Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
This psalm plainly belongs to that cycle of literature produced by the joy of the Restoration, and is in fact little more than a compilation from Isaiah 40, 26, and from other psalms, especially Psalms 96. The psalm is irregular in form.
Title.—This is the only hymn of the whole collection with the bare inscription “a psalm.”
A Psalm. O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.(1) Victory.—The word more commonly rendered “salvation,” as, indeed, in next verse.
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.(4) Make a joyful noise.—Better, Break out into songs and music.
Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.(5) Sing . . .—Rather, Play to Jehovah on a harp. on a harp, and with melodious sound of music.
With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.(6) Trumpets . . . cornet.—(See Numbers 10:2; Exodus 19:16; and Bible Educator, ii. 231, 232.) This is the only place in the psalm where the chatsotsereh, or “straight trumpet” is mentioned.
Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.(7) See Psalm 96:11.
“Listen! the mighty Being is awake
And doth with His eternal motion make
A sound like thunder everlastingly.”
Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together(8) Clap their hands.—This expression, descriptive of the lapping sound of waves, occurs also in Isaiah 55:12.
Let the hills be joyful together.—
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
Leaps the live thunder! Not from one long cloud,
But every mountain now hath found a tongue,
And Jura answers through her misty shroud
Back to the joyous Alps who call to her aloud.”
BYRON: Childe Harold, canto iii.
Before the LORD; for he cometh to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity.(9) See Psalm 96:13.