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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 75

Verse 1

Psalms 75:0.

The prophet praiseth God: he promiseth to judge uprightly: he rebuketh the proud by the consideration of God's providence: he praiseth God, and promiseth to execute justice.

To the chief musician, Al-taschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.

Title שׁיר ףּלאס מזמור תשׁחת אל למנצח lamnatseach al tashchith mizmor leasaph shiir. This psalm is thought, by Bishop Patrick and others, to have been composed on account of the great deliverance of Jerusalem from the numerous and formidable army of Sennacherib, in the time of Hezekiah. The Syriac title asserts, that it treats of Christ and the future judgment. Hence Symmachus calls this psalm, "A triumphal Song concerning Immortality;" which Theodoret supports, by observing, that it contains a prediction of the punishment of the wicked, and the reward of the good.

Verse 2

Psalms 75:2. When I shall receive, &c.— When I find the appointed time, I execute righteous judgment; Mudge: who observes, that this and the following verse contain the words of God, in answer to the first verse: that now the time was come for him to do justice, and therefore the earth melted before him. This it might well do, as he had first set up the pillars of it; for so the last clause of the third verse should be rendered. It stood firmly only by his order, and therefore must be dissolved whenever he pleases.

Verse 4

Psalms 75:4. I said unto the fools, &c.— I gave notice to wild impious fools, behave not impiously. These, to the ninth verse, are the author's words, in consequence of God's declaration; in which he gives fair notice to impious persons to beware of insolence, and not to attribute success to random causes, or forces coming from this or that quarter, but to God; who, in the proper time, will do justice to all the world, out of that cup which he held in his hand; and they might depend upon it, that he would oblige the wicked to drink the very dregs of it. Mudge.

Verse 6

Psalms 75:6. For promotion, &c.— For exaltation is not from the east nor west, nor from the wilderness; Psa 75:7 but God is judge: he humbleth one, and exalteth another. Mudge. Dr. Delaney thinks, that this refers to the situation of the tabernacle in the marches of the Israelites; when three of the tribes were to the east of it, three to the west, three to the north, and three to the south. And he apprehends that the prophet's design is, to inform them, that their exaltation proceeded neither from the people, nor from their own merits, but from God, the center and source of power; and therefore they should be humbled in his presence. Houbigant, after the Syriac, gives the passage a very different turn, and, supposing it addressed to the impious men spoken of above, he renders it, For neither will there be any means of escape from the west, or the desart of mountains. See his note.

Verse 8

Psalms 75:8. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red And the wine is in a ferment. Hiller, 328. Is unmixed: Green; who renders the next clause, He filleth it up to the brim, and poureth out of the same. It is not improbable, that the wine here mentioned may allude to the stupifying and intoxicating liquor, which was given to criminals before their execution, either to hasten their death, or to lessen their sense of the pains they were to suffer; for it was a mixture of poisonous and stupifying herbs infused in wine. See Matthew 27:34.; Psalms 60:3. If we suppose some such intoxicating wine to have been in use at the time this psalm was written, it will account for the mixture here spoken of; a circumstance otherwise difficult to explain.

Verse 9

Psalms 75:9. But I will declare for ever But as for me, I will exult for ever. See Bishop Hare and Mudge. As for his part, the author declares he would always exult, and celebrate the glory of the God of Jacob; whose minister he should be, to humble the wicked, and to exalt the righteous. This shews the author of the psalm either to have been the prince, or some one in his person.

REFLECTIONS. The psalm opens,

1. With repeated and fervent thanksgivings for God's great mercies received; and may be considered as the language of the church adoring God for the gift of his Son, who, in his incarnation, was brought near unto us, and whose miracles, and wondrous works of redemption, declared his power and grace. Note; (1.) Praise is ever our bounden duty on every review of God's mercies towards us. (2.) Every faithful believer experiences wondrous instances of God's nearness to help him out of dangers, from which he could not escape, and to bring him to the enjoyment of mercies above his expectations.

2. The Psalmist promises, that his administration should be just and upright. And, when the great congregation of God's people shall be gathered unto Christ in the day of his appearing and glory, then shall righteous judgment proceed against the ungodly. Note; (1.) Magistrates are accountable to God from whom they receive their authority, and their decisions must be without partiality. (2.) They who have the honour of office, must remember the conscientious discharge of the burden thereto annexed.

3. He undertakes to support and restore, through the divine blessing, the weak and distracted state of Israel. Note; (1.) Disunion and faction hasten a kingdom to destruction. (2.) One true patriot has often saved a nation. But this more emphatically appertains to Christ, who, when the world, with all its inhabitants, by sin was dissolved, and ready to be swallowed up in misery, bore up the pillars of it, and by his redemption renewed the face of the earth.

4. He rebukes the folly as well as wickedness of those who opposed his government. Though they exerted all their power against him, with a stiff neck refused to bend, and proudly spoke against his administration, it was all in vain; and therefore he admonishes them to submit, lest they should feel the weight of his arm. Many are the enemies from earth and hell that oppose the kingdom of Jesus; but it shall rise superior to all opposition; the anti-Christian horns shall be broken; and the sinners, who have spoken hard speeches against him, be silenced in eternal destruction. Note; It is folly to oppose where resistance is vain, and madness where ruin must be the consequence; yet thus foolishly and madly do sinners plunge their souls into eternal perdition, and will not have this Jesus to reign over them.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 75". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.