Psalm 33:3
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise.
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(3) A new song.—This expression occurs in Psalm 96:1; Psalm 98:1; Psalm 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; Judith 16:13, and was adopted in Revelation 5:9; Revelation 14:3. The term apparently marked the revival of national psalmody after the Captivity. “Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare . . . Sing unto the Lord a new song” (Isaiah 42:9-10).

Play skilfully with a loud noise.—The latter words represent a Hebrew expression of common hymnic use, describing the full choral effect when instruments and voices were joined in the service of the sanctuary (Psalm 95:1; Psalm 100:1, &c). Some, however, limit it (after Leviticus 25:9) to the trumpet accompaniment, and render—

“Strike the harp deftly for him,

Amid the blare of trumpets.”

33:1-11 Holy joy is the heart and soul of praise, and that is here pressed upon the righteous. Thankful praise is the breath and language of holy joy. Religious songs are proper expressions of thankful praise. Every endowment we possess, should be employed with all our skill and earnestness in God's service. His promises are all wise and good. His word is right, and therefore we are only in the right when we agree with it. His works are all done in truth. He is the righteous Lord, therefore loveth righteousness. What a pity it is that this earth, which is so full of the proofs and instances of God's goodness, should be so empty of his praises; and that of the multitudes who live upon his bounty, there are so few who live to his glory! What the Lord does, he does to purpose; it stands fast. He overrules all the counsels of men, and makes them serve his counsels; even that is fulfilled, which to us is most surprising, the eternal counsel of God, nor can any thing prevent its coming to pass.Sing unto him a new song - A song specially composed for this occasion; expressive of the special feelings suggested by this occasion, or appropriate to this new manifestation of the divine goodness and mercy. Such occasions, exhibiting some new phase of the divine goodness, demanded new language appropriate to them. So now, new hymns of praise, and new tunes in music, are demanded to meet the ever-varying manifestations of the mercy of God; and as the church is extended in the world, its modes of praise must be adapted to the new state of things which will arise. Nothing could be more absurd than to attempt to restrict the church in its praises to the exact words which were used in the time of David, or to the music which was employed then. Compare the notes at Revelation 5:9. The expression "new song" occurs several times in the Psalms, showing that new hymns of praise were composed as adapted to some new manifestation of the goodness of God: Psalm 40:3; Psalm 96:1; Psalm 98:1; Psalm 144:9; Psalm 149:1. Compare also Isaiah 42:10.

Play skillfully with a loud noise - literally, "Do well to play;" or, "do well in playing." That is, do the work well, or with all the skill of music. The word rendered "loud noise," means properly "a shout of joy" or "rejoicing:" Job 8:21; 1 Samuel 4:5. It is especially applied to the sound or clangor of trumpets: Leviticus 25:9; Leviticus 23:24; Numbers 29:1. There is rather the idea of "rejoicing" than of "noise" in the word. The meaning is that the music should be such as would be expressive of the highest joy.

3. a new song—fresh, adapted to the occasion (Ps 40:3; 96:1).

play skilfully—(Compare 1Sa 16:17).

A new song; either,

1. Newly composed. As God gives you fresh occasions, so do not you content yourselves with the old songs or psalms, made by the holy men of God, but make new ones suited to the occasions. But neither had all the righteous, to whom he speaks, Psalm 33:1, the gift of composing songs, nor was it of any necessity or importance that they should make new songs to praise God, at least for the works here mentioned, when there were so many made by David, and other holy prophets, for the use of God’s church and people, when they had any such occasion. Or,

2. Renewed, or repeated, or sung again; in which sense Job saith his glory was new, or fresh in him, Job 29:20, i.e. renewed or continued from day to day; and the command of love is called new, John 13:34, because it was renewed and reinforced by Christ. So this song is here called new, not so much from the matter, as from the singing of it; because it was sung afresh, or again. Sing unto him a new song,.... One newly composed on account of recent mercies received; and as the mercies of God are new every morning, there ought to be a daily song of praise to him; and so a new song is a continual song, as Christ is called the "new and living way", Hebrews 10:20; because he is the everliving way; or the constant and only one, which always was, is, and will be. Or it may denote some famous and excellent song, as a new name is an excellent name, an unknown and unspeakable one; see Revelation 2:17; compared with Revelation 14:2; or respect may be had to the New Testament dispensation, in which old things are passed away, and all things become new; a new covenant is exhibited, a new and living way opened, and new ordinances instituted, and at the end of it there will be new heavens and a new earth; and so here is a new song made mention of, as suited to it;

play skilfully with a loud voice: either with the quill upon the harp, and the instrument of ten strings; or with the fingers upon the psaltery, at the same time, vocally, and aloud, expressing the new song.

Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
3. a new song] Fresh mercies demand a fresh expression of gratitude. See Psalm 40:3; and cp. Psalm 96:1; Psalm 98:1; Psalm 149:1; Isaiah 42:10; Jdt 16:13; Revelation 5:9. Psalm 144:9 reproduces 2 b, and 3 a.

with a loud noise] Referring either to the music itself, or to the accompanying shouts of joy. See note on Psalm 27:6, where the same word is rendered joy in A.V.Verse 3. - Sing unto him a new song (comp. Psalm 40:3; Psalm 96:1; Psalm 98:1; Isaiah 42:10; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 14:3). Not necessarily a song unheard before, but one fresh from the singer's heart. Play skilfully with a loud noise. The loudness of a thanksgiving song was regarded as an indication of its heartiness (comp. Psalm 98:4; Psalm 100:1; Psalm 150:5; and see also 2 Chronicles 20:19; 2 Chronicles 30:21; Ezra 3:11-13; Nehemiah 12:42). It is not Jahve, who here speaks in answer to the words that have been thus far addressed to Him. In this case the person addressed must be the poet, who, however, has already attained the knowledge here treated of. It is he himself who now directly adopts the tone of the teacher (cf. Psalm 34:12). That which David, in Psalm 51:15, promises to do, he here takes in hand, viz., the instruction of sinners in the way of salvation. It is unnecessary to read איעצך instead of איעצה, as Olshausen does; the suffix of אשׂכּילך and אורך (for אורך) avails also for this third verb, to which עליך עיני, equivalent to שׂם עליך עיני (fixing my eye upon thee, i.e., with sympathising love taking an interest in thee), stands in the relation of a subordinate relative clause. The lxx renders it by ἐπιστηριῶ ἐπὶ σὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς μου, so that it takes יעץ, in accordance with its radical signification firmare, as the regens of עיני (I will fix my eye steadfastly upon thee); but for this there is no support in the general usage of the language. The accents give a still different rendering; they apparently make עיני an accus. adverb. (Since אעצה עליך עיני is transformed from איעצה עליך עיני: I will counsel thee with mine eye; but in every other instance, יעץ על means only a hostile determination against any one, e.g., Isaiah 7:5. The form of address, without changing its object, passes over, in Psalm 32:9, into the plural and the expression becomes harsh in perfect keeping with the perverted character which it describes. The sense is on the whole clear: not constrained, but willing obedience is becoming to man, in distinction from an irrational animal which must be led by a bridle drawn through its mouth. The asyndeton clause: like a horse, a mule (פּרד as an animal that is isolated and does not pair; cf. Arab. fard, alone of its kind, single, unlike, the opposite of which is Arab. zawj, a pair, equal number), has nothing remarkable about it, cf. Psalm 35:14; Isaiah 38:14. But it is not clear what עדיו is intended to mean. We might take it in its usual signification "ornament," and render "with bit and bridle, its ornament," and perhaps at once recognise therein an allusion to the senseless servility of the animal, viz., that its ornament is also the means by which it is kept in check, unless עדי, ornament, is perhaps directly equivalent to "harness." Still the rendering of the lxx is to be respected: in camo et fraeno - as Jerome reproduces it - maxilas eorum constringere qui non approximant ad te. If עדי means jaw, mouth or check, then עדיו לבלום is equivalent to ora eorum obturanda sunt (Ges. 132, rem. 1), which the lxx expressed by ἄγξαι, constringe, or following the Cod. Alex., ἄγξις (ἄγξεις), constringes. Like Ewald and Hitzig (on Ezekiel 16:7), we may compare with עדי, the cheek, the Arabic chadd, which, being connected with גּדוּד, a furrow, signifies properly the furrow of the face, i.e., the indented part running downwards from the inner corners of the eyes to both sides of the nose, but then by synecdoche the cheek. If `dyw refers to the mouth or jaws, then it looks as if בּל קרב אליך must be translated: in order that they may not come too near thee, viz., to hurt thee (Targ., Syriac, Rashi, etc.); but this rendering does not produce any point of comparison corresponding to the context of this Psalm. Therefore, it is rather to be rendered: otherwise there is no coming near to thee. This interpretation takes the emphasis of the בל into account, and assumes that, according to a usage of the language that is without further support, one might, for instance, say: בּל לכתּי שׁמּה, "I will never go thither." In Proverbs 23:17, בל also includes within itself the verb to be. So here: by no means an approaching to thee, i.e., there is, if thou dost not bridle them, no approaching or coming near to thee. These words are not addressed to God, but to man, who is obliged to use harsh and forcible means in taming animals, and can only thus keep them under his control and near to him. In the antitype, it is the sinner, who will not come to God, although God only is his help, and who, as David has learned by experience, must first of all endure inward torture, before he comes to a right state of mind. This agonising life of the guilty conscience which the ungodly man leads, is contrasted in Psalm 32:10 with the mercy which encompasses on all sides him, who trusts in God. רבּים, in accordance with the treatment of this adjective as if it were a numeral (vid., Psalm 89:51), is an attributive or adjective placed before its noun. The final clause might be rendered: mercy encompasses him; but the Poel and Psalm 32:7 favour the rendering: with mercy doth He encompass him.
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