."

Even so, his last words have struck commentators down through the ages as unmistakably prophetic and specifically Messianic in tone. Adam Clarke writes, "The words of this song contain a glorious prediction of Messiah's kingdom and conquests, in highly poetic language." Of II Samuel 23:1-7, the Keil and Delitzsch Commentary states:

[The chapter contains] the prophetic will and testament of the great king, unfolding the importance of his rule in relation to the sacred history of the future. . . . [T]hese "last words" contain the divine seal of all that he has sung and prophesied in several psalms concerning the eternal dominion of his seed, on the strength of the divine promise which he received through the prophet Nathan, that his throne should be established for ever. . . . These words are not merely a lyrical expansion of that promise, but a prophetic declaration uttered by David at the close of his life and by divine inspiration, concerning the true King of the kingdom of God.

A substantial number of his psalms are clearly prophetic, even some of those that seem, on the surface, to describe his own feelings of despair and abandonment during the low periods of his life. With just a slight shift in perspective, they can often be seen as describing Christ's struggles to master His own human nature and trust in God for deliverance. In fact, if we bring a prophetic eye to the reading of many of David's psalms, we can perceive their predictive nature.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet


 

Psalm 22:1-31  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Perhaps the easiest way to see David as a prophet is to survey one of his most clearly prophetic psalms, Psalm 22. Anyone familiar with the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ can see the obvious parallels, and the writers of the gospel accounts—especially Matthew—bring them out through direct quotations of this psalm. Henry Halley, author of Halley's Bible Handbook, writes of this psalm, "[T]hough written a thousand years before Jesus, it is so vivid a description of the crucifixion of Jesus that one would think of the writer as being personally present at the Cross" (p. 254).

No one knows what event of David's life, if any, provides the background to his plaintive song, but it must have been the nadir of his sufferings, the most likely guess being sometime during Saul's pursuit of him. However, even if it is based on David's experience of persecution, Psalm 22 is so specific and detailed in its descriptions of Christ's crucifixion that it can in reality only be a divinely inspired prophecy of the execution of the Son of God—a full millennium before the events took place in Roman Jerusalem.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet


 

Psalm 22:6-8  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

David describes the Messiah's abusers and revilers in the mob that shouted for His death. As the prophet Isaiah later wrote: "He is despised and rejected by men, . . . He was despised, and we did not esteem Him" (Isaiah 53:3). Again, Matthew confirms the prophecy, recording the reaction of the crowd, who unwittingly used its very words:

And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads. . . . Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, . . . "He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, "I am the Son of God.'" Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing. (Matthew 27:39, 41, 43-44)

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet


 

Psalm 22:9-10  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

In its most accurate sense, Psalm 22:9-10 can refer only to Jesus. While others were known and chosen for special works from the womb (for example, Jeremiah; see Jeremiah 1:5), only Jesus had a relationship with the Father from infancy.

Luke's account, particularly chapter 2, goes to great lengths to show Jesus' early relationship with God: "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him" (Luke 2:40; see also verses 49, 51). His memory of God's help and presence from His earliest childhood only made His final suffering harder to bear: "Be not far from Me," He cries in Psalm 22:11, "for trouble is near; for there is none to help."

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet


 

Psalm 22:15-16  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Psalm 22:15-16 predicts that the Messiah's tongue clings to His jaws in terrible thirst and that His hands and feet are pierced. Both of these details are dutifully documented in the gospels. John relates, "After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, 'I thirst!'" (John 19:28). Likewise, Luke 24:40 appears in a scene after His resurrection, when Jesus is trying to prove to His disciples that it is really He and no ghost: "When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet," which had obviously been pierced by nails. Thomas later asked to see and feel that same proof (John 20:25).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet


 

Psalm 22:18  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

The gospel writers frequently quote from this psalm. In Matthew 26, as well as in some of the other accounts of His crucifixion, this psalm is quoted to show that Jesus perfectly fulfilled this type.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Christ's Death, Resurrection, and Ascension


 

Psalm 22:27-29  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

In just three succinct verses, David encompasses the apostles spreading the good news around the world and its people eventually turning to worship the Messiah; the establishment of God's Kingdom at His return as King of kings; and the dead being resurrected to life to learn God's way and submit to Him.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
David the Prophet


 

Matthew 27:46  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Jesus quoted His own words, which He had inspired His servant David to put into writing a thousand years before this day, when He cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Psalm 22:1). By repeating it as He hung on the stake, He declared this prophecy to be fulfilled at that very moment; the absolute peak of the agony that He and His Father had planned and foreknew had arrived. Even in His delirium, the utterances of the Logos were solidly based upon His own Word!

Staff
Jesus' Final Human Thoughts (Part Two)


 

Luke 22:44  (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Judaism breaks the Old Testament down into three major sections: the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings or Psalms. As an organizational tool, this division of books works well, but it has also served to restrict Bible students to a narrow view of the material in these sections. For instance, some are slow to notice law in the Prophets, wisdom in the Law, prophecy in the Writings, and so on.

On the other hand, commentators have always noted the prophetic character of many of the Psalms. Psalm 22 is obviously prophetic of Christ's suffering and death. Psalm 118 predicts Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem just before He was crucified (Matthew 21:9). Other chapters and verses in the Psalms are also seen as prophetic of Christ's ministry or the work of the church.

But what about some of the other books of the Writings? These include Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Daniel and the two books of Chronicles. The book of Daniel is certainly prophetic, but the others are considered as historic books or poetry and wisdom literature. Do they have any prophetic significance? Indeed, many of them do.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh


 

 




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