Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary
<> 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.
Psalm 98:1 we have already read in Psalm 96:1. What follows in Psalm 98:1 is taken from Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 63:5, cf. Psalm 98:7, Psalm 59:16, cf. Psalm 40:10. The primary passage, Isaiah 52:10, shows that the Athnach of Psalm 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 Psalm 106:45, cf. Luke 1:54.
The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
He hath remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel: all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
The call in Psalm 98:4 demands some joyful manifestation of the mouth, which can be done in many ways; in Psalm 98:5 the union of song and the music of stringed instruments, as of the Levites; and in Psalm 98:6 the sound of wind instruments, as of the priests. On Psalm 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.
Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.
Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Here, too, it is all an echo of the earlier language of Psalms and prophets: Psalm 98:7 equals Psalm 96:11; Psalm 98:7 like Psalm 24:1; Psalm 98:8 after Isaiah 55:12 (where we find מחא כּף instead of the otherwise customary תּקע כּף, Psalm 47:2; or הכּה כּף, 2 Kings 11:12, is said of the trees of the field); Psalm 98:9 - Psalm 96:13, cf. Psalm 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.
Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together
Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.