Psalm 33:3
Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully 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). Psalm 33:3The call contained in this hexastich is addressed to the righteous and upright, who earnestly seek to live a godly and God-pleasing life, and the sole determining rule of whose conduct is the will and good pleasure of God. These alone know God, whose true nature finds in them a clear mirror; so on their part they are joyfully to confess what they possess in Him. For it is their duty, and at the same time their honour, to praise him, and make their boast in Him. נאוה is the feminine of the adjective נאוה (formed out of נאוי), as in Psalm 147:1, cf. Proverbs 19:10. On כּנּור (lxx κιθάρα, κινύρα) and נבל (lxx ψαλτήριον, νάβλα, ναῦλα, etc.) vid., Introduction @a7II. נבל is the name given to the harp or lyre on account of its resemblance to a skin bottle or flash (root נב, to swell, to be distended), and נבל עשׂור, "harp of the decade,"' is the ten-stringed harp, which is also called absolutely עשׂור, and distinguished from the customary נבל, in Psalm 92:4. By a comparison of the asyndeton expressions in Psalm 35:14, Jeremiah 11:19, Aben-Ezra understands by נבל עשור two instruments, contrary to the tenour of the words. Gecatilia, whom he controverts, is only so far in error as that he refers the ten to holes (נקבים) instead of to strings. The בּ is Beth instrum., just like the expression κιθαρίζειν ἐν κιθάραις, Revelation 14:2. A "new song" is one which, in consequence of some new mighty deeds of God, comes from a new impulse of gratitude in the heart, Psalm 40:4, and frequently in the Psalms, Isaiah 42:10, Judith 6:13, Revelation 5:9. In היטיבוּ the notions of scite and strenue, suaviter and naviter, blend. With בּתרוּעה, referring back to רננו, the call to praise forms, as it were, a circle as it closes.
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