Psalms 22:16 (17 in Hebrew and Septuagint or LXX) is written here in English and Hebrew and LXX .
The word "pierced" in English is a controversial rendering. The problems are outlined below.

16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

The Septuagint or LXX is probably the main reason for retaining the rendering of "they pierced" in English versions. The LXX uses (to dig a hole) to translate (ka'ariy) in the Hebrew text in Psalms 22:16/17 which has been translated "they pierced" in most English versions.

The original Hebrew texts were unpointed until the Masoretes (masora means traditional) added vowel pointings. They did so because oral traditions of the pronunciation of the text were in danger of being lost so they invented a system to add vowels to the text. Their choices of vowels, which can change the meanings of the words immeasurably, although usually correct, are open to question and are obviously mistaken in some places. (See for instance my comments on Zechariah 4:10 and other places.)

Problems with the word "pierced" favoring a different rendering:

1. There is no root in Hebrew. (The root for pierce may be [kur])

2. The (y) yod in (Kaariy) is not a 3mpl ending required for "they" pierced.

3. The unpointed form (Kaariy) can easily be understood as ke-ariy (prep. + noun = as a lion). The resulting translation using this construction (which also has serious difficulties) may be: "The assembly of the wicked encompass my hands and my feet as (they would) a lion." This is understood by some to mean that the wicked encircle him with ever smaller concentric circles as a hunting troop encircles a lion.

4. As noted in 2 above would have to read to be 3mpl.

5. Many commentators of note accept the picture of encompassing as a lion his hands and his feet.

6. The reading to mean dig a hole is possible if it is an Aramaic spelling. Remote?

Objections to the "as a lion" translation supporting "pierced.":

1. The verb "encompass" has a designated object They encompass "ME" Thus the phrase is complete "the assembly of the wicked encompass me."

2. If we were to allow "my hands and my feet" to be the direct object of "they encompass" it would almost certainly require an (eth or sign of direct object) to refer the action of "encompass" to "my hands and my feet," especially with the insertion of "as a lion" between the supposed verb and the object.

3. But "They pierced" should actually be and often drops out thus > which is 'They dug (a hole)."

4. Addition of the aleph can be explained by the need for a silent consonant to support the vowel sound in "kaaru" Thus aleph is added to compensate for the elided waw.

5. Also the yod > waw and waw > yod ( becomes and becomes ) is often met in manuscript Hebrew. See my detailed exlpanation of this grammar in my introduction to the DSS Isaiah Scroll. Thus is a possible reading for .

6. Some manuscripts actually read for this verse. See Kittel Biblia Hebraica notes on this verse where he lists several mss with this reading.

7. Although we have noted above that masora indicates "as a lion" for this verse. There is older "masora" than the Masoretes whose prejudice against a picture of the crucifixion should be fairly obvious. The Septuagint translators, who translated 315 years before the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, could not be prejudging the passage. They translated this word and passage in 285 BCE "They pierced () my hands and my feet." Thus there is a much older "masora" which favors or (they pierced) as a root rather than "as a lion."

But the passage will remain controversial and you will have to draw your own conclusion.

But there is no controversy about the meaning of the pierced Messiah in Zec. 12:10 "and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced." The word (dakaru) is translated pierced there and without arguement is "they stabbed."

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