BULLS OF BASHAN AND THE CROSS
“All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.”
“Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.”
“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. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.”
I woke up early the other morning with the phrase “bulls of Bashan” in my head. Not sure why but I did already knew that it was referring to Psalms 22. I read some commentaries about it a few days ago and nothing jumped out at me. It was all info I already knew. Then, I’m reading Luke 23 about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. I came across verse 35 where it says the rulers ‘derided’ him. The word ‘derided’ is ‘ekmukterizo’. Below you can see where this Greek word comes from.
Thayer Definition: to deride by turning up the nose, to sneer at, to scoff at
Origin: from G1537 and G3456
Thayer Definition: to turn up the nose or sneer at, to mock, deride
Origin: from a derivative of the base of G3455(meaning snout, as that whence lowing proceeds)
Thayer Definition: to low, bellow, properly of horned cattle, to roar, of a lion
Origin: “from a presumed derivative of muzo ( to “moo”)”
Interestingly enough it comes from ‘mukaomai’ – “to low, bellow, properly of horned cattle, to roar, of a lion”. We have two references to horned cattle (bulls) and lions when looking back at this prophetic Psalm that is talking about Jesus. The rulers derided Him like strong bulls of Bashan and were ravening and roaring lions. And when I looked at this Greek word ‘ekmukterizo’ in the Septuagint when translated from the Hebrew, it is the same word used in Psalm 22:7 as ‘scorn’. Interesting right.
BDB Definition: to mock, deride, ridicule
So, how is this relevant for Christians today? Jesus said that we would suffer persecution because of Him and Paul adds that if we will live godly in Him, this is bound to happen. With that said….I would rather be one of the sheep surrounded by the bulls and lions, than be one of the roaring lions and bulls ‘mooing’ (deriding and mocking) one of the sheep!
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
2 Timothy 3:11-12
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
I’m far from a scholar but it goes to show you, that if you do enough digging, your bound to pull out a few nuggets. There is no doubt about it that Luke 23:35-36 was specifically talking about Psalm 22, verses 7-8 and 12-13.