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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Psalms 95

Verses 1-11

The Jews with one consent refer this psalm to the days of the Messiah. St. Paul had therefore the fullest authority for addressing it to the Hebrews. It was composed by David, when God had put all adjacent nations under his power.

Psalms 95:7 . We are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. The Chaldee and the Vulgate read, “We are the people of his hand, and the sheep of his pasture.” He made us a people, and delivered us by his right hand, and he feeds us as sheep are fed in the pastures.

Psalms 95:10 . They have not known my ways; that is, they would not know them. They shut their eyes against the light, and stopped their ears against the joyful sound.

Psalms 95:11 . My rest. Heaven, of which the sabbath and the land of Canaan were but figures. It also applies to the repose, the confidence and joy, which the believer has in God. Hebrews 4:3.


Here we enter upon evangelical ground. David, like a seraph, animated with a burning coal, calls loudly upon his country to worship the Lord. To this end, he illustrates the divine sovereignty over heaven and earth, and then repeats his call to devotion.

More effectually to promote reformation, he draws powerful arguments of obedience from the consequence of the disobedience of their fathers at Meribah, and at Massah. Here, while personating the Messiah, with love glowing in his heart, Psalms 94:19, the glory of the gospel broke in upon his soul, though he knew not how to decipher all that the prophetic spirit poured into his heart. When he said, “to day,” meaning his own age, the gospel day was also intended. Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 4:7-10. Christ the sun of righteousness came to enlighten the gentile world, and to shed abroad the day of truth on the benighted nations.

By the “voice,” David meant that his people should hearken to the law and the covenant which were delivered by the voice from Sinai, and from the pillar of cloud. But the gospel was also meant, which opens by a voice crying in the wilderness. The dead heard the voice of the Son of God; and the Laodicean, at whose heart he knocks, is still called to hearken.

We have next the “oath.” As God confirmed the blessings of the covenant to Abraham and to Israel with an oath, Luke 1:73; so now he inflicted the curse with equal firmness. After certain periods of revolt and stubborn wickedness, a man’s day of grace is past, and the Spirit of God forsakes him. So it was with the Jews before the Babylonian captivity, Ezekiel 14:0.; and so it was when Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Luke 19:39; Luke 19:41. Yet he graciously spared that stiffnecked people about forty years, the very time he spared their fathers in the desert, before he sent the Romans to bring upon them destruction to the uttermost. Oh what a sermon to the christian church! How strikingly does St. Paul enforce it to the Hebrews against apostasy. One seems to see ten thousand hearers of the gospel, hearers who have sinned against all its grace, and all its terrors, about to be included in this dreadful sentence. They have sinned against mercies, against judgments, and against longsuffering grace. What then can God do more to a barren vineyard? What remains then but a suspended punishment? I tremble lest the comfort, the quiet, the assurance they feel in their sins, should indicate that there is no more remedy; and that God, long provoked to anger, should have already sworn that they shall not enter his heavenly rest.

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 95". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.