Exegetical Notes Psalm 95 -- By: Samir Massouh

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 04:1 (Spring 1983)
Article: Exegetical Notes Psalm 95
Author: Samir Massouh


Exegetical Notes Psalm 95

Samir Massouh

Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Recent publications have reflected a renewed evangelical interest in the nature and manner of worship. Some have advocated incorporating charismatic enthusiasm while others have promoted the use of more liturgy. It is in the light of such revived interest that this study of Ps 95 is given, in order to establish some biblical principles about the nature and manner of worship.

Ps 95 is a small literary masterpiece in which both structure and content combine harmoniously to reveal a marvelous design. The structure of the psalm is fairly obvious, consisting of two halves. The first half, vv 1–7a, contains the invitation to worship; the second half, vv 7b–11, consists of a severe warning against rebellion. The first half will be studied in order to determine its internal structure and message. Then both halves will be related to each other in order to see the work as a whole.

Verse 1–7a. A close study of the psalmist’s use of grammatical patterns will reveal the structure of this section. The imperative “Come” in v 1 is balanced by the imperative “Come” in v 6. The series of cohortatives “Let us…” in vv 1 and 2 are balanced by a series of cohortatives in v 6. Furthermore the causal clause “For…” in v 3 is balanced by the causal clause “For…” in v 7. Such balance and symmetry show that vv 1–7a consist of two invitations, two exhortations and two explanations. When outlined, this first half of the psalm looks like this: I. First invitation to worship (1a) A. The exhortation to worship (1b–2) B. The reason for worship (3–4) If. Second invitation to worship (6a) A. The exhortation to worship (6b) B. The reason for worship (7a).

The first invitation to worship calls the believer to praise God in jubilation and rejoicing. The ...

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