Psalm 75:7
But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
75:6-10. No second causes will raise men to preferment without the First Cause. It comes neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. He mentions not the north; the same word that signifies the north, signifies the secret place; and from the secret of God's counsel it does come. From God alone all must receive their doom. There are mixtures of mercy and grace in the cup of affliction, when it is put into the hands of God's people; mixtures of the curse, when it is put into the hands of the wicked. God's people have their share in common calamities, but the dregs of the cup are for the wicked. The exaltation of the Son of David will be the subject of the saints' everlasting praises. Then let sinners submit to the King of righteousness, and let believers rejoice in and obey him.But God is the judge - All depends on him, not on the natural advantages of a country; not on human strength, human skill, or human prowess. Whatever may be the natural resources of a country; whatever may be the enterprise, the numbers, or the valor of its inhabitants; whatever alliances of peace or war they may form with other nations, yet success depends on God. He presides over all; he can give success when it is least expected; and he also can humble people when they have made the most ample preparations for success, and anticipate it in the most confident manner.

He putteth down one, and setteth up another - Literal y, "This one he humbles, and this he exalts." This is true alike of an individual or a nation. The word rendered "setteth up" is the same which is used in Psalm 75:4-6, rendered "Lift up," and "promotion." The idea is, that in the matter of" lifting up," or "promotion," all depends on God. He is a sovereign, and he confers exaltation, whether of an individual or a nation, as he pleases.

6. promotion—literally, "a lifting up." God is the only right judge of merit. The judge, to wit, the righteous Judge, and supreme Lord and Governor of all the kingdoms of the world, giving them to whomsoever he pleaseth. It is he who hath rejected Saul and his family, and put me in his stead. And who art thou that disputest with God, and resistest his declared will?

But God is the Judge,.... Or "because God is the Judge" (u); and so this is another reason why fools should not deal foolishly, nor wicked men lift up the horn, and speak with a stiff neck, because there is a Judge to whom they are accountable for their words and actions; and this Judge is God omniscient, knows all persons and things, searches the heart and tries the reins, will bring every secret thing into judgment, bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make manifest the counsels of the heart; omnipotent, able to do all things, raise the dead, call to judgment, bring all before him, pass the sentences, and execute them; omnipresent, there is no fleeing from him, nor escaping his righteous judgment; holy, just, and true, who will render to every man according to his works:

he putteth down one, and setteth up another; he humbles or brings one low, such as are proud, haughty, and arrogant; and he exalts another, such as are lowly and humble: this he does in providence, he removes kings, and sets up kings; puts down the mighty from their seats, and exalts them of low degree, Daniel 2:21, he has many ways to mortify the proud, by inflicting diseases on their bodies, by stripping them of their honour and wealth, and by bringing them into disgrace among men: and this he does in grace; such as are stout hearted and far from righteousness, and will not submit to the righteousness of Christ, he brings them to it; and those whom he makes humble by his grace, he raises to a high estate, to be kings and priests, and to sit among princes, and to inherit a throne of glory. This might be exemplified in Jews and Gentiles; he has stripped the one of their privileges, and put them down from their civil and church state, and raised up the other to be his church and people; and also in antichrist and the true church of Christ; he will ere long put down the one, that sits as a queen, and exalt the other, when she shall be as a bride adorned for her husband, having the glory of God upon her.

(u) "quoniam", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Musculus; "siquidem", Tigurine version; "quia", Gejerus; so some in Michaelis.

But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. the judge] Cp. Isaiah 33:22.

setteth up] Lifteth up. Cp. 1 Samuel 2:6-7; Psalm 147:6.

Verse 7. - But God is the Judge (comp. Psalm 50:6; Psalm 82:1; Psalm 94:2; and, especially, the original of all the later passages, Genesis 18:25). He putteth down one, and setteth up (or, exalteth) another (comp. 1 Samuel 2:7; Daniel 2:21; Daniel 4:17). True equally of nations and of individuals. Psalm 75:7The church here takes up the words of God, again beginning with the כּי of Psalm 75:3 (cf. the כּי in 1 Samuel 2:3). A passage of the Midrash says הרים חוץ מזה כל הרים שׁבמקרא (everywhere where harim is found in Scripture it signifies harim, mountains, with the exception of this passage), and accordingly it is explained by Rashi, Kimchi, Alshch, and others, that man, whithersoever he may turn, cannot by strength and skill attain great exaltation and prosperity.

(Note: E.g., Bamidbar Rabba ch. xxii.; whereas according to Berêshı̂th Rabba ch. lii. הרים is equivalent to דּרום.)

Thus it is according to the reading ממּדבּר, although Kimchi maintains that it can also be so explained with the reading ממּדבּר, by pointing to מרמס (Isaiah 10:6) and the like. It is, however, difficult to see why, in order to express the idea "from anywhere," three quarters of the heavens should be used and the north left out. These three quarters of the heavens which are said to represent the earthly sources of power (Hupfeld), are a frame without the picture, and the thought, "from no side (viz., of the earth) cometh promotion" - in itself whimsical in expression - offers a wrong confirmation for the dissuasive that has gone before. That, however, which the church longs for is first of all not promotion, but redemption. On the other hand, the lxx, Targum, Syriac, and Vulgate render: a deserto montium (desertis montibus); and even Aben-Ezra rightly takes it as a Palestinian designation of the south, when he supplements the aposiopesis by means of מי שׁיושׁיעם (more biblically יבע עזרנוּ, cf. Psalm 121:1.). The fact that the north is not mentioned at all shows that it is a northern power which arrogantly, even to blasphemy, threatens the small Israelitish nation with destruction, and against which it looks for help neither from the east and west, nor from the reed-staff of Egypt (Isaiah 36:6) beyond the desert of the mountains of Arabia Petraea, but from Jahve alone, according to the watchword of Isaiah: שׁפטנוּ ה (Isaiah 33:22). The negative thought is left unfinished, the discourse hurrying on to the opposite affirmative thought. The close connection of the two thoughts is strikingly expressed by the rhymes הרים and ידים. The כּי of Psalm 75:8 gives the confirmation of the negation from the opposite, that which is denied; the כּי of Psalm 75:9 confirms this confirmation. If it were to be rendered, "and the wine foams," it would then have been היּין; מסך, which is undoubtedly accusative, also shows that yayin is also not considered as anything else: and it (the cup) foams (חמר like Arab. 'chtmr, to ferment, effervesce) with wine, is full of mixture. According to the ancient usage of the language, which is also followed by the Arabic, this is wine mixed with water in distinction from merum, Arabic chamr memzûg'e. Wine was mixed with water not merely to dilute it, but also to make it more pleasant; hence מסך signifies directly as much as to pour out (vid., Hitzig on Isaiah 5:22). It is therefore unnecessary to understand spiced wine (Talmudic קונדיטון, conditum), since the collateral idea of weakening is also not necessarily associated with the admixture of water. מזּה refers to כּוס, which is used as masculine, as in Jeremiah 25:15; the word is feminine elsewhere, and changes its gender even here in שׁמריה (cf. Ezekiel 23:34). In the fut. consec. ויּגּר the historical signification of the consecutive is softened down, as is frequently the case. אך affirms the whole assertion that follows. The dregs of the cup - a dira necessitas - all the wicked of the earth shall be compelled to sip (Isaiah 51:17), to drink out: they shall not be allowed to drink and make a pause, but, compelled by Jahve, who has appeared as Judge, they shall be obliged to drink it out with involuntary eagerness even to the very last (Ezekiel 23:34). We have here the primary passage of a figure, which has been already hinted at in Psalm 60:5, and is filled in on a more and more magnificent and terrible scale in the prophets. Whilst Obadiah (Obadiah 1:16, cf. Job 21:20) contents himself with a mere outline sketch, it is found again, in manifold applications, in Isaiah, Habakkuk, and Ezekiel, and most frequently in Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:27., Jeremiah 48:26; Jeremiah 49:12), where in Psalm 25:15. it is embodied into a symbolical act. Jahve's cup of intoxication (inasmuch as חמה and חמר, the burning of anger and intoxicating, fiery wine, are put on an equality) is the judgment of wrath which is meted out to sinners and given them to endure to the end.

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