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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Psalms 95

Verse 1

O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

Psalms 95:1-11 -Joyfully praise Yahweh our Saviour, as sole Lord of land and sea, and kneel before Him (Psalms 95:1-6); warning against hardening the heart now in the day of grace, lest, as in the unbelieving Israelites' case, no entrance should be allowed into God's rest (Psalms 95:7-11). Hebrews 3:1-19 and Hebrews 4:1-16 confirm the Messianic interpretation. "Saying in David," designates the Book of Psalms in general; not meaning that this particular psalm is David's composition, "Rest" is anticipated through Yahweh's interposition against the Assyrian, just as Joshua had been enabled to obtain the rest in Canaan. As in his time many had failed to obtain it through unbelief, so in Hezekiah's day, judgments consumed the "sinners in Zion," so that their eyes did not "see Jerusalem a quiet habitation" secured to God's people after Sennacherib's overthrow (Isaiah 33:14; Isaiah 33:20-21; Isaiah 33:24). The ulterior "rest" meant is the heavenly (Hebrews 4:9).

O come, let us sing unto the Lord - Hebrew, 'let us sing loud songs of joy. Not merely loud utterances of the voice are meant: the negative expression of the same exhortation, "Harden not your heart" (Psalms 95:8), implies that here also voices from the heart are meant.

The Rock of our salvation - the unchangeable and sure foundation of our trust (Psalms 18:2; Psalms 94:22).

Verse 2

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving - literally, 'anticipate His face:' expressing earnest haste and zeal (Psalms 21:3, note; 79:8; 78:13).

Verse 3

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods - not that the pagan gods are realities (Psalms 96:4-5). The expression is adapted to the contrast drawn to the pagan view of Yahweh as a petty god inferior to their own gods. In Psalms 95:4-5 the idol gods are virtually denied not only superiority, but even existence. For the Lord has as his own alike the heights and the depths of the earth, the sea, and the land, so that nothing is left for them; and, as they have nothing, they must themselves be nothing.

Verse 4

In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.

In his hand are the deep places of the earth - literally, the places which have to be searched; the hidden deeps, as contrasted with those that meet the eye (Job 38:16; Jeremiah 31:37).

The strength of the hills is his also - rather 'the heights of the hills.' The Hebrew [ tow`ªpowt (H8443), from yaa`ap (H3286), to pant with weariness] is a poetical expression for the heights which can be only reached by a toilsome ascent: in contrast to "the deep places of the earth." Or else the reference is to the wealth of the hills, obtained only by labour (Gesenius), corresponding to the former, "the deep places of the earth," explained as referring to the mines (Mendelssohn). Go where man may, with all his toil and searching in the heights or in the depths of the earth, he cannot find a place beyond the range of God's dominion.

Verse 5

The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.

The sea is his, and he made it - literally, 'Whose is the sea.' Not only does He own both land and sea (Psalms 95:4-5), but "He made" them.

Psalms 95:6. is the central verse, and turning point of the psalm. It embodies in summary and intensifies the thought of the first strophe (Psalms 95:1-5).

Verse 6

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Here to the utterance of the voice, and the hastening with the feet into God's presence (Psalms 95:1-2), there is added the bending of the knee. This attitude is only introduced as the natural and instinctive expression of the loving reverence of the "heart" (Psalms 95:8). The bowed person and the bended knee are the token of humility, unreserved surrender, and self-dedicating obedience. Yahweh is termed by Israel "our Maker," as being the Creator alike of the individuals of the people as men, as also of the people as a nation. Deuteronomy 32:6 is the original passage - "Is not He thy Father ... hath He not made thee, and established thee?" (cf. Isaiah 44:1-2).

Verses 7-11

For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

-Warning against hardening the heart, and so forfeiting the Lord's promised rest, like the unbelieving Israelities in the wilderness.

Verse 7 For he is our God. The "For" introduces the agreement justifying the preceding assertion that "the shall enter into my rest;' a formula of swearing an emphatic negative. The very formula used in Numbers 14:23, margin; Ps. 95:30; Deuteronomy 1:35, "my rest" is "the rest and the inheritance (in Canaan) which the Lord their God gave" (Deuteronomy 12:9).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 95". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.