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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 98

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-9

Psalms 98:1-9.

V. 1. This is called A Psalm; the Septuagint add, ’ of David.’ It very much resembles the ninety-sixth. It especially celebrates, prophetically, the salvation of the Redeemer, by his almighty power accomplishing his holy decrees, notwithstanding the opposition of earth and hell. (Note, Psalms 96:1.) ’ He, by his almighty ’ goodness alone, and incomparable strength, hath wrought ’ salvation for those, who were as unworthy to be helped ’ by him, as they were unable to help themselves.’ Bp. Patrick. The words, rendered " gotten him the victory," are literally, " hath saved for him ; " but in doing this he obtained the most glorious victories : and others still more glorious will at length be acquired ; of which the deliverances and victories of Israel, from their departure out of Egypt to the termination of the Mosaick dispensation, were but faint shadows. (Marg. Ref.)

V. 2. The salvation and righteousness of God are often united in Scripture, as shewing the way of a sinner’s acceptance, " by the righteousness of our God and Saviour, " Jesus Christ : "

(Notes,Psalms 51:14; Psalms 71:13-15; Psalms 85:9-13; Is. 45: 8, 20-25; 51. 4-6; 61. 10, 11. Zechariah 9:9-10. Romans 3:21-26:) and these were made known, to the heathen, in the most publick manner, by the preaching of the apostles. But perhaps the awful, yet righteous vengeance, executed on the Jewish nation for rejecting the gospel, while salvation was thus sent to the gentiles and welcomed by them, was intended. " Behold " therefore the goodness and severity of God : on them " which fell, severity ; but toward thee, goodness ! " (Note, Romans 11:22-24.)

V. 3. ’ In sending the Messiah, God shewed himself ’ mindful of the promises, which " mercy " prompted him ’ to make, and " truth" required him to perform. These ’promises were made to the house of Israel,... and the ’ apostles offered salvation first to the Jews : but to them ’ it was never intended that evangelical blessings should ’ be confined. ...The gospel was accordingly preached to ’ the nations, the apostles made their progress through the ’ world, and " all the ends of the earth saw the salvation ’ of God.". . .Yet once again, let all the " ends of the earth ’ " see thy salvation." ’ Bp. Home.

(Notes, Psalms 22:27-28; Psalms 67:1-7; Psalms 85:10-13; Psalms 89:1-4. Is. 45: 20- 22; 52. 9, 10. Jeremiah 33:14-16. Amos 9:11-12. Micah 7:18-20. Luke 1:67-75; Luke 2:25-32. Acts 13:42-48. Romans 15:8-13.)

V. 4- 6. (Marg. Ref. Notes, Psalms 47:5-7; Psalms 81:15.) ’ The Psalmist... bids the whole earth break forth into joy, ’ and exult in God her Saviour, with every token of gratitude ; . . . with voices, and instruments of all kinds, in per’ feet harmony, with tempers and affections according in ’ like manner, men are enjoined to sound aloud the praises ’ of their great Redeemer.’ Bp Home.

V. 7 -9. (Note, Psalms 96:11-13.) "The floods" and " hills," (or more literally, the rivers and mountains,) are here substituted for " the fields and the trees of the wood " which are mentioned in the ninety-sixth psalm. The different orders of rational creatures in the universe seem to be poetically described under these metaphors, as rejoicing and exulting all at once with every expression of triumph and delight in the reign of the great Messiah. (Notes, 148:) Angels celebrated his birth with glad songs of triumphant praise, and fervent congratulations of man’s felicity. No doubt they triumphed with joyful praise at his ascension. They rejoice over every sinner that repents ; they are his " ministering spirits to the heirs of salvation ; and they will execute his sovereign decisions at the day of judgment ; admiring the equity and rectitude, as well as the truth and mercy, of his whole administration. (Notes, 1 Chronicles 16:32-33. Is. 55. 12, 13.) The passage, as before, is future, and rather a prediction, than an exhortation, though implying both.


The great Redeemer, by " his right hand and his holy " arm," obtained for himself here on earth most glorious victories : by his life, death, and resurrection, he overcame the world, sin, Satan, and death ; and by his triumphant ascension he ’ opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.’ These are the marvellous works of JEHOVAH, Jesus, which demand from us new and perpetual songs of praise. But we are more especially to enquire, whether " his holy arm have gotten him the victory" in our hearts, over the power of Satan, unbelief, and sin. If this be our happy case, we shall soon exchange all profane, light, and sensual strains, for new songs of joy and thanksgiving ; and our lives will harmonize with our lips in celebrating Emmanuel’s praise. To bring sinners to experience this needful change, he has made known his salvation by the preaching of his gospel. " The ministration of condemnation" shews the justice of that sentence, which is denounced against transgressors ; and " the ministration of " righteousness " and " of the Spirit " declares the way, in which sinners may be justified and sanctified before him.

(Note, 2 Corinthians 3:7-11.) Thus " his righteousness " hath he shewed openly," and not by types and shadows, " in the sight of the heathen : " and his ministers are required to use " great plainness of speech," in warning, instructing, and inviting men to partake of these blessings. When the Redeemer came, JEHOVAH remembered the engagements, which his mercy dictated and his truth performed, to the house of Israel : and, blessed be his name, this remote corner " of the earth hath seen the salvation " of our God!" Let then his people in all lands rejoice in their Saviour and King : and let them celebrate his praises, in every way and by every means, which can express how greatly they rejoice and glory in him ; how they welcome him to the throne in their hearts, delight in his pleasant service, and " find rest to their souls " by reliance upon him. As all nature proclaims the Creator’s glory, may all nations speedily resound with the Redeemer’s name, whilst the blessings of his kingdom fill the earth with gladness. Yet sin in its dreadful effects will not be utterly abolished, until the Lord shall " come to judge the world " in righteousness." Then this visible creation will be dissolved ; and his people will enter those " new heavens, " and that new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." " Seeing then we look for such things, let us be diligent, " that we may be found of him in peace, without spot, " and blameless." (Notes, 2 Peter 3:10-16.)

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 98". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsp/psalms-98.html. 1804.
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