|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
98:1-3 A song of praise for redeeming love is a new song, a mystery hidden from ages and generations. Converts sing a new song, very different from what they had sung. If the grace of God put a new heart into our breasts, it will put a new song into our mouths. Let this new song be sung to the praise of God, in consideration of the wonders he has wrought. The Redeemer has overcome all difficulties in the way of our redemption, and was not discouraged by the services or sufferings appointed him. Let us praise him for the discoveries made to the world of the work of redemption; his salvation and his righteousness fulfilling the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament. In pursuance of this design, God raised up his Son Jesus to be not only a Light to lighten the Gentiles, but the glory of his people Israel. Surely it behoves us to inquire whether his holy arm hath gotten the victory in our hearts, over the power of Satan, unbelief, and sin? If this be our happy case, we shall exchange all light songs of vanity for songs of joy and thanksgiving; our lives will celebrate the Redeemer's praise.
Verse 1. - O sing unto the Lord a new song (comp. Psalm 96, which opens similarly). The faithful and wise steward is ever bringing out of his treasures things which are at once old and "new." For he hath done marvellous things. The "marvellous things" which God has done for man constitute the first ground for praising him. These marvels may be either those of his ordinary providence, or special interpositions and deliverances. His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory; rather, hath wrought salvation for him (see the Revised Version; and comp. Isaiah 59:16; Isaiah 63:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
O sing unto the Lord a new song,.... An excellent one unto the Lord Christ, on account of the great work of redemption and salvation wrought out by him; and because of the new and living way opened by him, and because of the new dispensation of the Gospel, which takes place through him, and for the reasons next mentioned; See Gill on Psalm 96:1,
for he hath done marvellous things; by assuming human nature, in that he, being God, became man, took flesh of a virgin, even pure and uncorrupted, a clean thing out of an unclean; which he took into personal union with himself, and that for the sake of sinful creatures: a most marvellous affair this! which calls for a new song from men, as it had from the angels. In this nature he taught wonderful doctrines, at which his hearers were astonished, wondering from whence he had his wisdom; and in it he did many miraculous works, which filled them with amazement above measure; and especially in it he performed the amazing and surprising work of man's redemption, an instance of the marvellous lovingkindness and astonishing wisdom of God; performed in a manner quite stupendous, through Christ's being made under the law both the precept and penalty of it; through his being made sin and a curse for men, even for the ungodly, sinners and enemies; a redemption which is of the souls of men from sin, Satan, and the law; a complete and plenteous one, which includes and secures all the blessings of grace and glory, justification, pardon, adoption, and eternal life. To which may be added the resurrection of himself from the dead, his ascension to heaven, the effusion of the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit on the apostles, the wonderful success of the Gospel in the Gentile world, the support of his interest against all the powers on earth, the destruction of the man of sin, the calling of the Jews, and the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles in the latter day; all which marvellous events require a new song of praise: another reason of which follows:
his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory: over sin, Satan, the world, death, and hell, in which he has made his people sharers, yea, more than conquerors; and therefore may well sing the new triumphant song to him: the words may be rendered, "hath brought salvation to him" (b); as in Isaiah 59:16; to him personally, he raising himself from the dead, as a triumphant Conqueror; to him mystically, his body the church, to whom he is the author of salvation; or to him, that is, to his Father, in obedience to whose will he wrought out salvation for his people, and for the honour of his name, and for the glorifying of his perfections. This was done by him alone, by his right hand of power, by the mighty arm of his strength, and which no mere creature could ever have performed: and this he did in a way of holiness; his holy arm did it in a way that maintains and secures the glory of divine holiness and justice.
(b) "salutem attulit ei", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; so Tigurine version, Munster, Cocceius, Gejerus, Michaelis.
The Treasury of David
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.
2 The Lord hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.
3 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.
"O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things." We had a new song before (Psalm 96:1-13) because the Lord was coming, but now we have another new song because he has come, and seen and conquered. Jesus, our King, has lived a marvellous life, died a marvellous death, risen by a marvellous resurrection, and ascended marvellously into heaven. By his divine power he has sent forth the Holy Spirit doing marvels, and by that sacred energy his disciples have also wrought marvellous things and astonished all the earth. Idols have fallen, superstitions have withered, systems of error have fled, and empires of cruelty have perished. For all this he deserves the highest praise. His acts have proved his Deity, Jesus is Jehovah, and therefore we sing unto him as the Lord. "His right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory"; not by the aid of others, but by his own unweaponed hand his marvellous conquests have been achieved. Sin, death, and hell fell beneath his solitary prowess, and the idols and the errors of mankind have been overthrown and smitten by his hand alone. The victories of Jesus among men are all the more wonderful because they are accomplished by means to all appearance most inadequate; they are due not to physical but to moral power - the energy of goodness, justice, truth; in a word, to the power of his holy arm. His holy influence has been the sole cause of success. Jesus never stoops to use policy, or brute force; his unsullied perfections secure to him a real and lasting victory over all the powers of evil, and that victory will be gained as dexterously and easily as when a warrior strikes his adversary with his right hand and stretches him prone upon the earth. Glory be unto the Conqueror, let new songs be chanted to his praise. Stirred by contemplating his triumphs, our pen could not forbear to praise him in the following hymn:
Forth to the battle rides our King;
He climbs his conquering car;
He fits his arrows to the string,
And smites his foes afar.
Convictions pierce the stoutest hearts,
They bleed, they faint, they die;
Slain by Immanuel's well-aimed darts,
In helpless heaps they lie.
Behold, he bares his two-edged sword,
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 98:1-9. In view of the wonders of grace and righteousness displayed in God's salvation, the whole creation is invited to unite in praise.
1. gotten … victory—literally, "made salvation," enabled Him to save His people.
right hand, and … arm—denote power.
holy arm—or, "arm of holiness," the power of His united moral perfections (Ps 22:3; 32:11).
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