Psalms – Chapter 98

With One Hand Tied Behind His Back

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Another Psalm of Moses. Sing a new song to G-d because of His wonders. He brought about the original redemption from Egypt using just one metaphorical “hand.” He will bring about the redemption in Messianic times in the sight of all. He will recall the kindness with which He treated the Forefathers and His promise to redeem their descendants. All the nations of the world will witness it.

The author encourages all the inhabitants of the world to sing to G-d in the era of universal peace. They should play all sorts of instruments in His honor. Even the sea will sing His praises, as will the rivers and the mountains. They will all praise G-d when He comes to judge the nations of the world in fairness.

It might seem strange that this Psalm says the mountains will be among those who praise G-d, while the previous Psalm says the mountains will melt like wax before His might. The matter is one of context. Mountains are a common metaphor for mighty rulers. If they insist on placing their trust in their own strength, they will ultimately be shamed and melt like wax. If they subordinate themselves to G-d, they will join with the other nations in praising Him.

This Psalm continues the Friday night Kabbalos Shabbos service.

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