Psalm 95:11
To whom I swore in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
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(11) I sware.Numbers 14:21-27.

Rest.—This is, of course, the Promised Land, as the context unmistakably shows. The freedom taken with the passage by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in order to make the psalm point us to a “future” rest, was such as Jewish doctors ordinarily used, and of which other instances occur in the New Testament—notably St. Paul’s argument in Galatians 3:16.

Psalm 95:11. Unto whom I sware in my wrath, &c. — In my just displeasure, I passed an irreversible sentence upon them, and confirmed it by an oath: that they should not enter into my rest — Into the promised land, so called Deuteronomy 12:9; 1 Chronicles 23:25, of which sentence, see Numbers 14. Now this case of the Israelites, who were prohibited from entering Canaan, is here applied by the psalmist. 1st, To those of their posterity who lived when this Psalm was composed, and they are cautioned not to harden their heart, as their forefathers did, lest, if they were stubborn and disobedient, God should be provoked to prohibit them from enjoying the privileges of his temple at Jerusalem, of which he had said, Psalm 132:14, This is my rest. But it was intended also, 2d, For the instruction of all after ages, as has been observed on Psalm 95:7, and particularly of those Israelites who should live in the times of the Messiah, that they might take heed of falling after the same example of unbelief, as the apostle observes from this place, Hebrews 4:11, where see the notes. 95:7-11 Christ calls upon his people to hear his voice. You call him Master, or Lord; then be his willing, obedient people. Hear the voice of his doctrine, of his law, and in both, of his Spirit: hear and heed; hear and yield. Christ's voice must be heard to-day. This day of opportunity will not last always; improve it while it is called to-day. Hearing the voice of Christ is the same with believing. Hardness of heart is at the bottom of all distrust of the Lord. The sins of others ought to be warnings to us not to tread in their steps. The murmurings of Israel were written for our admonition. God is not subject to such passions as we are; but he is very angry at sin and sinners. That certainly is evil, which deserves such a recompence; and his threatenings are as sure as his promises. Let us be aware of the evils of our hearts, which lead us to wander from the Lord. There is a rest ordained for believers, the rest of everlasting refreshment, begun in this life, and perfected in the life to come. This is the rest which God calls his rest.Unto whom I sware in my wrath - See the notes at Hebrews 3:11.

That they should not enter into my rest - Margin, as in Hebrew, "If they enter into my rest." The "rest" here referred to was the land of Canaan. They were not permitted to enter there as a place of "rest" after their long and weary wanderings, but died in the wilderness. The meaning is not that none of them were saved (for we must hope that very many of them were brought to the heavenly Canaan), but that they did not come to the promised land. Unbelief shut them out; and this fact is properly made use of here, and in Hebrews 3, as furnishing a solemn warning to all not to be unbelieving and rebellious, since the consequence of unbelief and rebellion must be to exclude us from the kingdom of heaven, the true place of "rest."

10. err in their heart—Their wanderings in the desert were but types of their innate ignorance and perverseness.

that they should not—literally, "if they," &c., part of the form of swearing (compare Nu 14:30; Ps 89:35).

Being full of just wrath against them, I passed an irreversible sentence, and confirmed it by an oath; of which we read Numbers 14.

Into my rest; into the Promised Land, which is called the rest, Deu 12:9. See also 1 Chronicles 23:25 Psalm 132:14. And this history the psalmist propounds to the men of his age, not as a matter of mere speculation, but as an instruction for all after-ages, and particularly for those Israelites who should live in the times of the Messias, that they should take heed of falling after the same example of unbelief, as the apostle infers from this place, Hebrews 4:11. Unto whom I sware in my wrath,.... Being angry with them, he sware for the confirmation of what he said; the form of the oath was, "as truly as I live"; he sware by himself, for he could swear by no greater; see Numbers 14:21.

that they should not enter into my rest; the land of Canaan, or Israel, as Kimchi; which the Lord provided, promised, and gave to the Israelites, as their rest; the land of Israel and Jerusalem, as Jarchi; or the house of the sanctuary, the temple, as the Targum; which Jehovah chose for his rest, and took it up in it, and where he promised the Messiah, the Prince of peace, who gives to his people spiritual and eternal rest. Canaan was typical of the rest which remains for the people of God; the use that believing Jews, and all Christians under the Gospel dispensation, are to make of this, see in Hebrews 3:18.

Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into {h} my rest.

(h) That is, into the land of Canaan, where he promised them rest.

11. Unto whom &c.] Or, Wherefore I sware. See Numbers 14:21 ff.

my rest] The Promised Land. Cp. Deuteronomy 12:9.

Psalm 95:7 c–11 are quoted in Hebrews 3:7-11, and applied in detail as a warning to Christians who were in danger of unbelief, lest they too should fail to reach the rest promised to them. The quotation follows the LXX with some slight variations. In Hebrews 4:7, Psalm 95:7 c, Psalm 95:8 a are introduced by the words “saying in David,” i.e. ‘in the person of David,’ not ‘in the book of David.’ The author may have followed the LXX title, or, according to the common mode of speaking, regarded David as the author of the whole Psalter.Verse 11. - Unto whom I sware in my wrath; rather, so that that I sware in my wrath, or "wherefore I sware in my wrath" (for the oath itself, see Numbers 14:21-23; and comp. Deuteronomy 1:34, 35). That they should not enter into my rest. The "rest" originally intended was that of Canaan, when "the Lord gave rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about" (Joshua 23:1). But Canaan was a type of the heavenly rest; and the warning given to the Israel of his day by the present psalmist is to be regarded as a warning that, if they followed in the steps of their forefathers, they might miss of that final and crowning "rest," which, after the wilderness of this world is traversed, still "remaineth for the people of God" (see Hebrews 3:7-19; Hebrews 4:1-9).

The adorableness of God receives a threefold confirmation: He is exalted above all gods as King, above all things as Creator, and above His people as Shepherd and Leader. אלהים (gods) here, as in Psalm 96:4., Psalm 97:7, Psalm 97:9, and frequently, are the powers of the natural world and of the world of men, which the Gentiles deify and call kings (as Moloch Molech, the deified fire), which, however, all stand under the lordship of Jahve, who is infinitely exalted above everything that is otherwise called god (Psalm 96:4; Psalm 97:9). The supposition that תּועפות הרים denotes the pit-works (μέταλλα) of the mountains (Bφttcher), is at once improbable, because to all appearance it is intended to be the antithesis to מחקרי־ארץ, the shafts of the earth. The derivation from ועף (יעף), κάμνειν, κοπιᾶν, also does not suit תועפות in Numbers 23:22; Numbers 24:8, for "fatigues" and "indefatigableness" are notions that lie very wide apart. The כּסף תּועפות of Job 22:25 might more readily be explained according to this "silver of fatigues," i.e., silver that the fatiguing labour of mining brings to light, and תועפות הרים in the passage before us, with Gussetius, Geier, and Hengstenberg: cacumina montium quia defatigantur qui eo ascendunt, prop. ascendings equals summits of the mountains, after which כסף תועפות, Job 22:25, might also signify "silver of the mountain-heights." But the lxx, which renders δόξα in the passages in Numbers and τὰ ὕψη τῶν ὀρέων in the passage before us, leads one to a more correct track. The verb יעף (ועף), transposed from יפע (ופע), goes back to the root יף, וף, to stand forth, tower above, to be high, according to which תועפות equals תופעות signifies eminentiae, i.e., towerings equals summits, or prominences equals high (the highest) perfection (vid., on Job 22:25). In the passage before us it is a synonym of the Arabic mı̂fan, mı̂fâtun, pars terrae eminens (from Arab. wfâ equals יפע, prop. instrumentally: a means of rising above, viz., by climbing), and of the names of eminences derived from Arab. yf' (after which Hitzig renders: the teeth of the mountains). By reason of the fact that Jahve is the Owner (cf. 1 Samuel 2:8), because the Creator of all things, the call to worship, which concerns no one so nearly as it does Israel, the people, which before other peoples is Jahve's creation, viz., the creation of His miraculously mighty grace, is repeated. In the call or invitation, השׁתּחוה signifies to stretch one's self out full length upon the ground, the proper attitude of adoration; כּרע, to curtsey, to totter; and בּרך, Arabic baraka, starting from the radical signification flectere, to kneel down, in genua (πρόχνυ, pronum equals procnum) procumbere, 2 Chronicles 6:13 (cf. Hlemann, Bibelstudien, i. 135f.). Beside עם מרעיתו, people of His pasture, צאן ידו is not the flock formed by His creating hand (Augustine: ipse gratiâ suâ nos oves fecit), but, after Genesis 30:35, the flock under His protection, the flock led and defended by His skilful, powerful hand. Bttcher renders: flock of His charge; but יד in this sense (Jeremiah 6:3) signifies only a place, and "flock of His place" would be poetry and prose in one figure.
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