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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Psalms 95

Verse 1

When the house was built, &c. Alluding to that time, and then ordered to be sung; but principally relating to the building of the Church of Christ, after our redemption from the captivity of satan. (Challoner) --- Captivity. The greater canticle of David, (1 Paralipomenon xvi.) was probably divided, on that occasion, (Calmet) into three. This forms the second part, from ver. 23; as the psalm civ., to ver. 16., does the first. The three last verses of David’s canticle, (ver. 34.) occur [in] Psalm cv. 1, 47. But in reality, there are so many variations, that it seems most probable, (Haydock) that he revised that work, and left us the three psalms in their present form. This perhaps relates to the establishment of the Church, though it might be also sung at the return from Babylon. (Berthier) --- Modern Jews understand it of their future re-union under the Messias. (Kimchi) (Calmet) --- The rebuilding of the temple is foretold, as a figure of man’s redemption. (Worthington) --- New canticle. As the blessed do, (Apocalypse v. 9., and xv. 4.) and those who receive the Messias, Isaias xlii. 10. (Berthier) --- Love sings the new canticle. (St. Augustine) --- Earth. And not Judea alone, ver. 7. (Berthier)

Verse 2

Lord....his name. As ver. 7., and 8. The plural and singular denote the Trinity. (Worthington) --- Shew forth. Septuagint, "evangelize," bene nuntiate. (St. Augustine) --- "Tell the glad tidings" of salvation incessantly. This preaching shall continue for ever. (Haydock)

Verse 5

Devils. Hebrew elilim, "diminutive gods, (Haydock) nothings, (Calmet) vain things." (Montanus) (1 Paralipomenon) --- We have idols, as Protestants read here. These were in fact, either devils, or vain imaginations of men. St. Paul says, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians viii. 4. They cannot claim self-existence, and if the true God were not to support those creatures, the sun, &c., which have been the objects of adoration, they would presently cease to be. (Haydock) --- This most plausible species of idolatry is therefore refuted, since the Lord made the heavens. (Calmet) --- The Creator alone can be considered as God; the devils prompt the people to adore other things. (Worthington) --- It would appear but a small praise for the Lord to be feared above all gods, (Haydock) if they were "nothing." Hence the Septuagint have used the word devils, to signify, that these potent, but maleficent beings, which the pagans adored, were infinitely beneath God, and worse than nothing. (Berthier)

Verse 6

Before him. At his disposal; whereas the idols can bestow nothing. (Calmet) --- Sanctuary, or "sanctification." (Worthington) 1 Paralipomenon, in his place. (Haydock)

Verse 7

Kindreds; patriæ, or families, as it is expressed, 1 Paralipomenon xvi. (Haydock)

Verse 8

Sacrifices. Hebrew Mincha, "the oblation" of flour, &c., (Haydock) which denotes the blessed Eucharist, and the spiritual sacrifices of prayer, &c. (Menochius) --- Victims shall cease, but the pure oblation shall continue among the Gentiles, Malachias i. 11. (Berthier) --- Courts. This shews that their conversion is predicted, since they could not otherwise come thither. (Calmet)

Verse 9

Moved. Hebrew, "in labour," (Isaias xxvi. 17.; Theodoret; Calmet) or "fear ye before him all the earth." (Houbigant) --- In Paralipomenon, the sentences are in a different order. (Haydock)

Verse 10

Reigned. St. Bernard says, "the kingdom of Jesus is in the wood." (Du Hamel) --- St. Justin Martyr (Dialogue with Trypho) accuses the Jews of retrenching Greek: apo tou xulou, "from the wood," which all the Latin Fathers, except St. Jerome, acknowledge in their copies. That ancient author, being born among the Samaritans, could hardly be so ignorant of the Hebrew text, and his antagonist does not attempt to refute the charge; so that it seems probable, that they were in the original, (Berthier) and since erased by the Jews, from the Septuagint, who added them, (Worthington) by the spirit of prophecy. (Tournemine) --- But how came Christians to permit this to be done in their Hebrew, Greek, and Latin copies? The words in question may have been, therefore, a marginal gloss, which had crept into the text. (Faber, Justiniani, &c.) --- They do not occur in the parallel passage, (1 Paralipomenon) nor in the Vulgate, though they be retained in the Roman breviary. (Calmet) --- Lindan objects this perfidy of the Jews to the Reformers, not reflecting, that he thus condemns the Vulgate. Genebrard is of opinion, that "the Septuagint were inspired to add these words, which some half-learned critics have thought proper to expunge with an impiety which is now but too common." The Popes have not, however, thought that the cross stood in need of this support. (Amama) --- The Chaldean and Syriac, as well as all the copies of the Septuagint extant, and the Arabic and Ethiopic versions taken from it, and all the Greek interpreters and Fathers, (except St. Justin) with St. Jerome, both in his versions from the Hebrew and Septuagint, omit these words, which are found in the Roman, Gothic, and other psalters. Origen’s Hexapla seem to have most enabled the Greeks to discern the interpolation, which the Latins retained longer, not having such easy access to that work. Whatever may be the decision on this important matter, it is certain that the reign of Christ was propagated from the wood, in a wonderful manner, as he there began to draw all to himself, and the prophet seems evidently to allude to the times when Christ proclaimed, the kingdom of God is at hand, and when the conversion of the Gentiles, and the institution of the blessed Eucharist (ver. 8.) would fill all the world with rapture. (Haydock) --- The positive testimony of St. Justin, and the Italic version used by the Latin Fathers, (Berthier) Tertullian, St. Augustine, &c., (Worthington) seems of more weight to prove the authenticity of the words, than the simple omission in the copies of Origen, and St. Jerome, &c., to evince the contrary. (Berthier) --- Corrected. Evil morals and idolatry, (Menochius) rather than the physical order of the globe, Psalm xcii. 1. (Berthier) --- Hebrew, "he hath balanced," (Houbigant) or established. (Haydock) --- The Christian faith shall not be abolished, (Menochius) or corrected. (Haydock) --- "Faith is not to be reformed." (Tertullian) --- Justice. Ancient psalter add, "and the Gentiles in his wrath," ver. 13., and Psalm xcviii. 8.

Verse 11


An exhortation to praise God for the coming of Christ and his kingdom.

Fulness. Its raging billows, (Calmet) fishes, (Menochius) those who live upon the water. (Haydock) --- Let al testify their joy. Every thing is animated by the psalmist. (Calmet)

Verse 13

Judge. Or "rule," as he invites all to rejoice. (Calmet) --- But this will be done by all nature, when God shall punish the wicked. (Haydock) --- He now judges by his ministers, and will pass sentence at the last day. (Worthington) --- This verse is added, instead of the last there in 1 Paralipomenon xvi,. which occur in Psalm cv. (Haydock)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 95". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.