Psalm 22 is what is known as a Messianic psalm.  That means that its main meaning is found in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Of course, we can see that clearly if we read 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?”  Let’s compare that to the words of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 27:46, “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?”  From this, we can see that Psalm 21 is prophetic of the Lord Jesus while He hung on the cross.  Reading this chapter carefully, it is obvious that the first 21 verses refer to the Lord as He suffered for our sins on the cross. 

Psalm 22:21 says, “Save me from the lion’s mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.”  Let’s compare the first part of this verse to verse 13, “They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.”  The lion is often used as a figure representing violent enemies.  The mentioning of their mouths suggests their fierceness and brutality.  Here, the Lord does not mean that He was literally surrounded by lions, but that he was surrounded by violent people who wanted Him to die. 

The Lord also refers to “the horns of the unicorns.”  Of course, He is not speaking of literal unicorns, but is using them as a symbol of those around Him.  Were there literal unicorns on the earth during the time of the Lord?  No, the unicorn is a mythological animal.  Why then does the Lord mention them if they do not exist?  The Hebrew word for unicorn is “reh-ame’”.  It is used nine times in the Old Testament and is always translated as unicorn.  However, in almost every other translation, the word is translated as a wild ox.  That really makes sense if we read Isaiah 34:7, “And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.”  The wild oxen would naturally be included in a group that includes bullocks and bulls. 

Realizing that the word used should be translated as wild oxen, we see the Lord was referring to the brute strength and wildness of those who surrounded Him on the cross, desiring His death.  Let’s read this verse from the NASB.  There, it reads, “Save me from the lion’s mouth; From the horns of the wild oxen You answer me.”  How pitiful was the cry of the Lord Jesus as He was surrounded by the very ones He came to save, yet they hated Him.  How sad that He was hated when He came to save sinful men and women of their sins.  We read of Him in Psalm 69:4, “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.” 

Let me ask you, dear reader, do you hate the Lord Jesus?  Have you turned away from His offer of salvation?  Have you said as those in Luke 19:14 said, “…We will not have this man to reign over us.”?  If so, the Lord is still so gracious, and He will save you if you repent of your sins and accept Him as Lord and Savior.  No matter what you have done, the Lord will accept and save you if you put your faith in Him for your salvation.  The Lord Jesus promises us in John 6:37, “…him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”  (CC)  (561.6)