Introduction to Psalm 98
A Psalm. This is the only psalm throughout the whole book which is so called, without any other additional word, epithet, or inscription. The Targum calls it a psalm of prophecy, or a prophetic psalm, as indeed it is; for it respects time to come, as Jarchi observes, even the Gospel dispensation. Aben Ezra says, perhaps this psalm is concerning the coming of the Redeemer; a doubt need not be made of it, it certainly is. Abendana, a later writer among the Jews, says of the latter part of the psalm, that it figuratively expresses the greatness of the joy that shall be in the days of the Messiah. The Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, ascribe it unto David; but it was not penned by him on account of any victory obtained by him, but as a prophecy of the victories and salvation of the Messiah; nor is it of the same argument with, or a compendium of, the song of Moses at the Red sea, as Grotius thinks; though the inscription of the Syriac version begins thus,
"a Psalm of David, concerning the redemption of the people out of Egypt, when they conquered and triumphed;''
yet it more rightly adds,
"but spiritually a prophecy concerning the coming of Christ, and the calling of the Gentiles unto the faith.''