Psalm 75:1
To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph. Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.
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(1) For that . . .—The wonders just wrought for Israel have repeated the old conviction that God’s name, a word of power to save (comp. Psalm 34:18; Psalm 145:18), is near. (Comp. Psalm 105:1.)

Psalm 75:1. Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks — I, in my own, and in thy people’s name; for that thy name — Thy self, or thy power; is near — That is, is present with us, and most ready to help us when we cry unto thee; thou art not departed from us; thou dost not now stand afar off, as once thou didst, Psalm 10:1, as thy wondrous works declare — Wrought for the good of thy people. “Upon whatever occasion,” says Dr. Horne, “these words were originally endited, the Christian Church now celebrates in them that great deliverance which, by so many miracles of mercy and power, hath been accomplished for her through the Messiah, who is, in Scripture, frequently styled the NAME of Jehovah.”

75:1-5 We often pray for mercy, when in pursuit of it; and shall we only once or twice give thanks, when we obtain it? God shows that he is nigh to us in what we call upon him for. Public trusts are to be managed uprightly. This may well be applied to Christ and his government. Man's sin threatened to destroy the whole creation; but Christ saved the world from utter ruin. He who is made of God to us wisdom, bids us be wise. To the proud, daring sinners he says, Boast not of your power, persist not in contempt. All the present hopes and future happiness of the human race spring from the Son of God.Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks - We, the people; language which would be appropriate to public thanksgiving - showing that the psalm was designed for public use. The reasons for this public thanksgiving are stated in the subsequent part of the psalm.

Do we give thanks - The repetition is emphatic. The idea is, that the occasion was one for special thanksgiving.

For that thy name is near - literally, "and near is thy name." The word name is often used to designate the person himself; and the idea here is, that God was near; that he had manifested himself to them in some special manner, and that for this there was occasion of praise. Compare Jeremiah 23:23.

Thy wondrous works declare - Or, "They declare thy wondrous works." The Septuagint renders it, "I will declare all thy wondrous works." The Latin Vulgate, "We will declare thy wonders." Luther, "We will declare thy wonders, that thy name is so near." Prof. Alexander, "They recount thy wonders." The meaning seems to be, "They," that is, the people, "declare thy wondrous works." Thy marvelous doings constitute the foundation for praise - for the praise now offered.


Ps 75:1-10. Al-taschith—(See on [610]Ps 57:1, title). In impending danger, the Psalmist, anticipating relief in view of God's righteous government, takes courage and renders praise.

1. God's name or perfections are set forth by His wondrous works.

1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

"Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks." Not to ourselves for we were helpless, but to Elohim who heard our cry, and replied to the taunt of our foes. Never let us neglect thanksgiving, or we may fear that another time our prayers will remain unanswered. As the smiling flowers gratefully reflect in their lovely colours the various constituents of the solar ray, so should gratitude spring up in our hearts after the smiles of God's providence. "Unto thee do we give thanks." We should praise God again and again. Stinted gratitude is ingratitude. For infinite goodness there should be measureless thanks. Faith promises redoubled praise for greatly needed and signal deliverances. "For that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare." God is at hand to answer and do wonders - adore we then the present Deity. We sing not of a hidden God, who sleeps and leaves the church to her fate, but of one who ever in our darkest days is most near, a very present help in trouble, "Near is his name." Baal is on a journey, but Jehovah dwells in his church. Glory be unto the Lord, whose perpetual deeds of grace and majesty are the sure tokens of his being with us always, even unto the end of the world. Of Asaph; as the author. Or, to or for Asaph; which may be put by way of opposition to the foregoing and general expression,

to the chief Musician, which is here limited to and explained of Asaph. As Psalm 62:1, having said to the chief Musician, he adds to Jeduthun; and then follows the author, David. This Psalm was either composed by David, or by Asaph in David’s name and person, as it is not unusual for poets to bring in princes speaking in their poems. It seems to relate to the time when David had entered upon, but not got full possession of, the kingdom.

The psalmist, praising God for his wondrous works, promiseth to judge uprightly, Psalm 75:1-3. Rebuking the proud and foolish with God’s providence, Psalm 75:4-8, pulleth them down, but exalteth the righteous, Psalm 75:9,10.

Do we give thanks; I, in my own and in my people’s name.

Thy name, i.e. thyself; or thy power. Is near; is present with us, and most ready to help us when we cry unto thee, as this phrase is taken, Psalm 34:18 145:18. Thou art not departed from us; thou dost not now stand afar off, as once thou didst, Psalm 10:1.

Thy wondrous works, wrought on my behalf, and for the good of thy people.

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks,.... Either David and his men, when he was delivered from Saul, and raised to the kingdom, or the Jews upon their return from the Babylonish captivity; or rather the churches of Christ under the Gospel dispensation, for the coming of Christ and the blessings of grace through him, and in the view of the sure and certain destruction of antichrist and all the wicked of the earth; yea, Christ himself may be considered as at the head of his people, joining with them in thanksgiving, to whom this action is sometimes ascribed, Matthew 11:25 and the rather since he is continued all along speaking to the end of the psalm:

unto thee do we give thanks; which is repeated to show the constancy, fervency, and sincerity with which this was performed: it may be rendered, "unto thee do we confess" (l); sins committed against God, unworthiness to receive favours from him, and his grace and goodness in bestowing them:

for that thy name is near; or rather, "for thy name is near" (m); and so the words are a reason of the above thanksgiving; for they belong not so much to what follows after as to what goes before, since the accent "athnach" is upon "thy name"; and are to be understood of God himself, for his name is himself; who is near to his people, both in relation, being their Father, and as to presence, communion, and fellowship, which are matter of praise and thanksgiving; or his works and word, by which he is known and made manifest; his works which are throughout the earth, and so near at hand, and his word which is nigh, being in the mouths and in the hearts of his people; or rather his Son, in whom his name is, his nature and divine perfections: he was at a distance in promise and prophecy, and only seen afar off; after the Babylonish captivity, at which time some think this psalm was written, he was near; the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, speak of him as just coming; and when he was made flesh, and dwelt among men, he was near indeed, so as to be found of them, seen, heard, and handled by them; on which account there was and is reason to give thanks to God:

thy wondrous works declare; meaning either the miracles of Christ, which were proofs and evidences of his being come, and of his being the true Messiah; see Matthew 11:3 or the wonderful works done by him, which to do were the principal end of his coming; as the work of righteousness, the business of reconciliation, and in general the affair of redemption and salvation; all which were amazing instances of his power, grace, and goodness, and which are declared in the everlasting Gospel by the ministers of it; for the words, I think, may be better rendered, "they declare thy wondrous works" (n), or impersonally, "thy wondrous works are declared".

(k) "ipsi Asaph", Pagninus, Montanus; "Asapho", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (l) "confessi sumus", Montanus; "confitemur", Cocceius, Michaelis. (m) "nam propiuquum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (n) "narrant mirabilia tua", Montanus; "enarrant", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

<{a} Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.>> Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near {b} thy wondrous works declare.

(a) Read Ps 57:1.

(b) He declares how the faithful will always have opportunity to praise God, as in their need they will feel his power at hand to help them.

1. The theme of the Psalm: thanksgiving for the recent manifestation of God’s presence and power among His people.

for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare] The A.V., retained in R.V. marg., gives a good sense, but such a personification of God’s wondrous works is without analogy, and elsewhere ‘wondrous works’ is always the object to ‘declare’ or similar verbs. Hence it is better to render with R.V.:

We give thanks unto thee, O God;

We give thanks, for thy name is near:

Men tell of thy wondrous works.

God’s ‘Name’ is the compendious expression for His Being as it is revealed to men. Cp. the striking parallel in Isaiah’s prediction of the coming judgement on the Assyrians (Isaiah 30:27 ff.), a passage which should be carefully studied in connexion with this Psalm, “Behold the name of Jehovah cometh from far.” Though God is always ‘near’ (Deuteronomy 4:7), yet in an especial sense He is ‘near’ when He manifests His presence (Psalm 34:18; Psalm 145:18). men tell &c.] God’s miracles of deliverance (Psalm 9:1; Psalm 71:17, note) are in every one’s mouth.

Verse 1. - Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks; for that thy Name is near thy wondrous works declare; literally, and thy Name is near (i.e. thy providence and care are close to us); this do thy wondrous works declare. The "wondrous works" are those of times past (comp. Psalm 74:12-15), whereof the psalmist anticipates a continuance or repetition. Psalm 75:1The church in anticipation gives thanks for the judicial revelation of its God, the near approach of which He Himself asserts to it. The connection with ו in וקרוב שׁמך presents a difficulty. Neither here nor anywhere else is it to be supposed that ו is synonymous with כּי; but at any rate even כי might stand instead of it. For Hupfeld's attempt to explain it: and "near is Thy name" Thy wonders have declared; and Hitzig's: and Thou whose Name is near, they declare Thy wondrous works - are past remedy. Such a personification of wonders does not belong to the spirit of Hebrew poetry, and such a relative clause lies altogether beyond the bounds of syntax. If we would, however, take וקרוב שׁמך, after Psalm 50:23, as a result of the thanksgiving (Campensis), then that for which thanks are rendered would remain undefined; neither will it do to take קרוב as referring to the being inwardly present (Hengstenberg), since this, according to Jeremiah 12:2 (cf. Deuteronomy 30:14), would require some addition, which should give to the nearness this reference to the mouth or to the heart. Thus, therefore, nothing remains for us but to connect the nearness of the Name of God as an outward fact with the earnest giving of thanks. The church has received the promise of an approaching judicial, redemptive revelation of God, and now says, "We give Thee thanks, we give thanks and near is Thy Name;" it welcomes the future act of God with heartfelt thanksgiving, all those who belong to it declare beforehand the wonders of God. Such was really the position of matters when in Hezekiah's time the oppression of the Assyrians had reached its highest point - Isaiah's promises of a miraculous divine deliverance were at that time before them, and the believing ones saluted beforehand, with thanksgiving, the "coming Name of Jahve" (Isaiah 30:27). The כּי which was to be expected after הודינו (cf. e.g., Psalm 100:4.) does not follow until Psalm 75:3. God Himself undertakes the confirmation of the forthcoming thanksgiving and praise by a direct announcement of the help that is hailed and near at hand (Psalm 85:10). It is not to be rendered, "when I shall seize," etc., for Psalm 75:3 has not the structure of an apodosis. כּי is confirmatory, and whatever interpretation we may give to it, the words of the church suddenly change into the words of God. מועד in the language of prophecy, more especially of the apocalyptic character, is a standing expression fore the appointed time of the final judgment (vid., on Habakkuk 2:3). When this moment or juncture in the lapse of time shall have arrived, then God will seize or take possession of it (לקח in the unweakened original sense of taking hold of with energy, cf. Psalm 18:17; Genesis 2:15): He Himself will then interpose and hold judgment according to the strictly observed rule of right (מישׁרים, adverbial accusative, cf. במישׁרים, Psalm 9:9, and frequently). If it even should come to pass that the earth and all its inhabitants are melting away (cf. Isaiah 14:31; Exodus 15:15; Joshua 2:9), i.e., under the pressure of injustice (as is to be inferred from Psalm 75:3), are disheartened, scattered asunder, and are as it were in the act of dissolution, then He (the absolute I, אנכי) will restrain this melting away: He setteth in their places the pillars, i.e., the internal shafts (Job 9:6), of the earth, or without any figure: He again asserts the laws which lie at the foundation of its stability. תכּנתּי is a mood of certainty, and Psalm 75:4 is a circumstantial clause placed first, after the manner of the Latin ablative absolute. Hitzig appropriately compares Proverbs 29:9; Isaiah 23:15 may also be understood according to this bearing of the case.

The utterance of God is also continued after the Sela. It is not the people of God who turn to the enemies with the language of warning on the ground of the divine promise (Hengstenberg); the poet would then have said אמרנוּ, or must at least have said על־כּן אמרתּי. God Himself speaks, and His words are not yet peremptorily condemning, as in Psalm 50:16., cf. Psalm 46:11, but admonitory and threatening, because it is not He who has already appeared for the final judgment who speaks, but He who announces His appearing. With אמרתּי He tells the braggarts who are captivated with the madness of supposed greatness, and the evil-doers who lift up the horn or the head,

(Note: The head is called in Sanscrit iras, in Zend aranh, equals κάρα; the horn in Sanscrit, ringa, i.e., (according to Burnlouf, Etudes, p. 19) that which proceeds from and projects out of the head (iras), Zend rva equals κέρας, קרן (ḳarn).)

hat He will have once for all said to them, and what they are to suffer to be said to them for the short space of time till the judgment. The poet, if we have assigned the right date to the Psalm, has Rabshakeh and his colleagues before his mind, cf. Isaiah 37:23. The ל, as in that passage, and like אל in Zechariah 2:4 (vid., Khler), has the idea of a hostile tendency. אל rules also over Psalm 75:6: "speak not insolence with a raised neck." It is not to be construed עתק בצוּאר, with a stiff neck. Parallel passages like Psalm 31:19; Psalm 94:4, and more especially the primary passage 1 Samuel 5:3, show that עתק is an object-notion, and that בצוּאר by itself (with which, too, the accentuation harmonizes, since Munach here is the vicarius of a distinctive), according to Job 15:26, has the sense of τραχηλιῶτες or ὑπεραυχοῦντες.

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