Psalm 75 – “Pedagogic Lesson”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The psalmist asserts that God judges the wicked.

II. Photo
God has a glass of wine: “There is a cup in the Lord’s hand with foaming wine fully mixed; from this he pours; all the wicked of the earth drink, draining it to the very dregs.” (v. 9)

III. Select Verses    
(the entire psalm)
2: We praise You, O God; we praise You; Your presence is near; men tell of Your wondrous deeds.
3-4: “At the time I choose, I will give judgment equitably. Earth and all its inhabitants dissolve; it is I who keep its pillars firm.” Selah.
5-9: To wanton men I say, ‘Do not be wanton!’ to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns!’” Do not lift your horns up high in vainglorious bluster. For what lifts a man comes not from the east or the west or the wilderness; for God it is who gives judgment; He brings down one man, He lifts up another. There is a cup in the LORD’s hand with foaming wine fully mixed; from this He pours; all the wicked of the earth drink, draining it to the very dregs.
10-11: As for me, I will declare forever, I will sing a hymn to the God of Jacob. “All the horns of the wicked I will cut; but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.”

IV. Outline
1. Superscription
2. Invocation, praise
3-4. Oracle
5-9. Pedagogic lesson
10-11. Vow

V. Comment
Psalm 75, which contains a divine oracle in vv. 3-4, is a pedagogic lesson about the wicked. The psalmist’s lesson culminates with v. 9: “There is a cup in the Lord’s hand with foaming wine fully mixed; from this He pours; all the wicked of the earth drink, draining it to the very dregs.” While this particular verse may be enigmatic, the theme of God’s wrathful cup of wine is found elsewhere in the Bible:

  • Is. 51:17-23: Rouse, rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who from the LORD’s hand Have drunk the cup of His wrath, You who have drained to the dregs The bowl, the cup of reeling! … Therefore, Listen to this, unhappy one, Who are drunk, but not with wine! Thus said the LORD, your Lord, Your God who champions His people: Herewith I take from your hand The cup of reeling, The bowl, the cup of My wrath; You shall never drink it again. I will put it in the hands of your tormentors, Who have commanded you, “Get down, that we may walk over you” — So that you made your back like the ground, Like a street for passersby.
  • Jer. 25:15-29: For thus said the LORD, the God of Israel, to me: “Take from My hand this cup of wine — of wrath — and make all the nations to whom I send you drink of it. Let them drink and retch and act crazy, because of the sword that I am sending among them.” So I took the cup from the hand of the LORD and gave drink to all the nations to whom the LORD had sent me: Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, and its kings and officials, to make them a desolate ruin, an object of hissing and a curse — as is now the case; Pharaoh king of Egypt, his courtiers, his officials, and all his people; all the mixed peoples; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of the land of the Philistines — Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what is left of Ashdod; Edom, Moab, and Ammon;  all the kings of Tyre and all the kings of Sidon, and all the kings of the coastland across the sea; Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and all those who have their hair clipped; all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed peoples who live in the desert; all the kings of Zimri and all the kings of Elam and all the kings of Media; all the kings of the north, whether far from or close to each other — all the royal lands which are on the earth. And last of all, the king of Sheshach shall drink. Say to them: “Thus said the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: Drink and get drunk and vomit; fall and never rise again, because of the sword that I send among you.” And if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, say to them, “Thus said the LORD of Hosts: You must drink! If I am bringing the punishment first on the city that bears My name, do you expect to go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am summoning the sword against all the inhabitants of the earth — declares the LORD of Hosts.”
  • Ezek. 23:31 You walked in your sister’s path; therefore I will put her cup into your hand. Thus said the Lord GOD: You shall drink of your sister’s cup, So deep and wide; It shall cause derision and scorn, It holds so much. You shall be filled with drunkenness and woe. The cup of desolation and horror, The cup of your sister Samaria — You shall drink it and drain it, And gnaw its shards; And you shall tear your breasts. For I have spoken — declares the Lord GOD.  Assuredly, thus said the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, you in turn must suffer for your wanton whoring.
  • Psa. 60:5 You have made Your people suffer hardship; You have given us wine that makes us reel.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Gerstenberger, Erhard S. “Psalms Part 1 with an Introduction to Cultic Poetry” Forms of Old Testament Literature (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1988).
Tate, Marvin. “Psalms 51-100” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 20 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1990).
Photo copied from