Psalm 75:2
When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.
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(2) When I.—Rather, When I have chosen my time, I will judge uprightly. This sense: “my time” being shown by the emphatic “I” of the Hebrew. (Comp. Acts 17:31.) The word rendered in the Authorised Version “congregation” (moed), has plainly here its first derivative sense of a set time, or “occasion.” (Comp. Psalm 102:13; Habakkuk 2:3.) So LXX. and Vulg. here; but Symmachus gives “synagogue.”

It is quite clear that the speaker of these words is God Himself, who suddenly, as in Psalm 46:10, breaks in with the announcement of judgment. But how far the Divine utterance extends in the psalm is not quite clear. Some end it with Psalm 75:3; others with Psalm 75:5.

Psalm 75:2. When I shall receive the congregation — The first verse was spoken by many persons, We give thanks, &c.; here the speaker is one, and that one is plainly a ruler, who promises that when he shall have received the congregation, or, as מועדmay be properly rendered, an appointed, or fit time, or season; that is, when he shall be established in power and authority, at a fit time and place, he will judge uprightly, and introduce a thorough reformation into a kingdom which, as the following verse makes manifest, stood greatly in need of it. From these circumstances Dr. Horne, with several other commentators, thinks it probable “David is speaking here of his advancement to the throne of Israel, and the intended rectitude of his administration when he should be settled thereon.”75:1-5 We often pray for mercy, when in pursuit of it; and shall we only once or twice give thanks, when we obtain it? God shows that he is nigh to us in what we call upon him for. Public trusts are to be managed uprightly. This may well be applied to Christ and his government. Man's sin threatened to destroy the whole creation; but Christ saved the world from utter ruin. He who is made of God to us wisdom, bids us be wise. To the proud, daring sinners he says, Boast not of your power, persist not in contempt. All the present hopes and future happiness of the human race spring from the Son of God.When I shall receive the congregation - The marginal rendering is, "Take a set time." The phrase is thus rendered in most of the versions. So the Septuagint, "When I take the time" - ὅταν λάβω καιρὸν hotan labō kairon. So the Vulgate, "When I accept the time." So Luther, "When in its own time." So De Wette, "When I take the time." According to this interpretation, this is the language of God, as if implying that, although "the earth" was then "dissolved," or although disorders were allowed to exist, yet he would take a set time, or take the appointed time for judgment, and would pronounce a sentence on the conduct of people, and deal with them in a righteous manner, punishing the rebellious, and vindicating his own cause. The proper interpretation of the passage turns on the meaning of the Hebrew word rendered in the text "congregation" - מועד mô‛êd. See the word explained in the notes at Psalm 74:8. It may mean a set time, an appointed season, 1 Samuel 13:8, 1 Samuel 13:11; or a coming together, an assembly, Job 30:23; or a place of assemblage, as the tabernacle, etc.; Exodus 27:21; Exodus 40:22; Psalm 74:8. It may, therefore, be applied to the congregation of the Jewish people - the nation considered as an assemblage for the worship of God; and the idea of taking this, or receiving this, may be applied to the act of assuming authority or sovereignty over the people, and hence, the language may be used to denote the entrance on the discharge of the duties of such sovereignty. The language would be ap plicable to one who had the right of such an elevation to power - a prince - an heir apparent - in a time when his right was disputed; when there was an organized opposition to him; or when the nation was in a state of anarchy and confusion. It seems to me that this supposition best accords with the proper meaning of the language, and with the scope of the psalm.

I will judge uprightly - I will put down all this opposition to law. I will deal with exact justice between man and man. I will restore order, and the supremacy of law, to the state. The language, therefore, according to this interpretation, is not the language of God, but that of a prince having a right to the throne, and about to ascend it in a time of great misrule and disorder.

2, 3. These verses express the purpose of God to administer a just government, and in a time of anarchy that He sustains the nation. Some apply the words to the Psalmist.

receive the congregation—literally, "take a set time" (Ps 102:13; Ho 2:3), or an assembly at a set time—that is, for judging.

2 When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.

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

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

5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.

Psalm 75:2

"When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly." This is generally believed to be the voice of God, who will, when he accepts his people, mount his judgment seat and avenge their cause in righteousness. It is rendered by some, "I will take a set time;" and by others, "I will seize the moment."

"God never is before his time,

He never is too late."

He determines the period of interposition, and when that arrives swift are his blows and sure are his deliverances. God sends no delegated judge, but sits himself upon the throne. O Lord, let thy set time come for grace. Tarry no longer, but for the truth and the throne of Jesus be thou speedily at work. Let the appointed assize come, O Jesus, and sit thou on thy throne to judge the world in equity.

Psalm 75:3

"The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved." When anarchy is abroad, and tyrants are in power, everything is unloosed, dissolution threatens all things, the solid mountains of government melt as wax; but even then the Lord upholds and sustains the right. "I bear up the pillars of it." Hence, there is no real cause for fear. While the pillars stand, and stand they must for God upholds them, the house will brave out the storm in the day of the Lord's appearing a general melting will take place, but in that day our covenant God will be the sure support of our confidence.

"How can I sink with such a prop

As my eternal God,

Who bears the earth's huge pillars up,


When I shall receive the congregation, to wit, the whole congregation, or body of thy people, to wit, all the tribes; which are now distracted and disordered by a civil war, which is a great hinderance to the administration of justice. Or, when I shall receive or obtain the appointment, i.e. what God hath appointed and promised to me, to wit, the full and firm possession of the kingdom; or, the time or place appointed by God for that work. Some make these and the following passages the words of God concerning his church or people; which seems not probable; partly because he speaks of God in the third person, as one distinct from him that speaks these words, Psalm 75:7,8; and partly because it is evident that one and the same person speaks from hence to the end of the Psalm, and the ninth verse cannot be spoken by God.

I will judge uprightly; I will not use my power tyrannically and wickedly, as Saul did, and as most other princes do; but holily and righteously, for the good of my people. When I shall receive the congregation,.... Some render it, from the Arabic signification of the word, "the promise" (o); the Spirit promised, the gifts of the Spirit, which Christ received for men, and gave to men, whereby he executes the judgment or government of the church committed to him: others the time, so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Ethiopic, Syriac, and Arabic versions, to which agrees the Targum, the word signifying a set appointed time, Psalm 102:14, and so may respect the time appointed for the judgment of the world, which when come, Christ will execute in a most righteous manner, as follows; see Acts 17:31, but whereas the people of Israel met at the door of the tabernacle, which from thence was called "Ohel Moed", the tabernacle of the congregation; hence the word is used for a congregation, and here designs the general assembly and church of the firstborn written in heaven, even all the elect of God; these were received by Christ of his Father in eternity, when he espoused them to himself, and undertook the care of them; and they are received by him, one by one, in effectual calling; and in like manner are they received by him into glory at death; but when they are all gathered in, and are prepared for him as a bride for her husband, then will he receive them all in a body, and present them to himself a glorious church during the thousand years' reign; upon which will proceed the judgment of the wicked; see Revelation 20:5,

I will judge uprightly; in equity, in strict justice, in the most righteous manner, rendering to every man according to his works; hence the future judgment is called a righteous one, and so is the Judge; no injustice will be done to men, but the strictest integrity, uprightness, and impartiality, will be observed in pronouncing the several sentences on the righteous and on the wicked, and in adjudging them to their several places and states.

(o) "promissa", Schultens animadv. p. 174. "festi dona", Gusset. p. 334.

{c} When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.

(c) When I see my time (says God) to help your miseries, I will come and set all things in good order.

2. When I reach the appointed time,

I Judge uprightly.

The ‘appointed time’ (Psalm 102:13; Habakkuk 2:3; Acts 17:31) is the proper moment foreordained in the Divine counsels and known to God. The intervention of Jehovah at the moment when the Assyrians are ripe for judgement is a favourite thought with Isaiah (Isaiah 10:32-33; Isaiah 18:4-5).

The second I is emphatic: I, whatever men may do; I, whatever men may think.

2, 3. God speaks, as in Psalm 46:10, and His words are virtually an answer to men’s thoughts. Men may have thought that He had abdicated His function as Judge of all the earth: not so: He was only waiting for the fitting moment for action.Verse 2. - When I shall receive the congregation; rather, when I shall have appointed a set time. It is agreed that the speaker, in this verse and the next, is God, who announces that he is about to descend in judgment. This, however, he will do "at his own set time," for which men must wait patiently (comp. Habakkuk 2:3). I will judge uprightly; or, "with uprightness" (comp. Psalm 58:1). The poet, after he has thus consoled himself by the contemplation of the power of God which He has displayed for His people's good as their Redeemer, and for the good of the whole of mankind as the Creator, rises anew to prayer, but all the more cheerfully and boldly. Since ever present facts of creation have been referred to just now, and the historical mighty deeds of God only further back, זאת refers rather forwards to the blaspheming of the enemies which He suffers now to go on unpunished, as though He took no cognizance of it. חרף has Pasek after it in order to separate the word, which signifies reviling, from the most holy Name. The epithet עם־נבל reminds one of Deuteronomy 32:21. In Psalm 74:19 according to the accents חיּת is the absolute state (the primary form of חיּה, vid., on Psalm 61:1): give not over, abandon not to the wild beast (beasts), the soul of Thy turtle-dove. This is probably correct, since לחיּת נפשׁ, "to the eager wild beast," this inversion of the well-known expression נפשׁ חיּה, which on the contrary yields the sense of vita animae, is an improbable and exampleless expression. If נפשׁ were intended to be thus understood, the poet might have written אל־תתן לנפשׁ חיּה תורך, "give not Thy turtle-dove over to the desire of the wild beast." Hupfeld thinks that the "old, stupid reading" may be set right at one stroke, inasmuch as he reads אל תתן לנפש חית תורך, and renders it "give not to rage the life Thy turtle-dove;" but where is any support to be found for this לנפשׁ, "to rage," or rather (Psychology, S. 202; tr. p. 239) "to eager desire?" The word cannot signify this in such an isolated position. Israel, which is also compared to a dove in Psalm 68:14, is called a turtle-dove (תּור). In Psalm 74:19 חיּת has the same signification as in Psalm 74:19, and the same sense as Psalm 68:11 (cf. Psalm 69:37): the creatures of Thy miserable ones, i.e., Thy poor, miserable creatures - a figurative designation of the ecclesia pressa. The church, which it is the custom of the Asaphic Psalms to designate with emblematical names taken from the animal world, finds itself now like sheep among wolves, and seems to itself as if it were forgotten by God. The cry of prayer הבּט לבּרית comes forth out of circumstances such as were those of the Maccabaean age. בּרית is the covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17); the persecution of the age of the Seleucidae put faith to the severe test, that circumcision, this sign which was the pledge to Israel of God's gracious protection, became just the sign by which the Syrians knew their victims. In the Book of Daniel, Daniel 11:28, Daniel 11:30, cf. Psalm 22:32, ברית is used directly of the religion of Israel and its band of confessors. The confirmatory clause Psalm 74:20 also corresponds to the Maccabaean age, when the persecuted confessors hid themselves far away in the mountains (1 Macc. 2:26ff., 2 Macc. 6:11), but were tracked by the enemy and slain, - at that time the hiding-places (κρύφοι, 1 Macc. 1:53) of the land were in reality full of the habitations of violence. The combination נאות חמס is like נאות השׁלום, Jeremiah 25:37, cf. Genesis 6:11. From this point the Psalm draws to a close in more familiar Psalm - strains. אל־ישׁב, Psalm 74:21, viz., from drawing near to Thee with their supplications. "The reproach of the foolish all the day" is that which incessantly goes forth from them. עלה תּמיד, "going up (1 Samuel 5:12, not: increasing, 1 Kings 22:35) perpetually," although without the article, is not a predicate, but attributive (vid., on Psalm 57:3). The tone of the prayer is throughout temperate; this the ground upon which it bases itself is therefore all the more forcible.
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