Verse 8. Let the floods clap their hands. The rolling rivers, the tidal estuaries, the roaring cataracts, are here summoned to pay their homage, and to clap their hands, as men do when they greet their sovereigns with acclamation.
Let the hills be joyful together, or in concert with the floods. Silent as are the mighty mountains, let them forget themselves, and burst forth into a sublime uproariousness of mirth, such as the poet described when he wrote those vivid lines --
From peak to peak, the rattling crags among,
Leaps the live thunder! Not from one lone 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."
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 8. Let the floods clap their hands. The clapping of the hands being a token of delight and approbation, and the striking or dashing of the water in a river being, for the noise of it, a resemblance of that, the rivers are here said to clap their hands. Henry Hammond.
Verse 8. Though the language be figurative, so far as it gives a voice to the inanimate creation in its various departments, yet, like all the figurative language of Scripture, it expresses a truth -- that which the Apostle has stated without a metaphor in the express revelation that the "creation shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God." And this because the reason of that bondage will no more exist. It is the consequence of sin: but when the world shall be subjected to the righteous rule of its coming King (as predicted in the last verse of this psalm), then earth and all creation shall own its present Lord, and join its tribute of praise to that of Israel and the nations, and the redeemed and glorified chinch. William De Burgh.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 8. The song of the sea, and the hallelujah of the hills.