7 For what lifts a man comes not from the east or the west or the wilderness;
KEE LO mi-mo-TZA u-mi-ma-a-RAV v’-LO mi-mid-BAR ha-REEM
ז כִּי לֹא מִמּוֹצָא וּמִמַּעֲרָב וְלֹא מִמִּדְבַּר הָרִים׃
75:7 For what lifts a man comes not from the east or the west
The psalmist addresses the wealthy, telling them that they should not think their riches result from their own doing. Rather, Hashem alone “brings down one man, He lifts up another” (verse 8). In this context, the psalmist tells the affluent not to look to the east or west for the source of their prosperity, and ends with the words v’lo mimidbar harim (ולא ממדבר הרים). Commentators struggle to understand this expression. One explanation places a comma between midbar, ‘wilderness,’ and harim, ‘mountains,’ using them as geographical poles, similar to east and west. Based on this interpretation the verse means ‘your wealth does not come from the east or west, nor does it come from the desert or the mountains.’ A second interpretation understands the word harim as a verb meaning ‘to lift up.’ According to this explanation, the verse means ‘not from east or west, nor from the desert will you be lifted up (i.e. become wealthy).’ Regardless of the precise interpretation of the phrase, its message is to recognize that Hashem is the one who provides bounty and wealth.