Psalm 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) A cup.—The figure of the cup of Divine fury is developed, as Psalm 11:6 compared with Psalm 16:5 shows, from the more general one which represents life itself as a draught which must be drunk, bitter or sweet, according to the portion assigned. It appears again in Psalm 60:3, and is worked out in prophetic books, Isaiah 51:17; Habakkuk 2:16, Ac.; Ezekiel 23:32-34, and frequently in Jeremiah. The mode of its introduction here, after the statement that God “putteth down one and setteth up another,” shows that the poet, in speaking of a “mixture,” thinks of the good and bad commingled in the cup, which are, of course, poured out to those whose portion is to be happiness and misery in Israel; while for the heathen, the “wicked of the earth” (possibly including apostate Jews), only the dregs are left to be drained. There are, however, many obscure expressions.

Is red.—Better, foameth, from the rapid pouring out.

Mixture.—Heb., mesekh; which, like mezeg, may properly denote aromatic wine (wine mixed with spices), but here seems rather to imply the blending of the portions destined for the good and bad in Israel.

Wring.—Better, drain. (See Psalm 73:10.)

The LXX. and Vulg. seem to have had a slightly different text before them, and one which still more distinctly points to the interpretation given above: “Because in the hand of the Lord a cup of unmixed wine, full of mixture, and he turned it from this side to that, but its dregs were not emptied, all the sinners of the earth shall drink of them.” The text has “poureth from this;” the word, “to that,” may have dropped out.

Psalm 75:8. For, &c. — This verse is added, either, 1st, As a reason or confirmation of the assertion, Psalm 75:7, and to show that God, in removing one king to make way for another, did not proceed in a way of absolute sovereignty, but in a way of justice and equity. Or, 2d, As another argument to enforce his advice given Psalm 75:4-5, which he had already pressed by one argument, Psalm 75:6-7. In the hand of the Lord there is a cup — God is here compared to the master of a feast, who, in those days, used to distribute portions of meats or drinks to the several guests, as he thought fit. A cup, in Scripture, is sometimes taken in a good sense for God’s blessings, as Psalm 16:5; Psalm 23:5, and sometimes, and more frequently, in a bad sense, for his vengeance and judgments, Psalm 11:6; Isaiah 51:22; Jeremiah 49:12; Matthew 20:23; and so it is here understood, as the following words show. And the wine is red —

Such as the best wine in Judea was, (Deuteronomy 32:14; Proverbs 23:31,) and therefore strong and intoxicating. Or, is troubled, as חמר, chamar, more properly signifies, and is rendered by divers learned men. Thus he expresses the power and fierceness of God’s wrath and judgments. It is full of mixture — The wine is mingled, not with water, but with strengthening and intoxicating ingredients. “Calamity and sorrow, fear and trembling, infatuation and despair, the evils of the present life, and of that which is to come, are the bitter ingredients of this cup of mixture.” And he poureth out of the same — As it is entirely in the hand and disposal of God, so, through every age, he has been pouring out, and administering of its contents, more or less, in proportion to the sins of men; but the dregs thereof — The worst and most dreadful part of those tribulations; all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out — Shall be compelled to squeeze out every drop of wrath and misery which they contain; and drink them — For the curse shall enter into their bowels like water, and like oil into their bones. They shall be compelled to endure the utmost effects of the divine vengeance upon their sins, partly in this life, but more fully in the life to come, when the cup of the Lord’s indignation will be to them in an especial manner a cup of trembling, of everlasting trembling; when burning coals, fire and brimstone, and a horrible eternal tempest shall be the portion of their cup, Psalm 11:6. And they shall be thus tormented in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb, and shall have no rest day nor night, and the smoke of their torment shall ascend up for ever and ever, Revelation 14:10-11.

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.For in the hand of the Lord ... - The general idea in this verse is, that God holds in his hand a cup for people to drink; a cup whose contents will tend to prolong life, or to cause death. See the idea in this passage fully explained in Job 21:20, note; Psalm 60:3, note; Isaiah 51:17, note; Revelation 14:10, note.

And the wine is red - The word used here - חמר châmar - may mean either to boil up, or to be red - from the idea of boiling, or becoming heated. The Septuagint and the Vulgate render it, "And he pours it out from this into that;" that is, he draws it off, as is done with wine. The true idea in the expression is probably that it ferments; and the meaning may be that the wrath of God seems to boil like fermenting liquor.

It is full of mixture - Mixed with spices, in order to increase its strength; or, as we should say, drugged. This was frequently done in order to increase the intoxicating quality of wine. The idea is, that the wrath of God was like wine whose native strength, or power of producing intoxication, was thus increased by drugs. And he poureth out of the same. He pours it out in order that his enemies may drink it; in other words, they reel and stagger under the expressions of his wrath, as men reel and stagger under the influence of spiced or drugged wine.

But the dregs thereof - The "lees" - the settlings - what remains after the wine is racked off. See the notes at Isaiah 25:6. This would contain the strongest part of the mixture; and the idea is, that they would drink the wrath of God to the utmost.

All the wicked of the earth - Wicked people everywhere. The expression of the wrath of God would not be confined to one nation, or one people; but wherever wicked people are found, he will punish them. He will be just in his dealings with all people.

Shall wring them out - Wine was kept in skins; and the idea here is, that they would wring out these skins so as to get out "all" that there was in them, and leave nothing remaining. The wrath of God would be exhausted in the punishment of wicked people, as if it were all wrung out.

And drink them - Not merely the wine; but the dregs; all that there was. Wicked people will suffer all that there is in the justice of God.

8. in the hand … a cup … red—God's wrath often thus represented (compare Isa 51:17; Jer 25:15).

but the dregs—literally, "surely the dregs, they shall drain it."

This verse is added, either,

1. As a reason or confirmation of the assertion, Psalm 75:7, and to show that God in removing one king to make way for another did not proceed in a way of absolute sovereignty, which yet he might have done, but in a way of justice and equity. Or,

2. As another argument to enforce his advice given Psalm 75:4,5, which he had now pressed by one argument, Psalm 75:6,7. God is here compared to the master of a feast, who then used to distribute portions of meats or drinks to the several guests as he thought fit.

A cup, in Scripture, is sometimes taken in a good sense, for God’s blessings, as Psalm 16:5 23:5; and sometimes, and more frequently, in a bad sense, for God’s vengeance and judgments, as Psalm 11:6 Isaiah 51:22 Jeremiah 49:12 Matthew 20:23, &c.; and so it is here understood, as the following words show. The wine is red; such as the best wine of Judea was, Deu 32:14 Proverbs 23:31; and so strong, and heady, and intoxicating. Or, is troubled; as the word more properly signifies, and is rendered by divers; which may note its newness, when it is in fermentation, not yet cleared nor settled, and so more intoxicating. So he expresseth the power and fierceness of God’s wrath and judgments. It is full of mixture: the wine is mingled, not with water, as was usual in those hot countries, Proverbs 9:5, but with spices, as Song of Solomon 8:2; or rather, strengthening and intoxicating ingredients, which drunkards used, Isaiah 5:22. He poureth out of the same, to wit, to the children of men; promiscuously to good and bad; whereby he removes the scandal which his enemies might take from those troubles which God saw fit to inflict upon David and his followers. The dregs thereof; the worst and most dreadful part of those tribulations. Of the earth; or, of the land, to wit, of Canaan, of which he spoke Psalm 75:3. Shall wring them out; which expression may imply, either that they shall be forced to squeeze out the worst for their own drinking, or that this dreadful draught was prepared for them and brought upon them by their own choice and wickedness.

For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup,.... Another reason why men should not act haughtily and arrogantly; for by the cup are meant afflictions, calamities, and judgments, which are measured out in proportion to men's sins, and are of God's appointing, and in his hands, and at his disposal

and the wine is red; an emblem of the wrath of God this cup is full of, as it is explained, Revelation 14:10, where there is a reference to this passage; for it is a cup of fury, of trembling, and of indignation: Isaiah 51:17,

it is full of mixture; has many ingredients in it, dreadful and shocking ones, though it is sometimes said to be without mixture, Revelation 14:10, without any allay, alluding to the mixing of wine with water in the eastern countries; see Proverbs 9:2,

and he poureth out of the same; his judgments upon men in this world, in all ages; on some more, others less, as their sins call for, or his infinite wisdom judges meet and proper:

but the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out and drink them; the whole cup that God has measured out and filled up shall be poured out at last, and all be drank up; the very dregs of it by the wicked of the world, when they shall be punished with everlasting destruction in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: this will be the portion of their cup, Psalm 11:6.

For in the hand of the LORD there is a {f} 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.

(f) God's wrath is compared to a cup of strong and delicate wine, with which the wicked are made so drunk that by drinking till they come to the very dregs they are utterly destroyed.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. The judgement is described under the figure of a cup of wine, which God gives the wicked to drink. The figure is a common one. See Jeremiah 25:15 ff., Jeremiah 25:27 ff.; Jeremiah 49:12; Jeremiah 51:7; Isaiah 51:17 ff.; Job 21:20; Psalm 11:6; Psalm 60:3. is red] Or, foameth (R.V.). mixture] Herbs and spices to make it more seductive and intoxicating.

but the dregs &c.] Surely the dregs thereof all the wicked of the earth shall drain up and drink. They must drink the draught of God’s wrath to the last drop. Cp. Isaiah 51:17. Rosenmüller quotes in illustration from an Arabic poet, “We gave the Hudheilites the cup of death to drink, whose dregs are confusion, disgrace, and shame.”

Verse 8. - For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red. The "cup of God's fury" is a frequent metaphor with the prophets (Isaiah 51:17, 22; Jeremiah 25:15, 17, 28; Jeremiah 49:12; Lamentations 4:21; Ezekiel 23:31-33; Habakkuk 2:16, etc.); and is commonly represented as full of wine, which his enemies have to drink. The "redness" of the wine typifies the shedding of blood. It is full of mixture. Mingled, i.e., with spices, and so made stronger and more efficacious (see Proverbs 9:2; Proverbs 23:30; Song of Solomon 8:2; Isaiah 5:22). And he poureth out of the same. God pours out the cup of his fury on all nations, or persons, whom he chooses to afflict, and they are compelled to drink of it (Jeremiah 25:15-28). But the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. To drink a cup, dregs and all, is to empty it wholly, to swallow down all its contents. Psalm 75:8The 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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