Psalms 75 Summary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
In one of his prophecies of the approaching judgement which was to shatter the power of Assyria and set Israel free, Isaiah compares the rejoicings with which the deliverance would be celebrated to the rejoicings of the Passover festival. “Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel” (Isa 30:29). Of such songs this and the following Psalm may well like Psalms 46-48 in the Korahite collection be examples. They are closely connected in thought and language  , and may naturally be referred, if not to the same author, at least to the same period. They speak of a great act of judgement, by which God had condemned the proud pretensions of some boastful enemy; of a supernatural annihilation of the hostile forces which had threatened Zion, the city of His choice, whereby He had manifested His Presence and power among His people. The destruction of Sennacherib’s army was just such an act of judgement, such a direct intervention on behalf of Zion. Sennacherib, like Pharaoh, had challenged Jehovah to a trial of strength; and through the Assyrian prophecies of Isaiah there runs the thought that it was a crisis comparable to the Exodus, and second only to the Exodus in importance. These Psalms are full of coincidences indirect rather than direct with Isaiah’s prophecies of that period, and they breathe an intensity of feeling which indicates that the poet himself had experienced that crisis of uttermost peril and marvellous deliverance. The addition in the LXX title of Psalms 76, ‘A song with reference to the Assyrians,’ whether due to tradition or conjecture, shews that the Psalm was at an early date connected with the deliverance from Sennacherib.
Some commentators have supposed that these Psalms celebrate Maccabaean victories, such as those of Judas over Apollonius (1Ma 3:10 ff.) and Seron (1Ma 3:13 ff.). But the general improbability of the presence of Maccabaean Psalms in the Elohistic collection has already been pointed out, and there is nothing in the Psalms themselves to support this view. They speak of a signal Divine judgement supernaturally inflicted, rather than of victories won like those of Judas, not indeed without special help from God, but still by the valour of his soldiers.
The position of these Psalms is significant. Following as they do upon the urgent appeal of Psalms 74, they supply an answer to it. “Remember,” the compiler of the collection seems to say, “how in one supreme crisis God proved His power to help His people.”
Psalms 75 is cast into a vividly dramatic form, and speaks in a tone of prophetic authority.
i. The people address God with thanksgiving for the recent manifestation of His power on their behalf (Psa 75:1). God speaks in answer, assuring them that ever and anon at the fitting moment He exercises judgement: though all may seem confusion and men’s hearts fail them, He maintains the order which He has established in the world (Psa 75:2-3).
ii. Fortified by this Divine utterance, the Psalmist addresses the proud enemies of Israel, warning them against presumptuous boasting, for Israel looks to no human ally for help, but to God the judge, the sovereign arbiter of human destiny, Who holds in His hands the cup of judicial wrath to administer to those who resist His will (Psa 75:4-8).
iii. While the wicked are thus punished, Israel (on whose behalf the Psalmist speaks) will offer unceasing praise to God; confident that the power of the wicked will be utterly destroyed, and the righteous be brought to honour (Psa 75:9-10).
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The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges is a biblical commentary set published in parts by Cambridge University Press from 1882 onwards. Anglican bishop John Perowne was the general editor. The first section published was written by theologian Thomas Kelly Cheyne and covered the Book of Micah.
Perowne exercised limited editorial control over the writers of individual commentaries: his aim was "to leave each contributor to the unfettered exercise of his own judgment".