A new victory song (Isa 42:10-42:13)

“Sing to Yahweh a new song!

Sing of his praise

From the ends of the earth!

Let the sea roar!

Let all that fills it roar!

Let the coastlands roar!

Let their inhabitants roar!

Let the desert lift up its voice!

Let its towns lift up their voice!

Let the villages that Kedar inhabits

Lift up their voice!

Let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy!

Let them shout

From the top of the mountains!      

Let them give glory to Yahweh!

Let them declare his praise in the coastlands!

Yahweh goes forth

Like a soldier.

Like a warrior,

He stirs up his fury.

He cries out!

He shouts aloud!

He shows himself mighty

Against his foes.”

This section of Second Isaiah is like a hymn, a song, a psalm, a new victory chant to a victorious Yahweh, instead of an admonition directly from him as in the preceding section. They were to sing a new song to Yahweh praising him from the ends of the earth. The seas and everything in it should roar. The coastline with its inhabitants should roar praise for Yahweh. The desert and its towns should roar with praise for Yahweh. Even the Kedar Arab tribe and its villages should lift up their voices. Sela, the capital of Edom, and its inhabitants should also sing for joy. They should all shout from the mountain tops to give glory to the Lord, so that even the coastlands can hear it. The soldier Yahweh was a great furious warrior who cried out and shouted aloud as he showed his might against his enemies. This clearly was a military victory chant because of mighty Yahweh.

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Israelite festival (Ps 149:1-149:5)

“Praise Yahweh!

Sing to Yahweh a new song!

His praise is due

In the assembly of the faithful!

Let Israel be glad in its maker!

Let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!

Let them praise his name with dancing!

Let them make melody to him

With the tambourine!

Let them make melody to him

With the lyre!

Yahweh takes pleasure in his people.

He adorns the humble with victory.

Let the faithful exult in glory!

Let them sing for joy on their couches!”

Psalm 149 begins with the phrase “praise Yahweh,” another way of saying alleluia, the Hebrew “Hallelujah.” There is no introductory title. The Israelites were to sing a new song in the assembly of the faithful. They should be glad because Yahweh is their creator. They should rejoice with their king. They were to dance and play the tambourine and the lyre. Yahweh was pleased with his people. He would give them glory and victory. Thus they can sing with glory from their couches after their victory.

Victory song (Ps 144:9-144:11)

“I will sing a new song to you!

O God!

Upon a ten-stringed harp

I will play to you!

You give victory to kings.

Who rescue his servant David.

Rescue me from the cruel sword!

Deliver me from the hand of aliens!

Their mouths speak lies.

Their right hands are false.”

David was going to sing a new song to God on the 10 stringed harp. He was going to play because of the victory of the kings. God had rescued his servant David. I thought that this was David singing a new song. Instead, there is a reference to David, the servant of God, then a cry to rescue him, as if they were two different people. This psalmist wanted to be rescued from the cruel sword of aliens or strangers. Just like in the preceding verses, these aliens spoke lies and their right hands were false.

Sing about Yahweh’s victory (Ps 98:1-98:3)

A psalm

“O sing to Yahweh a new song!

For he has done marvelous things!

His right hand

Has gotten him victory.

His holy arm

Has gotten him victory.

Yahweh has made known his victory.

He has revealed his vindication

In the sight of the nations.

He has remembered his steadfast love.

He has remembered his faithfulness

To the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen

The victory of our God.”

Psalm 98 has a non-descript title, a psalm, so that it is like Psalm 96. We are called to sing a new song to Yahweh because he has done marvelous things. His right hand and holy arm have provided victories for the Israelites. He has shown his victories, vindication of Israel before all nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen God’s victories.