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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Psalms 75:6

 

 

For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation;

Adam Clarke Commentary

For promotion cometh neither from the east, etc. - 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, Psalm 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, הרים מדבר 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.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/psalms-75.html. 1832.

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 Psalm 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.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/psalms-75.html. 1870.

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"F19הרים "exaltatio", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. , 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"F20"Neque a desertis montibus", V. L. "neque a deserto montium", Cocceius; "neque a deserto Australi montium", Michaelis. , 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.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes 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

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms-75.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

promotion — literally, “a lifting up.” God is the only right judge of merit.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/psalms-75.html. 1871-8.

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 styledjudge, 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.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/psalms-75.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Psalms 75:6 For promotion [cometh] neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.

Ver. 6. For promotion cometh neither from the east] Dignitatis nullum est emporium. Ambitionists used to look this way and that way how to advance themselves, but all in vain. Hispanis monarchia Catholica debetur divinitus, sed in Utopia, saith one.

Nor from the south] Where the warm sunshine is.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/psalms-75.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Psalms 75:6. For promotion, &c.— For exaltation is not from the east nor west, nor from the wilderness; Psalms 75:7 but God is judge: he humbleth one, and exalteth another. Mudge. Dr. Delaney thinks, that this refers to the situation of the tabernacle in the marches of the Israelites; when three of the tribes were to the east of it, three to the west, three to the north, and three to the south. And he apprehends that the prophet's design is, to inform them, that their exaltation proceeded neither from the people, nor from their own merits, but from God, the center and source of power; and therefore they should be humbled in his presence. Houbigant, after the Syriac, gives the passage a very different turn, and, supposing it addressed to the impious men spoken of above, he renders it, For neither will there be any means of escape from the west, or the desart of mountains. See his note.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/psalms-75.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For though you envy and oppose my advancement, because I was but a poor shepherd, and of a mean family; yet you ought to know and consider what is notorious and visible in the world, that the dignities and sceptres of the world are not always disposed according to human expectations and probabilities, but by God’s sovereign will and providence, as it follows. It is true, men that expect preferment have their eyes fixed upon the great persons of the world, who are thought to have the ‘disposition of them in their hands, and according to their several inclinations or interests; some look eastward, others westward, and others southward, expecting assistance from some of these quarters; but all in vain.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/psalms-75.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

6. For promotion—Same word as “lift,” in Psalms 75:4-5. He warns his enemy not to “lift” up himself in pride and scorn, for the true lifting up, or “promotion,” is from God only. Psalms 75:7.

East… west… south—An enumeration, not of the cardinal points of the compass, but of those quarters from whence the contest for supremacy among the nations arose, so far as the Hebrews were affected by it, namely, the Assyrians and Babylonians on the “east;” the Egyptians on the “west,” or southwest as to southern Palestine or the kingdom of Judah, and the Arabians and Ethiopians on the “south.” All these powers had been more or less called into activity by the invasion of Sennacherib, and from time to time warred against Israel.

The south—The Hebrew word is wilderness, but is a designation of Arabia.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/psalms-75.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Troubled. Hebrew, "plundered," or "stupified." (Berthier) --- The haughty and blasphemous Sennacherib, Rabsaces, &c., were full of dismay, when the destroying angel slew 185,000 (Calmet) in the dead of the night. "What dire astonishment, ye men

Of Media, sunk you to despair?" (Hymn on War, p. 52.; Haydock)

--- Sleep in death, Job xxvii. 19. --- Of riches, with which they are possessed, as with a fever, (Seneca, ep. cxix.) and of which they dread, Isaias xxix. 8. (Calmet) --- Yet the most opulent must die, and are foolish in clinging to riches, since they can carry nothing away. (Menochius) --- Hands. Hebrew, "the men of the army have not found their hands." (Berthier) --- They could not use their arms against a spirit. (Haydock) --- Christ has enlightened the mountains, his apostles; and fools despise their instructions, as the Athenians did St. Paul's, being too much attached to the world. (St. Augustine) (Berthier) --- Though they may be troubled, they will not open their eyes to be convinced. Hence, they have no oil of good works, when they awake in eternity. [Matthew xxv.] (Worthington)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/psalms-75.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

south. Therefore it comes from the north. The immediate place of God"s throne, to which Satan aspires. Compare Isaiah 14:12-14. See Job 26:7. This is where promotion comes from.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/psalms-75.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(6) For promotion . . .—The Authorised Version has here rightly set aside the pointing of the text, which, as the LXX. and Vulg., reads—

“For not from the east, nor from the west,

Nor from the wilderness of mountains,”

a sentence which has no conclusion. The recurrence also of parts of the verb “to lift up” in Psalms 75:4-5; Psalms 75:7, makes in favour of taking harîm as part of the same verb here, instead of as a noun, “mountains.” That the word midbar (wilderness) might be used for “south,” receives support from Acts 8:26.

Ewald thinks the four points of the compass should be completed by inserting a conjunction, and taking the “desert” and “mountains” to represent respectively the south and north. He then supplies the conclusion of the sentence from the following verse:—

“For neither from east nor west,

Neither from desert nor mountains,

Cometh judgment; but God is Judge.”

This agrees with 1 Samuel 2:10; but it is hardly needful to expect such scientific accuracy as to the points of the compass in Hebrew poetry.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/psalms-75.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
south
Heb. desert.

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Psalms 75:6". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/psalms-75.html.

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