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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Psalms 98

 

 

Verse 1

O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

Psalms 98:1-9.-Introduction. Praise Yahweh in a new song; because He has done marvels, showing before the pagan His righteousness in behalf of Israel, whereby all the earth sees His salvation (Psalms 98:1-3). This praise is to be rendered with psalms and instrumental music (Psalms 98:4-6); and this by the world's inhabitants, before Yahweh, who is coming to judge in equity (Psalms 98:7-9).

A Psalm - Mizmowr (Hebrew #4210) (cf. Psalms 3:1-8 title, note). This is the only psalm which has this word without addition. It must therefore be here not in the general sense, but the special-namely, the lyrical song accompanying the prophetic psalm, Psalms 97:1-12. Compare the Hebrew cognate forms in Psalms 98:5.

O sing unto the Lord a new song - from Psalms 96:1. The theme is the same as that of Psalms 96:1-13 and Psalms 97:1-12 - namely, the coming of the Lord to the earth as the victorious Saviour, King, and Judge. The stand-point is ideal-namely, the anticipated time of the manifested salvation and kingdom of Yahweh-Messiah, when first the "new song" will be fully appropriate.

His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory - (Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 59:16; Isaiah 63:5, which have a partial realization in Messiah's first advent, and their complete realization in His second.) 'The arm of the Lord' is put in contradistinction to ordinary means, as the instrument whereby He brings perfect salvation to Zion, literal and spiritual. 'Ordinary means, although they do not derogate from the power of, God, in some measure like a veil, hide His face' (Calvin). Compare Isaiah 40:10; Isaiah 51:9. The epithet "holy" implies the awful and infinite elevation by which His power is lifted above all creature-powers.


Verse 2-3

The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

The Lord hath made known his salvation ... all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God - (Isaiah 52:10.) His righteousness (Psalms 97:6) - corresponding to His "truth" or faithfulness (Psalms 98:3; Romans 15:8-9). Salvation to His people is the effect of His righteousness (cf. Isaiah 45:17; Isaiah 45:24-25).

Verse 3. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel - (Isaiah 63:7.) So the Virgin's song, Luke 1:54-55; Luke 1:72.

The salvation of our God is first to be manifested to Israel, and through Israel to "all the ends of the earth".

All the ends of the earth. So it was in the case of the elect Church at Messiah's first coming (Luke 24:47). So it shall be in the case of the world-wide Church, of which Zion shall be the center, at His second coming (Isaiah 2:2-3).


Verses 4-6

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

-How Yahweh is to be praised by all the earth-namely, with all means in men's power-vocal and instrumental music.

Verse 4. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth - (Psalms 66:1, written in the time of Hezekiah.) Yahweh here is substituted for 'Elohiym (Hebrew #430) there. Also Psalms 47:1-2.

Make a loud noise, and rejoice - literally, 'break forth and be jubilant.' A favorite expression in the probably contemporary prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 14:7; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 54:1). Isaiah, however, may have at a later date drawn this expression, as well as others, from this group of psalms, which, from their similarity to Psalms 47:1-9 and Psalms 48:1-14, seem to belong to the same period-namely, the reign of Jehoshaphat, when the Lord gave such a blow to the confederate world-powers-a time in which praise-songs were the precursors of victory.

Verse 5. Sing - (Psalms 47:6.)

With ... the voice of a psalm - or, as the Hebrew is cognate to that for "sing," 'with the voice of a song' (Isaiah 51:3, "the voice of melody" or song): the same Hebrew as here [ zimraah (Hebrew #2172)], cognate to mizmowr (Hebrew #4210), "a psalm" or song, in the title.

Verse 6. Before the Lord, the King - before Him who has now taken visibly to Him His power and kingdom over the whole earth (Isaiah 6:5; Psalms 97:1; Revelation 11:15; Revelation 11:17).


Verses 7-9

Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

-As in the preceding strophe the intensity of the joy at the Lord's coming is set forth, so in this strophe its extent. All the world and its inhabitants are to be joyful together.

Verse 7. Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof - (Psalms 96:11, end.) The sea, in solemn, measured rear, is to peal its deep-toned welcome to its Lord.

The world, and they that dwell therein - Psalms 24:1.)

Verse 8. Let the floods clap their hands. Clapping of hands was the customary mode of expressing joy at the accession of a king (2 Kings 11:12; Psalms 47:1; Isaiah 55:12). Man's modes of praise are here attributed to dumb nature, because man is the conscious interpreter and high priest of the unconscious worship of nature.

Verse 9. For he cometh to judge the earth - the cause for joy. The Lord, by His righteous rule as King and judge, will bring the earth from under the misery of the curse into a state of peace, joy, and blessedness; (Psalms 96:13; Isaiah 11:1.)

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 98:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/psalms-98.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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