Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Make a joyful noise.—Better, Break out into songs and music.Psalm 98:4-9. Make a joyful noise, &c. — Because you all now partake of the same privileges with the Jews, join with them in worshipping and praising God. Sing unto the Lord with a harp — Here again, as in Psalm 92:3, the worship of the New Testament is described in phrases taken from the rites of the Old. “The psalmist, beholding in spirit the accomplishment of the promises, the advent of Christ, and the glory of his kingdom, thinks it criminal in any creature to be silent: he bids the whole earth break forth into joy, and exult in God her Saviour, with every token of gratitude and thankfulness.” He even calls upon “the inanimate parts of creation to bear their parts in the new song, and to fill up the universal chorus of praise.” He bids the sea roar, as men in triumph make a loud and vehement noise, and the floods to clap their hands, as men do in token of delight and approbation, while the hills, in like manner, resound their joy. Before the Lord, for he cometh, &c. — Here we have “the subject of this general joy, as before in Psalm 96:13, namely, the coming of the Messiah to reform the world, to execute judgment upon the wicked, and to establish a kingdom of righteousness upon the earth. We expect his second advent to restore all things, to judge the world, to condemn his enemies, and to begin his glorious reign. Then shall heaven and earth rejoice, and the joy of the redeemed shall be full.” — Horne. Psalm 95:1.
All the earth - All lands. The event is of sufficient importance to be celebrated by all nations. It is a matter of universal exultation and joy.
Make a loud noise - The word used here - פצח pâtsach - means properly to break in pieces; then, to break forth, as a shout of triumph or joy, as if the joy could be no longer confined or repressed. See the notes at Isaiah 14:7. The word occurs only in the following places (besides that which is before us), in all of which it is rendered "break forth." Isaiah 14:7; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 49:13; Isaiah 52:9; Isaiah 54:1; Isaiah 55:12 - (except in Micah 3:3, where it it is rendered "break"). It is expressive of irrepressible joy.
Rejoice and sing praise - This very combination of the words, "Break forth into joy, sing together" - the same words in Hebrew as here - occurs in Isaiah 52:9, showing, as above remarked, that the psalm was composed after the times of Isaiah, and probably had reference to the same event.
before … King—hail Him as your sovereign; and while, with every aid to demonstrate zeal and joy, intelligent creatures are invited to praise, as in Ps 96:11-13, inanimate nature is also summoned to honor Him who triumphs and rules in righteousness and equity.
5 Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a Psalm.
6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the Lord, the King.
In these three verses we are taught how to praise the Lord.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth." Every tongue must applaud, and that with the vigour which joy of heart alone can arouse to action. As men shout when they welcome a king, so must we. Loud hosannas, full of happiness, must be lifted up. If ever men shout for joy it should be when the Lord comes among them in the proclamation of his gospel reign. John Wesley said to his people, "Sing lustily, and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead or half asleep; but lift up your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of its being heard, than when you sung the songs of Satan." "Make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise;" or "Burst forth, and sing, and play." Let every form of exultation be used, every kind of music pressed into the service till the accumulated praise causes the skies to echo the joyful tumult. There is no fear of our being too hearty in magnifying the God of our salvation, only we must take care that the song comes from the heart, otherwise the music is nothing but a noise in his ears, whether it be caused by human throats, or organ pipes, or far-resounding trumpets. Loud let our hearts ring out the honours of our conquering Saviour; with all our might let us extol the Lord who has vanquished all our enemies, and led our captivity captive. He will do this best who is most in love with Jesus: -
"I've found the pearl of greatest price,
My heart doth sing for joy;
And sing I must, a Christ Ihave,
Oh, what a Christ have!"
"Sing unto the Lord with the harp." Skill in music should not be desecrated to the world's evil mirth, it should aid the private devotions of the saint, and then, like George Herbert, he will sing, -
"My God, my God,
make a loud noise, rejoice, and sing praise; exalt and extend the voice to the highest pitch, in the most musical and melodious strains; this heap of words is used to express the intenseness of mind, vehemency of affection, and strength of spirit and exceeding greatness of joy, with which the Lord should be praised for his great and marvellous works.Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. Shout unto Jehovah, all the earth;
Break forth and sing for joy, yea, make melody.
Salute Jehovah with the gladsome shouts and music and blare of trumpets (Psalm 98:6) and clapping of hands (Psalm 98:8) which are the proper greeting for a king upon his accession. See on Psalm 47:1; Psalm 47:5-8; Psalm 95:1-2; and cp. 1 Samuel 10:24; 1 Kings 1:39; 2 Kings 11:12; 2 Kings 11:14.
Break forth and sing for joy is from Isaiah 52:9 : cp. Psalm 44:23; Psalm 49:13; Psalm 54:1.
4–6. Let all the earth salute its King.Verse 4. - Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth. God is to be praised heartily - with a loud and ringing voice. The body is to unite with the soul in giving him thanks, and to perform its part vigorously and with zeal (comp. Psalm 5:3; Psalm 66:1; Psalm 81:1; Psalm 95:1, 2; Psalm 100:1, etc.). And in the praise of God the whole earth is to join. Make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise; rather, break forth, and sing for joy, and sing praise (see the Revised Version). Psalm 97:12 is equals Psalm 32:11, Psalm 97:12 equals Psalm 30:5, and the promise in Psalm 97:10 is the same as in Psalm 37:28; Psalm 34:21; but as to the rest, particularly Psalm 97:11, this strophe is original. It is an encouraging admonition to fidelity in an age in which an effeminate spirit of looking longingly towards lit. ogling heathenism was rife, and stedfast adherence to Jahve was threatened with loss of life. Those who are faithful in their confession, as in the Maccabaean age (Ἀσιδαῖοι), are called חסדיו. The beautiful figure in Psalm 97:11 is misapprehended by the ancient versions, inasmuch as they read זרח (Psalm 112:4) instead of זרע. זרע does not here signify sown equals strewn into the earth, but strewn along his life's way, so that he, the righteous one, advances step by step in the light. Hitzig rightly compares ki'dnatai ski'dnatai, used of the dawn and of the sun. Of the former Virgil also says, Et jam prima novo spargebat lumine terras.
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