Psalm 98:7-9

Psalm 98:7-9
Narrative Lectionary 135

Let the seaA roarB and all that fillsC it,
    the worldD and those who liveE in it.

Notes on verse 7

A “sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
B “roar” = raam. 13x in OT. From raam (thunder). This is to trouble, be agitated, irritated, angered. It is used specifically for a peal of thunder.
C “fills” = melo. From male (fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate; fill in a literal or figurative sense). This is fullness in a literal or figurative sense.
D “world” = tebel. From yabal (to lead, bring, carry, conduct; properly, to flow; to bring or lead with fanfare). This is world, confusion, inhabited part of the earth, but also used for the whole world.
E “live” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.

Let the floodsF clapG their hands;H

Notes on verse 8a

F “floods” = nahar. From nahar (to flow, sparkle, be cheerful). This is a stream, river, or flood. Particularly used for the Nile or Euphrates. Figuratively, this can mean prosperity.
G “clap” = macha. 3x in OT. This is to clap or rub one’s hands in celebration.
H “hands” = kaph. From kaphaph (to bend – from a root meaning curve or bend down). This is palm of the hand or sole of the foot, footstep, grasp. Figuratively, it can also mean power.

    let the hillsI sing togetherJ for joyK

Notes on verse 8b

I “hills” = har. From harar (hill or mountain). This is mountain, hill, hilly region.
J “together” = yachad. From yachad (to join, be united). This is a unit, both, altogether, unitedness, alike.
K “sing…for joy” = ranan. This is a cry of joy or a joyful song. Properly, it is emitting a shrill sound, especially one of joy.

at the presenceL of the Lord,M for he is comingN
    to judgeO the earth.P

Notes on verse 9a

L “presence” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
M “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
N “coming” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
O “judge” = shaphat. This is to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, or govern. It can refer to God judging or to human judges. This is pronouncing a verdict in favor or against so it implies consequences or punishment. It can also mean to litigate or govern as one with authority.
P “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.

He will judge the world with righteousnessQ
    and the peoplesR with equity.S

Notes on verse 9b

Q “righteousness” = tsedeq. This is rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity.
R “peoples” = am. From amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together). This is people or nation. It can be used specifically for a tribe, collectively of troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals.
S “equity” = meshar. 19x in OT. From yashar (to be straight, right, even, agreeable). This is evenness, straightness, prosperity, or uprightness.

Image credit: “wave-sea-water-ocean-splash-nature” by Mambo NumberFive, 2015.

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