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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Psalms 75

Verse 1

Psalms 75:1 « To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm [or] Song of Asaph. » Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, [unto thee] do we give thanks: for [that] thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

To the chief Musician, Al-taschith ] That is, Destroy not; the Chaldee paraphraseth, In the time when David said, Destroy not the people. The psalm seemeth to have been made either by Asaph in David’s name, or by David himself (and by him committed to Asaph), at such time as the difference depending between him and Ishbosheth, many were slain on both sides. This drew from David an Al-taschith, not long before he was anointed king over all Israel. 2 Samuel 5:1-5

Ver. 1. Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks ] Heb. We celebrate thee, O God, we celebrate thee; viz. both for mercies and crosses sanctified; for these also are to be reckoned upon the score of God’s favours.

For that thy name is near ] Nomen, id est numen, Thy name, that is, thyself, art near, ad liberandum invocantem, as Aben Ezra expoundeth it, to deliver those that call upon thee.

Verse 2

Psa 75:2 When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.

Ver. 2. When I shall receive the congregation ] i.e. The government of all the twelve tribes, as I believe I shall do shortly, according to God’s promise to me by Samuel.

I will judge uprightly ] That a man is in truth, that he is in his own particular place and station, that he is really, that he is relatively.

Verse 3

Psa 75:3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.

Ver. 3. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved ] Both Church and commonwealth here are utterly out of order; I shall endeavour mine utmost to set all to rights, and so to preserve the world from ruin, which subsisteth by and for the sake of God’s Israel, Absque stationibus non staret mundus.

I bear up the pillars of it ] Semen sanctum statumen terrae, Isaiah 6:13 , The holy seed upholdeth the state. David did (as Lucan saith of Cato), toti genitum se credere mundo; Jesus Christ much more; he is the true Atlas, upholding all things by the word of his power, Hebrews 1:3 .

Verse 4

Psa 75:4 I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:

Ver. 4. I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly ] Boast not yourselves so proudly and petulantly, but submit to God’s decree, and my government; how much more to Christ’s!

Lift not up the horn ] Metaphora a tauris cornupetis.

Verse 5

Psa 75:5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak [not with] a stiff neck.

Ver. 5. Lift not up your horn on high ] Against the high God; so Tremellius rendereth it.

Speak not with a stiff neck ] Some render it, with an old neck; let old things pass, and now speak with a new and humble throat. Hard words and stout speeches, uttered from a mind vehemently moved out of its place (as the word here used importeth), shall be one day dearly answered for, Judges 1:15 .

Verse 6

Psa 75:6 For promotion [cometh] neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.

Ver. 6. For promotion cometh neither from the east ] Dignitatis nullum est emporium. Ambitionists used to look this way and that way how to advance themselves, but all in vain. Hispanis monarchia Catholica debetur divinitus, sed in Utopia, saith one.

Nor from the south ] Where the warm sunshine is.

Verse 7

Psa 75:7 But God [is] the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

Ver. 7. But God is the judge ] He sitteth at the stern, and ordereth all human affairs according to the good pleasure of his will.

He putteth down one, and setteth up another ] As was seen in Saul and David, in the four great monarchies, in Bajazet and Tamerlane, besides many others. Virtue exalteth the meanest, when villany tumbleth down the mightiest. Agathocles, the son of a potter, became king of Sicily. Valentinian, the son of a rope maker, became emperor of Rome. Justinus was first a swine herder, then a herdsman, then a carpenter, a soldier, and after all, an emperor. If Alexander, to show his greatness, advanced Abdolominus from a poor gardener to be king in Sidon, what cannot the Lord do? Tamerlane having overcome Bajazet, asked him whether ever he had given God thanks for making him so great an emperor? who confessed ingenuously he never thought of it. To whom Tamerlane replied, that it was no wonder so ungrateful a man should be made a spectacle of misery. For you, said he, being blind of one eye, and I lame of a leg, was there any worth in us why God should set us over two great empires of Turks and Tartars, to command many more worthy than ourselves?

Verse 8

Psa 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD [there is] a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring [them] out, [and] drink [them].

Ver. 8. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup ] A cup of affliction, whereof all must drink, more or less. The Chaldee calleth it a cup of curse. Affliction is in itself a fruit of sin and a piece of the curse.

And the wine is red ] And so more powerful and piercing, Proverbs 23:31-32 . That is an affliction, and grievous, that God maketh to be so.

It is full of mixture ] i.e. Ready prepared, as Pro 9:1-18 : 2 Kings 14:10 , or mingled with spices, to make the wine more hot and inebriating, Vinum aromaticum.

And he poureth out of the same ] The saints sip of the top only, they drink illud solum quod est suavius et limpidius, the sweeter and clearer part of God’s cup. Excellently Mr Bradford, martyr, in a certain letter of his, Drink, saith he, of God’s cup willingly, and at the first, when it is fullest; peradventure if we linger, we drink at length of the dregs with the wicked, if at the beginning we drink not with God’s children (Acts and Mon. fol. 1487).

But the dregs thereof ] The full vials of Divine vengeance.

All the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them ] They shall drink them every drop, yea, though it be eternity to the bottom. This shall be worse to them than was that ladlefull of scalding lead poured down the throat of a drunken man, by the command of a Turkish bashaw.

Verse 9

Psa 75:9 But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

Ver. 9. But I will declare for ever ] viz. God’s great goodness in mine advancement to the kingdom, and the rest of those wonderful works, Psalms 75:1 .

I will sing praises, &c. ] This thankful man was worth his weight in the gold of Ophir.

Verse 10

Psa 75:10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; [but] the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Ver. 10. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off ] By promising the due administration of vindictive and remunerative justice, he seeks to insinuate into the people’s affections, who, after Isbosheth’s death, came in to make him king.

But the horns of the righteous shall be exalted ] Dignity shall wait upon desert, which shall cause it again to be waited upon by respect. Thus it should be in the courts of all princes. In Cyrus’s court, though a man should seek or choose blindfold, he could not miss of a good man, saith Xenophon (Cyropaed. l. 8).

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 75". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.