Psalm 98:2
The LORD has made known his salvation: his righteousness has he openly showed in the sight of the heathen.
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Psalm 98:2-3. The Lord hath made known his salvation — The redemption of the world by the Messiah; which was hitherto reserved as a secret among the Jews, yea, was not thoroughly known by most of the Jews themselves. His righteousness hath he openly showed — Either his faithfulness in accomplishing this great promise of sending the Messiah; or his goodness and mercy, often termed his righteousness, or God’s method of justifying sinners, and making them righteous through faith in Christ, continually called the righteousness of God in the New Testament. He hath remembered his mercy and his truth — He hath now actually given that mercy which he had promised to the Israelites. All the ends of the earth — All its inhabitants, from one end to another; have seen the salvation of our God — It has been published, and plainly discovered to them, not in types and shadows, as under the law, but written as with a sun-beam, and exhibited openly, that he who runs may read it.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.The Lord hath made known his salvation - See the notes at Isaiah 52:10. This does not mean that he had merely "proclaimed" his salvation, or his willingness to save, but that he had shown his salvation - his power to save - by some public act. What the particular act referred to here was, it is impossible now to ascertain. Such acts, however, have been often performed, as when he delivered his people out of Egypt; when he restored the Hebrews from the Babylonian captivity; and whenever he interposed in their behalf in times of danger. He has done it also in the gift of a Saviour; he does it in every revival of true religion; he does it in the salvation of a single sinner.

His righteousness - His righteous character; his faithfulness to his people. Whenever he interposes, it is in behalf of that which is right; and such interposition, therefore, is an illustration of his character as just. It is in this way we learn that his character is that of a just God.

Hath he openly showed - Margin, as in Hebrew, "revealed." He has disclosed it, or made it manifest.

In the sight of the heathen - The nations; or, so that the nations could see it: that is, the nations outside of Pa estine. His acts were so public - so remarkable - that surrounding nations could learn what was his true character. Thus it was when he delivered his people from Egyptian bondage; and thus also frequently in the history of his people.

2. salvation—the result of His righteousness (Ps 7:17; 31:1), and both are publicly displayed. His salvation; the redemption or salvation of the world by the Messias; which was hitherto reserved as a secret among the Jews, yea, was not thoroughly known and believed by the most of the Jews themselves.

His righteousness; either his faithfulness in accomplishing this great promise of sending the Messias; or his goodness and mercy, oft called by this Hebrew word; or the righteousness of God or of Christ revealed in the gospel. The Lord hath made known his salvation,.... Which was appointed him, he undertook, came to perform, and has effected; this, though wrought out, is unknown to men, especially to the Gentile world, who had no prophecy, promise, or revelation of the Messiah, and salvation by him; but now this is made known in the everlasting Gospel, called therefore the Gospel of salvation, and by the ministers of it; and, besides this, the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, and his salvation, is given to some; whereby they come to know their need of it, the suitableness of it to their case, the necessity of going to Christ for it, and their special and particular interest in it; and such have a new song put into their mouths, and are under great obligation to sing it:

his righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the Heathen; either the faithfulness of God in fulfilling his promises, particularly in raising up the Saviour Jesus; or the goodness of God to his people, and the strictness of his justice on their surety; goodness towards them, and severity on him, when he spared them and not him, turned his hand of grace and mercy on them, when he awoke the sword of justice against him; or rather his own righteousness, by which he fulfilled the law in the room and stead of his people; and which being brought in is revealed in the gospel, from faith to faith; and that "openly", not in dark shadows, types, and figures; but it is to be seen with open face in the clear glass of the Gospel; and is held up and forth in the ministration of it unto the Gentiles, whom God justifies through faith in it, as well as the believing Jews; see Romans 3:30.

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

(c) For the deliverance of his Church.

2. Jehovah hath made known his salvation:

In the sight of the nations hath he revealed his righteousness.

Cp. Isaiah 56:1. The juxtaposition of salvation and righteousness is characteristic of Isaiah 40-66. The deliverance of Israel is the outcome and the visible manifestation of Jehovah’s faithfulness to His covenant. Cp. Psalm 71:15.Verse 2. - The Lord hath made known his salvation; i.e. "has manifested his power to save." The psalmist looks back upon the deliverance of ver. 9, as though it were accomplished. His righteousness hath he openly showed in the sight of the heathen. God has vindicated in the eyes of all the nations upon earth the righteousness of his rule over mankind. When the glory of Jahve becomes manifest, everything that is opposed to it will be punished and consumed by its light. Those who serve idols will become conscious of their delusion with shame and terror, Isaiah 42:17; Jeremiah 10:14. The superhuman powers (lxx ἄγγελοι), deified by the heathen, then bow down to Him who alone is Elohim in absolute personality. השׁתּחווּ is not imperative (lxx, Syriac), for as a command this clause would be abrupt and inconsequential, but the perfect of that which actually takes place. The quotation in Hebrews 1:6 is taken from Deuteronomy 32:43, lxx. In Psalm 97:8 (after Psalm 48:12) the survey of the poet again comes back to his own nation. When Zion hears that Jahve has appeared, and all the world and all the powers bow down to Him, she rejoices; for it is in fact her God whose kingship has come to the acknowledge. And all the daughter-churches of the Jewish land exult together with the mother-church over the salvation which dawns through judgments.
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