Attention!
Take your personal ministry to the Next Level by helping StudyLight build churches and supporting pastors in Uganda.
Click here to join the effort!

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 75:6

For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Pride;   Promotion;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Providence of God, the;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Exaltation;   Leadership;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Asaph;   Music and Musical Instruments;   Priests and Levites;   Psalms;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Psalms the book of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Outgoing;   Psalms, Book of;   Song;   South;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 26;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse Psalms 75:6. For promotion cometh neither from the east, c. — As if the Lord had said, speaking to the Babylonians, None of all the surrounding powers shall be able to help you none shall pluck you out of my hand. I am the Judge: I will pull you down, and set my afflicted people up, Psalms 75:7.

Calmet has observed that the Babylonians had Media, Armenia, and Mesopotamia on the EAST; and thence came Darius the Mede: that it had Arabia, Phoenicia, and Egypt on the WEST; thence came Cyrus, who overthrew the empire of the Chaldeans. And by the mountains of the desert, מדבר הרים midbar harim, which we translate SOUTH, Persia, may be meant; which government was established on the ruins of the Babylonish empire. No help came from any of those powers to the sinful Babylonians; they were obliged to drink the cup of the red wine of God's judgment, even to the very dregs. They were to receive no other punishment; this one was to annihilate them as a people for ever.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-75.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Psalms 75-76 Exalting God, not self

In a psalm designed for use in public worship, the congregation begins by thanking God for all his mighty deeds (75:1). A singer representing God replies that even when conditions in the world look hopeless, God is still in control. He will intervene when he sees fit (2-3). Therefore, the wicked should not be proud or stubborn like an ox that struggles against its master (4-5). The only exaltation that matters is that which comes from God. The opinions of people mean nothing (6-7). Punishment also comes from God, and the wicked will drink his cup of anger to the last drop (8).
The leader of the congregation then responds on the people’s behalf. He gives the assurance that they will always remain loyal to their God and will cooperate with him in doing good and opposing evil (9-10).
In the next psalm God is again praised, this time for some great deliverance in saving Jerusalem from an enemy (76:1-3). His glory, majesty and power are seen in the decisive way he crushed the enemy (4-6). The one who defends Jerusalem is also Lord of the universe. Nothing can stand before him. His power is absolute in the heavens and on the earth (7-9).
Angry rebellion against God is turned into a source of praise to him, for his triumph brings glory to his name. Since God will be glorified whether people submit or rebel, they will do well to bring glory to him willingly by offering true and humble worship (10-12).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/psalms-75.html. 2005.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For promotion - The word used here in the original, and rendered “promotion” - הרים hariym - is susceptible of two quite different significations. According to one - that which is adopted by our translators - it is the infinitive (Hiphil) of רום rûm, “to raise” - the word used in Psalms 75:5-6, and there rendered “lift up.” Thus it would mean, that to “lift up” is not the work of people, or is not originated by the earth - does not originate from any part of it, east, west, or south, but must come from God alone. According to the other view, this word is the plural of הר har, “mountain,” and would mean that something - (something understood - as “judgment”) - comes not “from the east, nor the west, nor from the desert of mountains,” the mountainous regions of the south, but must come from God. The Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, and the ancient versions generally, adopt the latter interpretation. De Wette renders it as our translators have done. This interpretation - rendering it promotions - seems to be the true one, for in the two previous verses this was the prominent idea - a caution against attempting to “lift themselves up,” or to exalt themselves, and in this and the following verse a reason is given for this caution, to wit, that the whole question about success or prosperity depends not on anything here below; not on any natural advantages of situation, or on any human skill or power; but on God alone. It was in vain, in regard to such an object, to form human alliances, or to depend on natural advantages; and therefore people should not depend on these things, but only on God.

Neither from the east - literally, from the outgoing; that is, of the sun. The meaning may either be that success would not depend on any natural advantages of country furnished in the East; or that the persons referred to were seeking to form alliances with an Eastern people, and then the statement would be that no such alliances would of themselves secure success.

Nor from the west - The setting; that is, the place where the sun goes down. This also may refer either to the natural advantages of a Western country, or to some alliance which it was intended to form with the people there.

Nor from the south - Margin, as in Hebrew, “desert.” The reference is to the rocky and barren regions south of Palestine, and the allusion here also may be either to some natural advantages of those regions, or to some alliance which it was proposed to form.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-75.html. 1870.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

6. For exaltations come neither from the east nor from the west. (258) The prophet here furnishes an admirable remedy for correcting pride, when he teaches us that promotion or advancement proceeds not from the earth but from God alone. That which most frequently blinds the eyes of men is, their gazing about on the right hand and on the left, and their gathering together from all quarters riches and other resources, that, strengthened with these, they may be able to gratify their desires and lusts. The prophet, therefore, affirms, that in not rising above the world, they are laboring under a great mistake, since it is God alone who has the power to exalt and to abase. “This,” it may be said, “seems to be at variance with common experience, it being the fact, that the majority of men who attain to the highest degrees of honor, owe their elevation either to their own policy and underhand dealing, or to popular favor and partiality, or to other means of an earthly kind. What is brought forward as the reason of this assertion, God is judge, seems also to be unsatisfactory.” I answer, that although many attain to exalted stations either by unlawful arts, or by the aid of worldly instrumentality, yet that does not happen by chance; such persons being advanced to their elevated position by the secret purpose of God, that forthwith he may scatter them like refuse or chaff. The prophet does not simply attribute judgment to God. He also defines what kind of judgment it is, affirming it to consist in this, that, casting down one man and elevating another to dignity, he orders the affairs of the human race as seemeth good in his sight. I have stated that the consideration of this is the means by which haughty spirits are most effectually humbled; for the reason why worldly men have the daring to attempt whatever comes into their minds is, because they conceive of God as shut up in heaven, and think not that they are kept under restraint by his secret providence. In short, they would divest him of all sovereign power, that they might find a free and an unimpeded course for the gratification of their lusts. To teach us then, with all moderation and humility, to remain contented with our own condition, the Psalmist clearly defines in what the judgment of God, or the order which he observes in the government of the world, consists, telling us that it belongs to him alone to exalt or to abase those of mankind whom he pleases.

From this it follows that all those who, spreading the wings of their vanity, aspire after any kind of exaltation, without any regard to or dependence upon God, are chargeable with robbing him as much as in them lies of his prerogative and power. This is very apparent, not only from their frantic counsels, but also from the blasphemous boastings in which they indulge, saying, Who shall hinder me? What shall withstand me? as if, forsooth! it were not an easy matter for God, with his nod alone, suddenly to cast a thousand obstacles in their way, with which to render ineffectual all their efforts. As worldly men by their fool-hardihood and perverse devices are chargeable with endeavoring to despoil God of his royal dignity, so whenever we are dismayed at their threatenings, we are guilty of wickedly setting limits to the sovereignty and power of God. If, whenever we hear the wind blowing with any degree of violence, (259) we are as much frightened as if we were stricken with a thunderbolt from heaven, such extreme readiness to be thrown into a state of consternation manifestly shows that we do not as yet thoroughly understand the nature of that government which God exercises over the world. We would, no doubt, be ashamed to rob him of the title of judge; yea, there is almost no individual who would not shrink with horror at the thought of so great a blasphemy; and yet, when our natural understanding has extorted from us the confession that he is the judge and the supreme ruler of the world, we conceive of him as holding only a kind of inactive sovereignty, which I know not how to characterise, as if he did not govern mankind by his power and wisdom. But the man who believes it to be an established principle that God disposes of all men as seemeth good in his sight, and shapes to every man his condition in this world, will not stop at earthly means: he will look above and beyond these to God. The improvement which should be made of this doctrine is, that the godly should submit themselves wholly to God, and beware of being lifted up with vain confidence. When they see the impious waxing proud, let them not hesitate to despise their foolish and infatuated presumption. Again, although God has in his own hand sovereign power and authority, so that he can do whatever he pleases, yet he, is styled judge, to teach us that he governs the affairs of mankind with the most perfect equity. Whence it follows, that every man who abstains from inflicting injuries and committing deeds of mischief, may, when he is injured and treated unjustly, betake himself to the judgment-seat of God.

(258) “ For promotion, etc. The meaning is, the fortunes of men are not governed by planetary influences, but by God’s overruling Providence. The Eastern nations of the world always were, and are at this day, much addicted to judicial astrology.” — Warner.

(259) “ Si tost que nous oyons le vent de quelque esmotion.” — Fr.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-75.html. 1840-57.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Psalms 75:1-10

Psalms 75:1-10 :

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly ( Psalms 75:1-2 ).

This is, of course, God answering now.

The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it ( Psalms 75:3 ).

And so many times in the psalms, we find God's response to the cry of the psalmist. And it is always a beautiful thing when God responds directly to the prayer, to the cry. This happens in many psalms. Psalms 32:1-11 , Psalms 75:1-10 , Psalms 91:1-16 , where God Himself responds.

I said to the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: and he puts down one, and sets up another ( Psalms 75:4-7 ).

This to me shows the folly of our endeavor to promote ourselves, or to promote our own efforts, or even to promote the program of God. So many churches have promotional programs. I was in that trap for years. In fact, we were sharing with some pastors in Portland this week, as I was asked to speak at a conference up there. And I had breakfast with some pastors and this one pastor was telling me, we were talking about contests and giveaways and gimmicks and all to get people to church. And he was telling me how this one pastor that pastored the church prior to his moving there advertised that they were going to give a baby chick to everyone that came to church on Easter Sunday morning. And so they brought the chicks there the night before, and they said when came into the church it smelled like a barn on Easter Sunday. And there was one lady whose husband was unsaved, and they had been praying for this man for years. But he was just bitter and stubborn and hard, and he just wouldn't go to church. But finally, this Easter Sunday he consented to go to church. And, of course, everybody was rejoicing and praising the Lord that her husband finally consented to go to church. So the next week when the pastor saw this lady, he said, "Well, how did your husband enjoy the service?" And she said, "Oh pastor, when we came up to the door, they were having so much problem passing the chicks out, someone asked him if he wouldn't help pass out chicks. And so he never did get into the service. He spent the whole time passing out chicks."

How tragic when we try to promote God, or to promote the work of God, or even try to promote ourselves. God said, "Promotion doesn't come from east, the west, from the south, God is the judge. He is the one that raises up and he is the one that puts down." And oh, that we would learn to just let the Lord do the promotion if He so desires. That we would not try to promote ourselves or the work of God.

For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he pours out the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted ( Psalms 75:8-10 ).

God's cup of wrath, the wine is red. In the book of Revelation we read also of that wine cup of God's wrath in chapter 14, where we read, "The third angel followed them saying with a loud voice, 'If any man worship the beast, his image, receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb." That wine of the fierceness of God's wrath that is to be poured out upon the earth. And so referred to here in the psalm, and also made mention of in the Revelation. "





Copyright Statement
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/psalms-75.html. 2014.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Psalms 75

This communal thanksgiving psalm anticipated a victory in Israel when God as Judge would destroy the wicked and establish the righteous (cf. 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Luke 1:46-53).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-75.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

These verses call the wicked to repent. The writer said they should stop boasting and acting proudly, as an animal does that defiantly wields its horn against a foe. The wicked refuse to bow before God, as an ox tossing its neck refuses the yoke. No help from any direction will deliver the ungodly when God judges them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-75.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

2. God’s character as Judge 75:4-8

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/psalms-75.html. 2012.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. It is not from men, from themselves, or others, or from any quarter under the heavens, but from God; it is he that raises men to high places, and sets them there, which are often slippery ones: by him kings reign; they have their crowns and sceptres, thrones and kingdoms from him; there is no power but what is of God; riches and honour come of him, and he can take them away when he pleases; and therefore men should not be proud, haughty, and arrogant: some take these words to be the words of the fools and wicked, when they speak with a stiff neck, either as triumphing over the Messiah, his ministers, cause, and interest, reading the words thus, "neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south, shall there be a lifting up" s, or an exaltation; that is, of Christ and his people, they are low, and shall never rise more; but in this they are mistaken; though now the Son of God is trampled under foot in his person and offices, there is a day coming when the Lord, and he alone, shall be exalted; though his ministers and witnesses prophesy in sackcloth, and shall be slain and lie unburied, yet they will arise again and ascend to heaven, to the great terror and astonishment of those their enemies; though Jacob is small, and it is said, by whom shall he arise? yet he shall become, great and numerous; the mountain of the Lord's house, the church, shall be established upon the top of the mountains, and exalted above the hills; and this enlargement of Christ's kingdom and interest shall be east, west, north, and south; or else as flattering themselves that no evil shall come to them from any quarter: "neither from the east, nor from the west, nor, from the desert of the mountains" t, cometh evil; meaning to themselves, looking upon themselves as secure, and putting the evil day far from them: but there will be an awful and righteous judgment; there is a Judge ordained, a day appointed, in which the world will be judged in righteousness, and destruction and ruin will come upon the ungodly, and at a time when they are crying Peace, peace; nor shall they escape; and so the Syriac version renders the words, "for there is no escape from the west, nor from the desert of the mountains"; taking the word הרים, not to signify "promotion, elevation", or "a lifting up", as Kimchi and others, whom we follow: but Moatanus and R. Aba observe that the word always signifies "mountains" but in this place: the Targum is,

"for there is none besides me from the east to the west, nor from the north of the wildernesses, and from the south, the place of the mountains;''

no Messiah to be expected from any quarter; see Matthew 24:23, no God besides him, nor any other Saviour, Isaiah 44:6 nor any other Judge, as follows.

s הרים "exaltatio", Tigurine version, Junius Tremellius, Piscator. t "Neque a desertis montibus", V. L. "neque a deserto montium", Cocceius "neque a deserto Australi montium", Michaelis.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-75.html. 1999.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

God's Government of the World.

      6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.   7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.   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.   9 But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.   10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

      In these verses we have two great doctrines laid down and two good inferences drawn from them, for the confirmation of what he had before said.

      I. Here are two great truths laid down concerning God's government of the world, which we ought to mix faith with, both pertinent to the occasion:--

      1. That from God alone kings receive their power (Psalms 75:6; Psalms 75:7), and therefore to God alone David would give the praise of his advancement; having his power from God he would use it for him, and therefore those were fools that lifted up the horn against him. We see strange revolutions in states and kingdoms, and are surprised at the sudden disgrace of some and elevation of others; we are all full of such changes, when they happen; but here we are directed to look at the author of them, and are taught where the original of power is, and whence promotion comes. Whence comes preferment to kingdoms, to the sovereignty of them? And whence come preferments in kingdoms, to places of power and trust in them? The former depends not upon the will of the people, nor the latter on the will of the prince, but both on the will of God, who has all hearts in his hands; to him therefore those must look who are in pursuit of preferment, and then they begin aright. We are here told, (1.) Negatively, which way we are not to look for the fountain of power: Promotion comes not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert, that is, neither from the desert on the north of Jerusalem nor from that on the south; so that the fair gale of preferment is not to be expected to blow from any point of the compass, but only from above, directly thence. Men cannot gain promotion either by the wisdom or wealth of the children of the east, nor by the numerous forces of the isles of the Gentiles, that lay westward, nor those of Egypt or Arabia, that lay south; no concurring smiles of second causes will raise men to preferment without the first cause. The learned bishop Lloyd (Serm. in loc.) gives this gloss upon it: "All men took the original of power to be from heaven, but from whom there many knew not; the eastern nations, who were generally given to astrology, took it to come from their stars, especially the sun, their god. No, says David, it comes neither from the east nor from the west, neither from the rising nor from the setting of such a planet, or such a constellation, nor from the south, nor from the exaltation of the sun or any star in the mid-heaven." He mentions not the north, because none supposed it to come thence; or because the same word that signifies the north signifies the secret place, and from the secret of God's counsel it does come, or from the oracle in Zion, which lay on the north side of Jerusalem. Note, No wind is so good as to blow promotion, but as he directs who has the winds in his fists. (2.) Positively: God is the judge, the governor or umpire. When parties contend for the prize, he puts down one and sets up another as he sees fit, so as to serve his own purposes and bring to pass his own counsels. Herein he acts by prerogative, and is not accountable to us for any of these matters; nor is it any damage, danger, or disgrace that he, who is infinitely wise, holy, and good, has an arbitrary and despotic power to set up and put down whom, and when, and how he pleases. This is a good reason why magistrates should rule for God as those that must give account to him, because it is by him that kings reign.

      2. That from God alone all must receive their doom (Psalms 75:8; Psalms 75:8): In the hand of the Lord there is a cup, which he puts into the hands of the children of men, a cup of providence, mixed up (as he thinks fit) of many ingredients, a cup of affliction. The sufferings of Christ are called a cup,Matthew 20:22; John 18:11. The judgments of God upon sinners are the cup of the Lord's right hand,Habakkuk 2:16. The wine is red, denoting the wrath of God, which is infused into the judgments executed on sinners, and is the wormwood and the gall in the affliction and the misery. It is read as fire, red as blood, for it burns, it kills. It is full of mixture, prepared in wisdom, so as to answer the end. There are mixtures of mercy and grace in the cup of affliction when it is put into the hands of God's own people, mixtures of the curse when it is put into the hands of the wicked; it is wine mingled with gall. These vials, (1.) Are poured out upon all; see Revelation 15:7; Revelation 16:1; where we read of the angels pouring out the vials of God's wrath upon the earth. Some drops of this wrath may light on good people; when God's judgments are abroad, they have their share in common calamities; but, (2.) The dregs of the cup are reserved for the wicked. The calamity itself is but the vehicle into which the wrath and curse is infused, the top of which has little of the infusion; but the sediment is pure wrath, and that shall fall to the share of sinners; they have the dregs of the cup now in the terrors of conscience, and hereafter in the torments of hell. They shall wring them out, that not a drop of the wrath may be left behind, and they shall drink them, for the curse shall enter into their bowels like water and like oil into their bones. The cup of the Lord's indignation will be to them a cup of trembling, everlasting trembling, Revelation 14:10. The wicked man's cup, while he prospers in the world, is full of mixture, but the worst is at the bottom. The wicked are reserved unto the day of judgment.

      II. Here are two good practical inferences drawn from these great truths, and they are the same purposes of duty that he began the psalm with. This being so, 1. He will praise God, and give him glory, for the power to which he has advanced him (Psalms 75:9; Psalms 75:9): I will declare for ever that which thy wondrous works declare,Psalms 75:1; Psalms 75:1. He will praise God for his elevation, not only at first, while the mercy was fresh, but for ever, so long as he lives. The exaltation of the Son of David will be the subject of the saints' everlasting praises. He will give glory to God, not only as his God, but as the God of Jacob, knowing it was for Jacob his servant's sake, and because he loved his people Israel, that he made him king over them. 2. He will use the power with which he is entrusted for the great ends for which it was put into his hands, Psalms 75:10; Psalms 75:10, as before, Psalms 75:2; Psalms 75:4. According to the duty of the higher powers, (1.) He resolves to be a terror to evildoers, to humble their pride and break their power: "Though not all the heads, yet all the horns, of the wicked will I cut off, with which they push their poor neighbours; I will disable them to do mischief." Thus God promises to raise up carpenters who should fray the horns of the Gentiles that had scattered Judah and Israel,Zechariah 1:18-21. (2.) He resolves to be a protection and praise to those that do well: The horns of the righteous shall be exalted; they shall be preferred and be put into places of power; and those that are good, and have hearts to do good, shall not want ability and opportunity for it. This agrees with David's resolutions, Psalms 101:3, &c. Herein David was a type of Christ, who with the breath of his mouth shall slay the wicked, but shall exalt with honour the horn of the righteous,Psalms 112:9.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/psalms-75.html. 1706.