"Bulls Of Bashan"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 193

Context: The poet, in a psalm prophetic of the passion of the sorrowful Christ, weeps because he is forsaken by God, unlike his forefathers who were delivered from exile. The plight of the poet is so overwhelming that he describes himself as being surrounded by roaring bulls of Bashan (a region of the northern kingdom of Israel between Gilead and Hermon, originally assigned to the tribe of Manasseh):

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Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
They have gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
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.
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.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
They part my garments among them, can cast lots upon my vesture.

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