Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 96:11.
“Listen! the mighty Being is awake
And doth with His eternal motion make
A sound like thunder everlastingly.”
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.
8 Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills be joyful together
9 Before the Lord; for he cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.
"Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof" Even its thunders will not be too grand for such a theme. Handel, in some of his sublime choruses, would have been glad of its aid to express his lofty conceptions, and assuredly the inspired Psalmist did well to call in such infinite uproar. The sea is his, let it praise its Maker. Within and upon its bosom it bears a wealth of goodness, why should it be denied a place in the orchestra of nature? Its deep bass will excellently suit the mystery of the divine glory. "The world, and they that dwell therein." The land should be in harmony with the ocean. Its mountains and plains, cities and villages, should prolong the voice of jubilee which welcomes the Lord of all. Nothing can be more sublime than this verse; the muses of Parnassus cannot rival the muse of Zion, the Castalian fount never sparkled like that "fount of every blessing" to which sacred bards are wont to ascribe their inspiration. Yet no song is equal to the majesty of the theme when Jehovah, the King, is to be extolled.
"Let the floods clap their hands." The rolling rivers, the tidal estuaries, the roaring cataracts, are here summoned to pay their homage, and to clap their hands, as men do when they greet their sovereigns with acclamation. "Let the hills be joyful together," or in concert with the floods. Silent as are the mighty mountains, let them forget themselves, and burst forth into a sublime uproariousness of mirth, such as the poet described when he wrote those vivid lines -
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lane cloud,
But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, who car to her aloud."
continued...The fulness thereof; all those creatures wherewith it is replenished, which by a poetical strain are invited to praise God. See Poole "Psalm 96:11", See Poole "Psalm 96:12", See Poole "Psalm 96:13". Psalm 96:11,
the world, and they that dwell therein; men, the inhabitants of the world; that is, let them rejoice because this glorious King has taken to himself his great power, and reigns, Revelation 11:15.Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. Let the sea thunder, as Psalm 96:11 b.
the world &c.] From Psalm 24:1.
7–9. Let universal Nature swell the chorus of rejoicing.Verse 7. - Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof (see above, Psalm 96:11, where the same phrase occurs). The call on the inanimate things of nature to rejoice is grounded on man's sympathy with nature, which makes him desire, and half believe, that nature may sympathize with him. The world, and they that dwell therein (comp. Psalm 24:1). Psalm 98:1 we have already read in Psalm 96:1. What follows in Psalm 98:1 is taken from Isaiah 52:10; Isaiah 63:5, cf. Psalm 98:7, Psalm 59:16, cf. Psalm 40:10. The primary passage, Isaiah 52:10, shows that the Athnach of Psalm 98:2 is correctly placed. לעיני is the opposite of hearsay (cf. Arab. l-l-‛yn, from one's own observation, opp. Arab. l-l-chbr, from the narrative of another person). The dative לבית ישראל depends upon ויּזכּר, according to Psalm 106:45, cf. Luke 1:54.
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