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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 98

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament CommentaryKeil & Delitzsch


Greeting to Him Who Is Become Known in Righteousness and Salvation

This is the only Psalm which is inscribed מזמור without further addition, whence it is called in B. Aboda Zara, 24 b, מזמורא יתומא (the orphan Psalm). The Peshîto Syriac inscribes it De redemtione populi ex Aegypto ; the “new song,” however, is not the song of Moses, but the counterpart of this, cf. Revelation 15:3. There “the Lord reigneth” resounded for the first time, at the sea; here the completion of the beginning there commenced is sung, viz., the final glory of the divine kingdom, which through judgment breaks through to its full reality. The beginning and end are taken from Psalms 96:1-13. Almost all that lies between is taken from the second part of Isaiah. This book of consolation for the exiles is become as it were a Castalian spring for the religious lyric.

Verses 1-3

Psalms 98:1 we have already read in Psalms 96:1. What follows in Psalms 98:1 is taken from Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 63:5, cf. Psalms 98:7, Psalms 59:16, cf. Psalms 40:10. The primary passage, Isaiah 52:10, shows that the Athnach of Psalms 98:2 is correctly placed. לעיני is the opposite of hearsay (cf. Arab. l - l - ‛yn , from one's own observation, opp. Arab. l - l - chbr , from the narrative of another person). The dative לבית ישראל depends upon ויּזכּר , according to Psalms 106:45, cf. Luke 1:54.

Verses 4-6

The call in Psalms 98:4 demands some joyful manifestation of the mouth, which can be done in many ways; in Psalms 98:5 the union of song and the music of stringed instruments, as of the Levites; and in Psalms 98:6 the sound of wind instruments, as of the priests. On Psalms 98:4 cf. Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 52:9, together with Isaiah 14:7 (inasmuch as פּצחוּ ורננוּ is equivalent to פּצחוּ רנּה ). קול זמרה is found also in Isaiah 51:3.

Verses 7-9

Here, too, it is all an echo of the earlier language of Psalms and prophets: Psalms 98:7 = Psalms 96:11; Psalms 98:7 like Psalms 24:1; Psalms 98:8 after Isaiah 55:12 (where we find מחא כּף instead of the otherwise customary תּקע כּף , Psalms 47:2; or הכּה כּף , 2 Kings 11:12, is said of the trees of the field); Psalms 98:9 - Psalms 96:13, cf. Psalms 36:10. In the bringing in of nature to participate in the joy of mankind, the clapping rivers ( נהרות ) are original to this Psalm: the rivers cast up high waves, which flow into one another like clapping hands;

(Note: Luther renders: “the water-floods exult” ( frohlocken ); and Eychman's Vocabularius predicantium explains plaudere by “to exult ( frohlocken ) for joy, to smite the hands together prae gaudio ;” cf. Luther's version of Ezekiel 21:17.)

cf. Habakkuk 3:10, where the abyss of the sea lifts up its hands on high, i.e., causes its waves to run mountain-high.

Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Psalms 98". Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kdo/psalms-98.html. 1854-1889.
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