Crucifixion or CruciFICTION?

Introduction

Higher criticism of the Bible is a huge area to cover. I decided to show how the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has been studied from the historical point of view as an example of higher criticism. One reason for choosing the crucifixion is that it is crucifixion that causes the death of Christ and thus allows the resurrection of Christ, the raising of Christ from death, a crucial point of the Christian belief. This is made clear by Paul in 1 Corinthian:

1: Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto
you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2: By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you,
unless ye have believed in vain.
3: For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that
Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4: And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to
the scriptures:

5: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the
greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7: After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8: And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9: For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an
apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10: But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed
upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not
I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11: Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12: Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among
you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13: But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is
also vain.
15: Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of
God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead
rise not.
16: For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.


1 Corinthian 15.1-17

If Christ did not die through crucifixion, and he was not raised then the whole edifice of organized Christianity would collapse. Thus the historicity of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has naturally attracted the attention of historians ever since the time of Hermann Samuel Reimarus who first questioned the historicity of Jesus Christ and thus the reliability of the New Testament tradition. I will in this article present Robert M Price's attempt to show that the crucifixion scene presented in the New Testament is entirely fictional in character. In fact the crucifixion scene is simply a pastiche of Jewish scriptural texts written 600 years before the New Testament authors created the scene.

I will in the next section present the psalm 22 of the Old Testament, i.e. the Jewish scripture, then the Markan crucifixion scene and then compare them. I will also discuss the crucifixion scenes presented in the other three canonical Gospels which are given in the Appendix. I will finally make some concluding remarks about the historicity of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 22 of Jewish scripture or old testament

I present here the complete text of Psalm 22. The reader should carefully read the psalm since the whole argument about the fictional nature of the New Testament crucifixion scene is based on comparing it with Psalm 22.

1: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from
helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
2: O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night
season, and am not silent.
3: But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
4: Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
5: They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were
not confounded.
6: But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
7: All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they wag
the head saying,

8: He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him,
seeing he delighted in him.

9: But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when
I was upon my mother's breasts.
10: I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's
belly.
11: Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
12: Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
13: They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
14: I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is
like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15: My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my
jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
16: For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:
they pierced my hands and my feet.
17: I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
18: They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
19: But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
20: Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
21: Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of
the unicorns.
22: I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation
will I praise thee.
23: Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him;
and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
24: For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
25: My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows
before them that fear him.
26: The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek
him: your heart shall live for ever.
27: All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all
the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
28: For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.
29: All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go
down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
30: A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a
generation.
31: They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that
shall be born, that he hath done this.

Gospel of Mark's crucifixion scene

I present here the crucifixion scene as presented in the Gospel of Mark, the earliest canonical Gospel.

14: Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried
out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
15: And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them,
and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
16: And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they
call together the whole band.
17: And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put
it about his head,
18: And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
19: And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and
bowing their knees worshipped him.
20: And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put
his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
21: And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the
country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
22: And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted,
The place of a skull.
23: And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it
not.
24: And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots
upon them,
what every man should take.
25: And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
26: And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE
JEWS.
27: And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the
other on his left.
28: And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the
transgressors.
29: And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying,
Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
30: Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
31: Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the
scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.

32: Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see
and believe.
And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
33: And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land
until the ninth hour.
34: And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi,
lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou
forsaken me?

35: And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he
calleth Elijah.
36: And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and
gave him to drink,
saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elijah will come to
take him down.
37: And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Mark 15.14-37

Comparison of various Gospel crucifixion scenes with Jewish scripture

An outline of the crucifixion is as follows: Jesus is first attached to the cross using nails based on Psalm 22:16:"they pierced my hands and my feet". Then the soldiers divide his garments (Mark 15.24) derived directly fromPsalm 22:18:"They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture". Then the mockers "wag their heads" derived from psalm 22:7: All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they wag the head saying". Then the taunts of the priest (Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe" Mark 15:32) is based on Psalm 22:8, " He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him".

Mathew 27:43 says here," He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he
will have him: for he said, I am the the Son of God", is a condensed version of
the Wisdom of Solomon 2:12-20:

(2:12: Therefore let us lie in wait for the righteous; because he is not for
our turn, and he is clean contrary to our doings: he upbraideth us with our
offending the law, and objecteth to our infamy the transgressings of our

education.
2:13: He professeth to have the knowledge of God: and he calleth himself the
child of the Lord.

2:14: He was made to reprove our thoughts.
2:15: He is grievous unto us even to behold: for his life is not like other
men's, his ways are of another fashion.

2:16: We are esteemed of him as counterfeits: he abstaineth from our ways as
from filthiness: he pronounceth the end of the just to be blessed, and maketh
his boast that God is his father.

2:17: Let us see if his words be true: and let us prove what shall happen in
the end of him.

2:18: For if the just man be the son of God, he will help him, and deliver him
from the hand of his enemies.

2:19: Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his
meekness, and prove his patience.

2:20: Let us condemn him with a shameful death: for by his own saying he shal
be respected
.")

Then there is Jesus' cry of dereliction,"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which
is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?". Did Mark
actually know what Jesus spoke on the occasion? No, he did not. Mark has
taken this directly from the opening line of Psalm 22.

Mathew did not like the "Eloi, Eloi.." words since it is difficult to see how any Aramaich speaking person would mistake "Eloi, Eloi" as a cry for the prophet
Elijah. So what did Mathew do? Did he know what Jesus actually spoke before he
died? There is no evidence that Mathew had any inkling of what Jesus spoke. So
what did Mathew write? Mathew wrote, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" (Mathew
27:46 given in the Appendix). Now it makes sense that an Aramaich speaking
person might mistake "Eli, Eli" as a cry for Elijah. Where did Mathew get the
"Eli, Eli…" words? Mathew simply translated the Aramaich "Eloi, Eloi…" to
Hebrew "Eli, Eli…"!

Luke also does not like the "Eloi, Eloi…" words and changes them to, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:46 given in the Appendix). Did Luke know what Jesus actually said on this occasion? No, he took it from Psalm 31:5 given in the Appendix (Into thine hand I commit my spirit).

How did Gospel of John handle the crucifixion scene? John explicitly cites
Psalm 22:18 about the garments and tacitly uses Psalm 22:14 ( I am poured out
like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.) as the basis for his unique detail of the soldier stabbing Jesus' side " and at once there came out blood and water" (John 19:34). John also makes Jesus' thirst and its rough satisfaction with vinegar (John 19:28-29) a prophetic fulfillment, taken from Psalm 69.21 (They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink). This appears also in Mark 15:36, Matt 27:34 and Luke 23:36. Unlike Mark, who talks of fulfillment of scripture only once, the Gospel of John admits several times (19:24; 19:28; 19:36) that the
crucifixion scene fulfills scripture.

Concluding Remarks

What can we say about the historicity of the crucifixion scene? It is Mr. Price's claim that the entire crucifixion scene is simply a reworking of Psalm 22. It was Mark who first rewrote the Psalm. The other canonical Gospel authors followed his lead and changed the story according to what they thought would best suit the needs of the crucifixion story. There seems to be no attempt to even disguise the sources. John, in particular, states quite matter of factly that he has taken from the Jewish scripture. The reader should remember that there was no "New Testament" or Christian Bible when these Gospels were written and scripture meant Jewish scripture.

The earliest Gospel, that of Mark, was written about 40 years after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Mr. Price raises a question pregnant with significance about the crucifixion. Wasn't there even a single person alive around 70 ce who was either an eye witness or knew an eye witness of the crucifixion scene played out around 30 ce? It seems not from the blatant reworking of Psalm 22. If the New Testament crucifixion scene is a complete fabrication, as it seems to be, then what can we say about the historicity of Jesus Christ. It seems that there is very little historical memory if any about Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Mr. Price says that the New Testament authors simply treated the Jewish scripture as a ventriloquist's dummy! This raises a puzzling question. Why did the proto-orthodox Church insist on the historicity of the New Testament tradition if it is this easy to show that a large part of the New Testament is simply a reworking of the Jewish scripture? A possible answer seems to be that the proto-orthodox Christians from the second century ce had no historical memory of Jesus Christ and sincerely
believed that the Jewish scriptures predicted every event in the life of Jesus
Christ hundreds of years before the first century ce.

The belief of the proto-orthodox Christians about Jewish scriptural prediction of Jesus Christ seems to me to be the most puzzling fact of early Christian history. The majority of the proto-orthodox Christians were non-Jewish in origin. Why did these people believe that the Jewish scripture would predict the god of a different religion?

End Notes

The incredible shrinking son of man by Robert M Price

Appendix

Gospel of Mathew crucifixion scene

23: And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the
more, saying, Let him be crucified.
24: When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult
was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I
am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25: Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our
children.
26: Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he
delivered him to be crucified.
27: Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and
gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
28: And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
29: And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head,
and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked
him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
30: And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
31: And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and
put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32: And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they
compelled to bear his cross.
33: And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a
place of a skull,
34: They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted
thereof, he would not drink.
35: And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it
might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments
among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36: And sitting down they watched him there;
37: And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF
THE JEWS.
38: Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and
another on the left.
39: And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
40: And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three
days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41: Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders,
said,
42: He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let
him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
43: He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he
said, I am the Son of God.
44: The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his
teeth.
45: Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the
ninth hour.
46: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli,
lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
47: Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man
calleth for Elijah.
48: And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with
vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
49: The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.
50: Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
51: And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the
bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52: And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept
arose

Mathew 27.23-52

Gospel of Luke crucifixion scene

24: And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
25: And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into
prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
26: And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian,
coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear
it after Jesus.
27: And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also
bewailed and lamented him.
28: But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me,
but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
29: For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are
the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
30: Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the
hills, Cover us.
31: For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the
dry?
32: And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to
death.
33: And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they
crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on
the left.
34: Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And
they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35: And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him,
saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of
God.
36: And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37: And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38: And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and
Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39: And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If
thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40: But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God,
seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41: And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this
man hath done nothing amiss.
42: And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy
kingdom.
43: And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with
me in paradise.
44: And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the
earth until the ninth hour.
45: And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the
midst.
46: And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy
hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
47: Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying,
Certainly this was a righteous man.
48: And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things
which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
49: And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee,
stood afar off, beholding these things.

Luke 23.24-49

Gospel of John crucifixion scene

1: Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
2: And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and
they put on him a purple robe,
3: And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
4: Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him
forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
5: Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe.
And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
6: When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out,
saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and
crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
7: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die,
because he made himself the Son of God.
8: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
9: And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art
thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
10: Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not
that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11: Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it
were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the
greater sin.
12: And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out,
saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever
maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
13: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat
down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the
Hebrew, Gabbatha.
14: And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and
he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
15: But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate
saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priest answered, We have
no king but Ceasar.
16: Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took
Jesus, and led him away.
17: And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a
skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
18: Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and
Jesus in the midst.
19: And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was,
JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
20: This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was
crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and
Latin.
21: Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of
the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
22: Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
23: Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and
made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was
without seam, woven from the top throughout.
24: They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots
for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith,
They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots.
These things therefore the soldiers did.
25: Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister,
Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26: When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he
loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27: Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that
disciple took her unto his own home.
28: After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the
scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
29: Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with
vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
30: When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished:
and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
31: The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies
should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was
an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they
might be taken away.
32: Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other
which was crucified with him.
33: But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake
not his legs:
34: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came
there out blood and water.
35: And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth
that he saith true, that ye might believe.
36: For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone
of him shall not be broken.
37: And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they
pierced.

John 19.1-37

Psalm 31

1: In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in
thy righteousness.
2: Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for
an house of defence to save me.
3: For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead
me, and guide me.
4: Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my
strength.
5: Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of
truth.
6: I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD.
7: I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my
trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
8: And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet
in a large room.
9: Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with
grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10: For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength
faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11: I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my
neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled
from me.
12: I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13: For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they
took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14: But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
15: My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and
from them that persecute me.
16: Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17: Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked
be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18: Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly
and contemptuously against the righteous.
19: Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear
thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of
men!
20: Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man:
thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21: Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a
strong city.
22: For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless
thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
23: O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful,
and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope
in the LORD.

Psalm 69

1: Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.
2: I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep
waters, where the floods overflow me.
3: I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait
for my God.
4: They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head:
they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I
restored that which I took not away.
5: O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.
6: Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my
sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.
7: Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.
8: I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's
children.
9: For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them
that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
10: When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach.
11: I made sackcloth also my garment; and I became a proverb to them.
12: They that sit in the gate speak against me; and I was the song of the
drunkards.
13: But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O
God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
14: Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink: let me be delivered from
them that hate me, and out of the deep waters.
15: Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up,
and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me.
16: Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness is good: turn unto me according to
the multitude of thy tender mercies.
17: And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me
speedily.
18: Draw nigh unto my soul, and redeem it: deliver me because of mine enemies.
19: Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonour: mine
adversaries are all before thee.
20: Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked
for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found
none.
21: They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar
to drink.
22: Let their table become a snare before them: and that which should have
been for their welfare, let it become a trap.
23: Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins
continually to shake.
24: Pour out thine indignation upon them, and let thy wrathful anger take hold
of them.
25: Let their habitation be desolate; and let none dwell in their tents.
26: For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and they talk to the grief
of those whom thou hast wounded.
27: Add iniquity unto their iniquity: and let them not come into thy
righteousness.
28: Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with
the righteous.
29: But I am poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me up on high.
30: I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with
thanksgiving.
31: This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath
horns and hoofs.
32: The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that
seek God.
33: For the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.
34: Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and everything that moveth
therein.
35: For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may
dwell there, and have it in possession.
36: The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his
name shall dwell therein.

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