Bible Book List
Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 1–3
Verses 1–3

We are here called upon again to sing unto the Lord a new song, as before, Ps. 96:1. “Sing a most excellent song, the best song you have.” Let the song of Christ’s love be like Solomon’s on that subject, a song of songs. A song of praise for redeeming love is a new song, such a song as had not been sung before; for this is a mystery which was hidden from ages and generations. Converts sing a new song, very different from what they had sung; they change their wonder and change their joy, and therefore change their note. If the grace of God put a new heart into our breasts, it will therewith put a new song into our mouths. In the new Jerusalem there will be new songs sung, that will be new to eternity, and never wax old. Let this new song be sung to the praise of God, in consideration of these four things:—

I. The wonders he has wrought: He has done marvellous things, Ps. 98:1. Note, The work of our salvation by Christ is a work of wonder. If we take a view of all the steps of it from the contrivance of it, and the counsels of God concerning it before all time, to the consummation of it, and its everlasting consequences when time shall be no more, we shall say, God has in it done marvellous things; it is all his doing and it is marvellous in our eyes. The more it is known the more it will be admired.

II. The conquests he has won: His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him the victory. Our Redeemer has surmounted all the difficulties that lay in the way of our redemption, has broken through them all, and was not discouraged by the services or sufferings appointed him. He has subdued all the enemies that opposed it, has gotten the victory over Satan, disarmed him, and cast him out of his strong-holds, has spoiled principalities and powers (Col. 2:15), has taken the prey from the mighty (Isa. 49:24), and given death his death’s wound. He has gotten a clear and complete victory, not only for himself, but for us also, for we through him are more than conquerors. He got this victory by his own power; there was none to help, none to uphold, none that durst venture into the service; but his right hand and his holy arm, which are always stretched out with good success, because they are never stretched out but in a good cause, these have gotten him the victory, have brought him relief or deliverance. God’s power and faithfulness, called here his right hand and his holy arm, brought relief to the Lord Jesus, in raising him from the dead, and exalting him personally to the right hand of God; so Dr. Hammond.

III. The discoveries he has made to the world of the work of redemption. What he has wrought for us he has revealed to us, and both by his Son; the gospel-revelation is that on which the gospel-kingdom is founded—the word which God sent, Acts 10:36. The opening of the sealed book is that which is to be celebrated with songs of praise (Rev. 5:8), because by it was brought to light the mystery which had long been hid in God. Observe, 1. The subject of this discovery—his salvation and his righteousness, Ps. 98:3. Righteousness and salvation are often put together; as Isa. 61:10; Isa. 46:13; 51:5, 6, 8. Salvation denotes the redemption itself, and righteousness the way in which it was wrought, by the righteousness of Christ. Or the salvation includes all our gospel-privileges and the righteousness all our gospel-duties; both are made known, for God has joined them together, and we must not separate them. Or righteousness is here put for the way of our justification by Christ, which is revealed in the gospel to be by faith, Rom. 1:17. 2. The plainness of this discovery. He has openly shown it, not in types and figures as under the law, but it is written as with a sunbeam, that he that runs may read it. Ministers are appointed to preach it with all plainness of speech. 3. The extent of this discovery. It is made in the sight of the heathen, and not of the Jews only: All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God; for to the Gentiles was the word of salvation sent.

IV. The accomplishment of the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament, in this (Ps. 98:3): He has remembered his mercy and his truth towards the house of Israel. God had mercy in store for the seed of Abraham, and had given them many and great assurances of the kindness he designed them in the latter days; and it was in pursuance of all those that he raised up his Son Jesus to be not only a light to lighten the Gentiles, but the glory of his people Israel; for he sent him, in the first place, to bless them. God is said, in sending Christ, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember the holy covenant, Luke 1:72. It was in consideration of that, and not of their merit.