Psalm 95

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Psalm 95
"O come, let us sing unto the LORD"
Royal Psalm
Text of Psalm 95 at St James' Church, Bramley
Other name
  • Psalm 94
  • "Venite exultemus"
LanguageHebrew (original)
Psalm 95
BookBook of Psalms
Hebrew Bible partKetuvim
Order in the Hebrew part1
CategorySifrei Emet
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part19

Psalm 95 is the 95th psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in English in the King James Version: "O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation". The Book of Psalms starts the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and, as such, is a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the slightly different numbering system in the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, and in the Latin Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 94. In Latin, it is known as "Venite exultemus" or simply "Venite".[1] The psalm is a hymn psalm, one of the Royal psalms, praising God as the King of His people. Psalm 95 identifies no author, but Hebrews 4:7 attributes it to David.[2] The Vulgate also names David as the author.[3]

The psalm forms a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican and other Protestant liturgies, in particular as the invitatory in daily liturgies. It has inspired hymns such as "Kommt herbei, singt dem Herrn", and has been set to music by Thomas Tallis, Heinrich Schütz and Felix Mendelssohn, among others.



The following table shows the Hebrew text[4][5] of the Psalm with vowels alongside an English translation based upon the JPS 1917 translation (now in the public domain).

Verse Hebrew English translation (JPS 1917)
1 לְ֭כוּ נְרַנְּנָ֣ה לַיהֹוָ֑ה נָ֝רִ֗יעָה לְצ֣וּר יִשְׁעֵֽנוּ׃ O come, let us sing unto the LORD; Let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
2 נְקַדְּמָ֣ה פָנָ֣יו בְּתוֹדָ֑ה בִּ֝זְמִר֗וֹת נָרִ֥יעַֽ לֽוֹ׃ Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout for joy unto Him with psalms.
3 כִּ֤י אֵ֣ל גָּד֣וֹל יְהֹוָ֑ה וּמֶ֥לֶךְ גָּ֝ד֗וֹל עַל־כׇּל־אֱלֹהִֽים׃ For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods;
4 אֲשֶׁ֣ר בְּ֭יָדוֹ מֶחְקְרֵי־אָ֑רֶץ וְתוֹעֲפֹ֖ת הָרִ֣ים לֽוֹ׃ In whose hand are the depths of the earth; The heights of the mountains are His also.
5 אֲשֶׁר־ל֣וֹ הַ֭יָּם וְה֣וּא עָשָׂ֑הוּ וְ֝יַבֶּ֗שֶׁת יָדָ֥יו יָצָֽרוּ׃ The sea is His, and He made it; And His hands formed the dry land.
6 בֹּ֭אוּ נִשְׁתַּחֲוֶ֣ה וְנִכְרָ֑עָה נִ֝בְרְכָ֗ה לִֽפְנֵי־יְהֹוָ֥ה עֹשֵֽׂנוּ׃ O come, let us bow down and bend the knee; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7 כִּ֘י ה֤וּא אֱלֹהֵ֗ינוּ וַאֲנַ֤חְנוּ עַ֣ם מַ֭רְעִיתוֹ וְצֹ֣אן יָד֑וֹ הַ֝יּ֗וֹם אִֽם־בְּקֹל֥וֹ תִשְׁמָֽעוּ׃ For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, and the flock of His hand. To-day, if ye would but hearken to His voice!
8 אַל־תַּקְשׁ֣וּ לְ֭בַבְכֶם כִּמְרִיבָ֑ה כְּי֥וֹם מַ֝סָּ֗ה בַּמִּדְבָּֽר׃ 'Harden not your heart, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness;
9 אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִ֭סּוּנִי אֲבֽוֹתֵיכֶ֑ם בְּ֝חָנ֗וּנִי גַּם־רָא֥וּ פׇעֳלִֽי׃ When your fathers tried Me, Proved Me, even though they saw My work.
10 אַרְבָּ֘עִ֤ים שָׁנָ֨ה ׀ אָ֘ק֤וּט בְּד֗וֹר וָאֹמַ֗ר עַ֤ם תֹּעֵ֣י לֵבָ֣ב הֵ֑ם וְ֝הֵ֗ם לֹא־יָדְע֥וּ דְרָכָֽי׃ For forty years was I wearied with that generation, And said: It is a people that do err in their heart, And they have not known My ways;
11 אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֥עְתִּי בְאַפִּ֑י אִם־יְ֝בֹא֗וּן אֶל־מְנוּחָתִֽי׃ Wherefore I swore in My wrath, That they should not enter into My rest.'

King James Version[edit]

  1. O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
  2. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
  3. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
  4. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
  5. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
  6. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
  7. 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,
  8. Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
  9. When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
  10. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
  11. Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.



Psalm 95 is the opening paragraph of Kabbalat Shabbat in Ashkenazic, Hasidic and some Sephardic communities.[6] It is recited in some communities on Shabbat Hagadol.[7] The first three verses are recited in most communities at the end of the psalm of the day for the Shir Shel Yom on Wednesday, which is primarily the previous psalm:[8] this is the only day of the week in which the song of the day is composed on verses from multiple psalms, and the addition of these verses seems to be relatively late.[9] These verses are recited by most congregations[clarification needed] because of their inspiring message.[10]

New Testament[edit]

Verses 7-11 of Psalm 95 are quoted in Hebrews 3:7–11, 15, 18; Hebrews 4:1, 3, 5, 7.[11]


In the Latin Psalters used by the Roman liturgy, the psalm forms the invitatory which is sung daily before matins. It may be sung as a canticle in the Anglican and Lutheran liturgy of Morning Prayer, when it is referred to by its incipit as the Venite or "Venite exultemus Domino",[3] sometimes also A Song of Triumph.

Musical settings[edit]

Invitatory of the 4th tone (transcribed from Worcester antiphonary, 13th century)

The Venite has been used as the invitatory, the opening psalm of daily liturgies, in both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church. In Catholic rites, it used to start Nocturns in the Liturgy of the Hours.[12] After the reforms of the liturgy following the Second Vatican Council, it was placed at before the Office of Readings or Lauds, whichever was said first in a liturgical day. In the Morning Prayer of the Anglican Church, the Venite used to open the service.

"Kommt herbei, singt dem Herrn" is a 1972 hymn in German, a paraphrase of Psalm 95 by Diethard Zils to an Israeli melody.

William Byrd set Psalm 95 as the Venite in his Great Service of around 1600. Thomas Tallis contributed a setting of the psalm as one of nine Tunes for Archbishop Parker's Psalter, a 1567 collection of vernacular psalm settings in a metrical psalter compiled and published for Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury. Heinrich Schütz set the psalm in a metred version in German as part of the Becker Psalter, first published in 1628, "Kommt herzu, laßt uns fröhlich sein", SWV 193. Jean-Joseph de Mondonville set one grand motet "Venite, exultemus" in 1743.

Felix Mendelssohn wrote a setting of the psalm in German, Kommt, laßt uns anbeten und knien von dem Herrn, Op. 46, for three soloists, choir and orchestra in 1842.


  1. ^ Parallel Latin/English Psalter, Psalmus 95 (96). Archived 2017-05-07 at the Wayback Machine Medievalist.
  2. ^ Peterson, David (1994). "Hebrews". In Carson, D. A.; France, R. T.; Motyer, J. A.; Wenham, G. J. (eds.). New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition (4, illustrated, reprint, revised ed.). Inter-Varsity Press. p. 1322. ISBN 9780851106489.. Quote: "...acknowledging David as the writer of Ps. 95, Hebrews insists that the Holy Spirit was the primary author (4:7; 3:7)"
  3. ^ a b Parallel Latin/English Psalter / Psalmus 94 (95) Archived 7 May 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Psalms – Chapter 95". Mechon Mamre.
  5. ^ "Psalms 95 - JPS 1917".
  6. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 308
  7. ^ The Artscroll Tehillim, page 329
  8. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 164
  9. ^ See Siddur Ezor Eliyahu.
  10. ^ The Complete Artscroll Siddur, page 167
  11. ^ Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Vol. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 839. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  12. ^ Leclercq, Henri (1910). "Invitatorium" . Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8.

External links[edit]