22:22 midst of the congregation. At this point in the psalm the theme suddenly changes from suffering to praise. The debt for sin has been fully paid, and our sin-bearer becomes our great praise-leader. His congregation at the foot of the cross was very small—His mother, John, and the other women. One day His praise would be in the midst of not just “two or three...gathered together in my name” (Matthew 18:20), but of “the great congregation” (Psalm 22:25), “the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23).
22:22 praise. It is strikingly significant that this first mention of the verb “praise” (Hebrew hallal) in the book of Israel’s praises, as the Book of Psalms was called, is at Psalm 22:22. This surely seems more than coincidence, for twenty-two is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The chapter and verse structure in the Book of Psalms, unlike the rest of the Bible, was there from the beginning. Thus, the very purpose of human language is to praise our Creator and Savior, and the great occasion of praise is His victory over sin and death on the cross.