Psalm 75

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Psalm 75
Psalms of Asaph
Shofar-16-sky-Zachi-Evenor.jpg
Other name
  • Psalm 74 (Vulgate)
  • "Confitebimur tibi Deus"
LanguageHebrew (original)

Psalm 75 is the 75th psalm of the Book of Psalms, generally known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks". The Book of Psalms is the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 74 in a slightly different numbering system. In Latin, it is known as "Confitebimur tibi Deus".[1] It is one of the psalms of Asaph. Psalm 75 marks the midpoint of the Book of Psalms, which consists of 150 chapters.[2]

The psalm is a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant liturgies. The thought of giving thanks was set to music often, including works by Heinrich Schütz and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Background and themes[edit]

Composed by Asaph, Psalm 75 continues the theme of Psalms 57, 58, and 59, which also begin with the words al tashcheth, "Do not destroy".[2] Like the previous psalms, Psalm 75 speaks of the Jews in exile, and praises God for preserving them.[2]

The psalm references the word "horn" several times. According to Spurgeon, the horn is a symbol of honor or strength, but when possessed by the arrogant, the horn is said to be "cut down" or humbled. While God rejects the horns of the haughty, he exalts the horns of the righteous.[3]

The Midrash Tehillim cites ten scriptural verses that mention horns to identify ten horns that God gave to the Israelites: the horns of Abraham, Isaac (the shofar or ram's horn), Moses, Samuel, Aaron, the Sanhedrin, Heman the Ezrahite, Jerusalem, the Jewish Messiah, and David in the future. When the Israelites sinned, these ten horns were removed from them and transferred to the wicked, as it is written, "Behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and it had ten horns" (Daniel 7:7). The Midrash teaches that as long as the horns of the wicked prevail, the horns of Israel will be cut off; but in future, when God elevates the horns of the righteous, the horns of the wicked will be cut off.[4]

Text[edit]

Hebrew Bible version[edit]

Following is the Hebrew text and an English translation of Psalm 75:[5]

Verse Hebrew English
1 לַֽמְנַצֵּ֥חַ אַל־תַּשְׁחֵ֑ת מִזְמ֖וֹר לְאָסָ֣ף שִֽׁיר For the conductor, al tashcheth, a psalm of Asaph, a song.
2 הוֹדִ֚ינוּ לְּךָ֨ | אֱלֹהִ֗ים ה֖וֹדִינוּ וְקָר֣וֹב שְׁמֶ֑ךָ סִ֜פְּר֗וּ נִפְלְאוֹתֶֽיךָ We have thanked You, O God, we have thanked, and Your name is near; they have told Your wonders.
3 כִּי־אֶקַּ֥ח מוֹעֵ֑ד אֲ֜נִ֗י מֵֽישָׁרִ֥ים אֶשְׁפֹּֽט When I take a festive day, I shall judge with fairness.
4 נְֽמֹגִ֗ים־אֶ֥רֶץ וְכָל־יֹֽשְׁבֶ֑יהָ אָֽנֹכִ֨י תִכַּ֖נְתִּי עַמּוּדֶ֣יהָ סֶּֽלָה When the earth and all its inhabitants were melting away, I established its pillars forever.
5 אָמַ֣רְתִּי לַ֖הֽוֹלְלִים אַל־תָּהֹ֑לּוּ וְ֜לָֽרְשָׁעִ֗ים אַל־תָּרִ֥ימוּ קָֽרֶן I said to the perverse, "Do not behave perversely," and to the wicked, "Do not raise the horn."
6 אַל־תָּרִ֣ימוּ לַמָּר֣וֹם קַרְנְכֶ֑ם תְּדַבְּר֖וּ בְצַוָּ֣אר עָתָֽק Do not raise your horn on high, [do not] speak with [your] fat neck.
7 כִּ֚י לֹ֣א מִ֖מּוֹצָא וּמִמַּֽעֲרָ֑ב וְ֜לֹ֗א מִמִּדְבַּ֥ר הָרִֽים For it is not from the east or from the west, neither from the desert does elevation come.
8 כִּֽי־אֱלֹהִ֥ים שֹׁפֵ֑ט זֶ֥ה יַ֜שְׁפִּ֗יל וְזֶ֣ה יָרִֽים But God judges; He humbles this one and elevates that one.
9 כִּ֚י כ֪וֹס בְּיַד־יְהֹוָ֡ה וְיַ֚יִן חָמַ֨ר | מָ֥לֵא מֶסֶךְ֘ וַיַּגֵּ֪ר מִ֫זֶּ֥ה אַךְ־שְׁ֖מָרֶיהָ יִמְצ֣וּ יִשְׁתּ֑וּ כֹּ֜֗ל רִשְׁעֵי־אָֽרֶץ For a cup is in the hand of the Lord, and strong wine, a full mixture, and He pours out of this [cup], but all the wicked of the earth will drain and drink [it].
10 וַֽאֲנִי אַגִּ֣יד לְעֹלָ֑ם אֲ֜זַמְּרָ֗ה לֵֽאלֹהֵ֥י יַֽעֲקֹֽב And I shall recite forever; I shall sing [praises] to the God of Jacob.
11 וְכָל־קַרְנֵ֣י רְשָׁעִ֣ים אֲגַדֵּ֑עַ תְּ֜רוֹמַ֗מְנָה קַרְנ֥וֹת צַדִּֽיק And all the horns of the wicked I shall cut off; the horns of the righteous will be upraised.

King James Version[edit]

  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.
  2. When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.
  3. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
  4. I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:
  5. Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.
  6. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
  7. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
  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.
  9. But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
  10. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

Uses[edit]

Judaism[edit]

Psalm 75 is recited during the Motza'ei Shabbat prayers in the Sephardic tradition.[6] In the Siddur Avodas Yisrael, Psalm 75 is said as the Song of the Day for Shabbat Torah reading Ki Tissa and Eikev.[7] This psalm is also recited on the third through sixth days of Passover in some traditions.[8]

Psalm 75 is recited as a "prayer for forgiveness".[9]

Musical settings[edit]

Beginning of Bach's Gratias agimus tibi of the Mass in B minor

Baroque composer Heinrich Schütz set Psalm 75 in German, "Aus unsers Herzen Grunde", for choir as part of his composition of the Becker Psalter, SWV 172.[10] Johann Sebastian Bach used the beginning of Psalm 75 for the opening movement of Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV 29, a cantata for the inauguration of a town council in Leipzig.[11] He used the music again for the movement Gratias agimus tibi of the Mass in B minor, expressing the same thought of thanks.[12]

Hymns based on Psalm 75 or specific verses include the popular "Now Thank We All Our God", Catherine Winkworth's translation of Rinkart's "Nun danket alle Gott".[13] The German hymn and its English version inspired several settings, including some by Bach.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parallel Latin/English Psalter / Psalmus 74 (75) medievalist.net
  2. ^ a b c Abramowitz, Jack (2019). "Half-Way There!". Orthodox Union. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  3. ^ Spurgeon, Charles (2019). "Psalm 75 Bible Commentary". Christianity.com. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Midrash Tehillim / Psalms 75" (PDF). matsati.com. October 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2019. (password: www.matsati.com)
  5. ^ "Tehillim – Psalms – Chapter 75". Chabad.org. 2019. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  6. ^ Nulman 1996, p. 26.
  7. ^ Brauner, Reuven (2013). "Shimush Pesukim: Comprehensive Index to Liturgical and Ceremonial Uses of Biblical Verses and Passages" (PDF) (2nd ed.). p. 41.
  8. ^ Tehillim, p. 1747.
  9. ^ "Repentance". Daily Tehillim. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  10. ^ Schütz, Heinrich / Der Beckersche Psalter SWV 97a-256a Bärenreiter
  11. ^ "Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir BWV 29; BC B 8 / Sacred cantata (Council election)". Bach Digital. 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  12. ^ Wolff, Christoph (2003). "Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV29" (PDF). Bach Cantatas Website. p. 25. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  13. ^ Hymns for Psalm 75 hymnary.org
  14. ^ "Chorale: Nun danket alle Gott – Text & Translation". www.bach-cantatas.com. Retrieved 4 February 2017.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]