But I am a worm and no man; a reproach of men and despised of the people. Psalm 22:6 KJV
But I am a worm and not a man, a reproach of men and despised by the people. Psalm 22:6 NASB
Metaphors and similes abound in Psalm 22. It is the language which the Spirit of God uses in attempting to convey to us what would otherwise be beyond our understanding. One of the starkest metaphors of Psalm 22 is in verse 6. “I am a worm …”
Each metaphor or simile seeks to give us insight into some facet of Calvary and His sufferings. Here in the imagery of the worm, is the depth of His humiliation and the esteem in which men held Him. As a worm, He was insignificant in their eyes. A worm is hardly worth noticing and of little apparent worth in the value system of men. A worm can be trampled underfoot with no sense of remorse or awareness. It counts for nothing. The Sovereign of the skies was treated like the worm in the dust.
As “a worm and no man” His life and bearing were inconsistent with what men valued as manliness. He showed none of the bravado and self-assertiveness of men. He did not rise to His own defense or plead His own cause. As a result, they treated Him as something less than human. The only Man Who ever lived here Who was more than human was treated brutally by His own creatures as being less than human.
A “no man” is literally a “nobody.” This is how Herod and his men of war treated the Lord Jesus. To them, He was a nobody. “They set Him at nought.”
The depths of His humiliation are revealed by the comparison to the worm. But as is often pointed out, the worm of Psalm 22:6 is the towla worm which, when crushed, yielded the scarlet dye for the regal robes of the kings. When He was crushed at Calvary, the result was not a scarlet dye, but precious blood which purchased our redemption and laid the foundation for His coming Kingdom established in righteousness.
He Who was the worm will return one day as the Warrior-King to establish His throne; and ultimately, He will be the object of universal worship.
Look at some of the other metaphors and similes of Psalm 22 and note what depth or extremity each conveys.