Psalm 95:4
In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
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(4) Deep places.—From a root meaning “to search,” perhaps by digging. Hence either “mines” or “mineral wealth.”

Strength of the hills.—The Hebrew word rendered “strength” is rare, found only here and Numbers 23:22; Numbers 24:8 (“strength of an unicorn”), and Job 22:25 (“plenty of silver;” margin, “silver of strength”). The root to which the word is usually assigned means “to be weary,” from which the idea of strength can only be derived on the lucus a non lucendo principle. Keeping the usual derivation, we may, with many critics, give the word the sense of “mines” or “treasures,” because of the labours of extracting metal from the earth. This suits Job 22:25, and makes a good parallelism. But the LXX. and Vulg. have “heights,” and by another derivation the Hebrew may mean shining, and so “sunny summit.” With this agrees the rendering of the LXX. in Numbers 23:22; Numbers 24:8, and the rhythm is preserved by an antithetic parallelism, as in next verse.

Psalm 95:4-5. In his hand — Under his government, and in his possession; are the deep places of the earth — With all the treasures they contain; even those parts which are far out of men’s sight and reach. The strength of the hills — Which, with majestic pride, tower above, and lift up their heads to heaven; is his also — Even the highest and strongest mountains are under his feet, and at his disposal. The sea is his — With its unnumbered waves, which roll in perpetual motion round the world; and all the millions of living creatures, of all forms and sizes, that inhabit its fathomless depths and immeasurable waters. And his hands formed the dry land — With all its rich and variegated produce, when, by his word, he commanded it to appear, and it was so; and he crowned it with verdure and beauty. And though he hath given it to the children of men, it is, nevertheless, still his, for he reserved the property to himself. His being the Creator of all, makes him, without dispute, the Owner and Lord of all.95:1-7 Whenever we come into God's presence, we must come with thanksgiving. The Lord is to be praised; we do not want matter, it were well if we did not want a heart. How great is that God, whose the whole earth is, and the fulness thereof; who directs and disposes of all!, The Lord Jesus, whom we are here taught to praise, is a great God; the mighty God is one of his titles, and God over all, blessed for evermore. To him all power is given, both in heaven and earth. He is our God, and we should praise him. He is our Saviour, and the Author of our blessedness. The gospel church is his flock, Christ is the great and good Shepherd of believers; he sought them when lost, and brought them to his fold.In his hand - In his power, or under his control as his own. That is, he so possesses all things that they can be claimed by no other. His right over them is absolute and entire.

Are the deep places of the earth - The word used here - מחקר mechqâr - means the interior, the inmost depth; that which is "searched out," from - חקר châqar - to search, search out, explore. The primary idea is that of searching by boring or digging; and the allusion here is to the parts of the earth which could be explored only by digging - as in mining, or sinking shafts in the earth. The meaning is, that all those places which lie beyond the ordinary power of observation in man are in the hand of God. He knows them as clearly as those which are most plain to human view; he possesses or owns them as his own as really as he does those which are on the surface of the ground.

The strength of the hills is his also - Margin, "The heights of the hills are his." The word rendered "strength" - תועפות tô‛âphôth - means properly swiftness or speed in running; then, weariness, wearisome labor; and hence, wealth obtained by labor; "treasures." Here the expression means "treasures of the mountains;" that is, treasures obtained out of the mountains, the precious metals, etc. Compare the notes at Job 22:25, where the same word occurs. All this belongs to God. As he is the Maker of these hills, and of all that they contain, the absolute proprietorship is in him.

4, 5. The terms used describe the world in its whole extent, subject to God. In his hand; under his government.

The deep places; those parts which are far out of men’s sight and reach, and much more those that are at men’s disposal.

The strength of the hills; the strongest or highest mountains are under his feet, and at his disposal. The sense of the verse is, All the parts of the earth, whether high or low, are subject to his power and providence, and therefore it is not strange if all the nations of the earth be brought to the acknowledgment of him, and if the Gentiles receive his gospel. In his hand are the deep places of the earth,.... The "penetrals" (c) of it; not only what are penetrated by men, the minerals that are in it; but what are of such deep recess as to be penetrated only by the Lord himself; these are in the hands and power of Christ, which he can search into, discover, and dispose of; these are the foundations of the earth, which cannot be searched out beneath by men, Jeremiah 31:37,

the strength of the hills is his also; or, "the wearinesses" (d) of them, the tops (e) of them, which make a man weary to go up unto, they are so high; the Targum is,

"the strengths of the height of the hills;''

which takes in both ideas, both the height and strength of them. The hills, that are both high and strong, are set fast by his power, and are at his command; and bow and tremble before him, whom men ought to worship.

(c) "penetralia terrae", Musculus, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis. (d) "lassitudines", Gejerus. (e) "Cacumina", Montanus, Tigurine version, Musculus.

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

(c) All things are governed by his providence.

4. In whose hand are the secret depths of earth,

And to whom the peaks of the mountains belong.

The depths of the earth which cannot be explored by man (Job 38:16; Jeremiah 31:37), the soaring mountain peaks upon which man cannot set his foot, are all under His control.

The meaning of the word for peaks is doubtful; but it probably means eminences (LXX, Jer.) rather than strength.Verse 4. - In his hand are the deep places of the earth; the strength of the hills is his also; rather, the summits of the mountains are his also. The meaning is that all the earth is his, from the highest heights to the lowest depths. In the sixth strophe the poet confidently expects the inevitable divine retribution for which he has earnestly prayed in the introduction. יחברך is erroneously accounted by many (and by Gesenius too) as fut. Pual equals יחבּרך equals יחבּר עמּך, a vocal contraction together with a giving up of the reduplication in favour of which no example can be advanced. It is fut. Kal equals יחברך, from יחבּר equals יחבּר, with the same regression of the modification of the vowel

(Note: By means of a similar transposition of the vowel as is to be assumed in תּאהבוּ, Proverbs 1:22, it also appears that מדוּבּין equals מוּסבּין (lying upon the table, ἀνακείμενοι) of the Pesach-Haggada has to be explained, which Joseph Kimchi finds so inexplicable that he regards it as a clerical error that has become traditional.)

as in יחנך equals יחנך in Genesis 43:29; Isaiah 30:19 (Hupfeld), but as in verbs primae gutturalis, so also in כּתבם, כּתבם, inflected from כּתב, Ew. ֗251, d. It might be more readily regarded as Poel than as Pual (like תּאכלנוּ, Job 20:26), but the Kal too already signifies to enter into fellowship (Genesis 14:3; Hosea 4:17), therefore (similarly to יגרך, Psalm 5:5) it is: num consociabitur tecum. כּסּא is here the judgment-seat, just as the Arabic cursi directly denotes the tribunal of God (in distinction from Arab. 'l-‛arš, the throne of His majesty). With reference to הוּות vid., on Psalm 5:10. Assuming that חק is a divine statute, we obtain this meaning for עלי־חק: which frameth (i.e., plots and executes) trouble, by making the written divine right into a rightful title for unrighteous conduct, by means of which the innocent are plunged into misfortune. Hitzig renders: contrary to order, after Proverbs 17:26, where, however, על־ישׁר is intended like ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης, Matthew 5:10. Olshausen proposes to read יגוּרוּ (Psalm 56:7; Psalm 59:4) instead of יגודּוּ, just as conversely Aben-Ezra in Psalm 56:7 reads יגודּוּ. But גּדד, גּוּד, has the secured signification of scindere, incidere (cf. Arab. jdd, but also chd, supra, p. 255), from which the signification invadere can be easily derived (whence גּדוּד, a breaking in, invasion, an invading host). With reference to דּם נקי vid., Psychology, S. 243 (tr. p. 286): because the blood is the soul, that is said of the blood which applies properly to the person. The subject to יגודו are the seat of corruption (by which a high council consisting of many may be meant, just as much as a princely throne) and its accomplices. Prophetic certainty is expressed in ויהי and ויּשׁב. The figure of God as משׂגּב is Davidic and Korahitic. צוּר מחסּי צוּר is explained from Psalm 18:2. Since השׁיב designates the retribution as a return of guilt incurred in the form of actual punishment, it might be rendered "requite" just as well as "cause to return;" עליהם, however, instead of להם (Psalm 54:7) makes the idea expressed in Psalm 7:17 more natural. On ברעתם Hitzig correctly compares 2 Samuel 14:7; 2 Samuel 3:27. The Psalm closes with an anadiplosis, just as it began with one; and אלהינוּ affirms that the destruction of the persecutor will follow as surely as the church is able to call Jahve its God.

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