Psalms 75

1We give thanks to you, O God! We give thanks!
You reveal your presence;
Heb “and near [is] your name.”

people tell about your amazing deeds.
2 God says,
The words “God says” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation to clarify that God speaks in vv. 2–3.

“At the appointed times,
Heb “when I take an appointed time.”

I judge
Heb “I, [in] fairness, I judge.” The statement is understood in a generalizing sense; God typically executes fair judgment as he governs the world. One could take this as referring to an anticipated (future) judgment, “I will judge.”
3 When the earth and all its inhabitants dissolve in fear,
Heb “melt.”

I make its pillars secure.”
The statement is understood in a generalizing sense; God typically prevents the world from being overrun by chaos. One could take this as referring to an anticipated event, “I will make its pillars secure.”
The identity of the speaker in vv. 4–6 is unclear. The present translation assumes that the psalmist, who also speaks in vv. 7–9 (where God/the Lord is spoken of in the third person) here addresses the proud and warns them of God’s judgment. The presence of כִּי (ki, “for”) at the beginning of both vv. 6–7 seems to indicate that vv. 4–9 are a unit. However, there is no formal indication of a new speaker in v. 4 (or in v. 10, where God appears to speak). Another option is to see God speaking in vv. 2–6 and v. 10 and to take only vv. 7–9 as the words of the psalmist. In this case one must interpret כִּי at the beginning of v. 7 in an asseverative or emphatic sense (“surely; indeed”).
I say to the proud, “Do not be proud,”
and to the wicked, “Do not be so confident of victory!
Heb “do not lift up a horn.” The horn of an ox underlies the metaphor (see Deut 33:17; 1 Kgs 22:11; Ps 92:10). The horn of the wild ox is frequently a metaphor for military strength; the idiom “exalt/lift up the horn” signifies military victory (see 1 Sam 2:10; Pss 89:17, 24; 92:10; Lam 2:17). Here the idiom seems to refer to an arrogant attitude that assumes victory has been achieved.

5 Do not be so certain you have won!
Heb “do not lift up on high your horn.”

Do not speak with your head held so high!
Heb “[do not] speak with unrestrained neck.” The negative particle is understood in this line by ellipsis (note the preceding line).
The image behind the language of vv. 4–5 is that of a powerful wild ox that confidently raises its head before its enemies.

6 For victory does not come from the east or west,
or from the wilderness.
Heb “for not from the east or from the west, and not from the wilderness of the mountains.” If one follows this reading the sentence is elliptical. One must supply “does help come,” or some comparable statement. However, it is possible to take הָרִים (harim) as a Hiphil infinitive from רוּם (rum), the same verb used in vv. 4–5 of “lifting up” a horn. In this case one may translate the form as “victory.” In this case the point is that victory does not come from alliances with other nations.

7 For God is the judge!
Or “judges.”

He brings one down and exalts another.
The imperfects here emphasize the generalizing nature of the statement.

8 For the Lord holds in his hand a cup full
of foaming wine mixed with spices,
Heb “for a cup [is] in the hand of the Lord, and wine foams, it is full of a spiced drink.” The noun מֶסֶךְ (mesekh) refers to a “mixture” of wine and spices.

and pours it out.
Heb “and he pours out from this.”

Surely all the wicked of the earth
will slurp it up and drink it to its very last drop.”
Heb “surely its dregs they slurp up and drink, all the wicked of the earth.”
The psalmist pictures God as forcing the wicked to gulp down an intoxicating drink that will leave them stunned and vulnerable. Divine judgment is also depicted this way in Ps 60:3; Isa 51:17–23; and Hab 2:16.

9 As for me, I will continually tell what you have done;
Heb “I will declare forever.” The object needs to be supplied; God’s just judgment is in view.

I will sing praises to the God of Jacob!
God says,
The words “God says” are not in the Hebrew text. They are supplied in the translation to clarify that God speaks in v. 10.

“I will bring down all the power of the wicked;
the godly will be victorious.”
Heb “and all the horns of the wicked I will cut off, the horns of the godly will be lifted up.” The imagery of the wild ox’s horn is once more utilized (see vv. 4–5).

Psalm 76

Psalm 76. The psalmist depicts God as a mighty warrior who destroys Israel’s enemies.

For the music director; to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm of Asaph, a song.

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