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My Commentary On Psalm 83

Psalm 83


This commentary is based on the 1984 edition of the New International Bible.  The chapter titles in this commentary are the same as the NIV Bible that makes for easier comparison.

To start, we note that this psalm is a psalm of Asaph.   Asaph was the father of the clan who were designated as singers and musicians at the Temple in Jerusalem. 


Verse 1 opens with the words "O God".  To me, this suggests right away that this psalm is a heart felt plea to God on behalf of the psalmist. 


Asaph pleaded with God not to be silent, not to be still in the face of His enemies.  In verse 2 Asaph points out that the enemies of God are rearing their heads.  We must understand that the enemies of God in this situation are in fact the enemies of Israel.


This plea reminds me of the saints who had been killed in the service of the Lord that is found in Revelation 6.  Those saints called out to God, asking when He would avenge their murderers, who were in fact the enemies of God.


In verse 3 we note that with cunning craftiness Israel's enemies were beginning, as they always had from time to time, conspired against Israel. 


In verse 4 the motivating factor that drives Israel's enemies was to "destroy Israel as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more".  Throughout human history that has been the driving force of many people and nations, and is to this very day.  That is the driving force behind Islamic extremists today.  The enemies of Israel will only be happy when there is no national Israel.  This is the reason why there is no peace between Israel and the Palestinians in my opinion. 


Verse 5 begins what many Bible prophecy teachers feel is very relevant for us today.  It states that "with one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you".  There are a couple of things to note here.  One is that there is more than one nation plotting against Israel.  They have formed an alliance.  The other thing to note in this verse is, "who is this alliance actually plotting against"?  The text states that they are plotting against "you". The pronoun "you" is in reference to God.  The enemies of Israel are actually the enemies of God, and, when they plot against Israel, they are in fact plotting against God.  This is what this chapter is all about.  It is something very important for Christians to understand, because this chapter paints a picture of an attack on Israel , but we need to understand this attack is not against Israel alone, but against the God of Israel. 


The words with "one mind" are important.  This attack that is spoken of here is well thought out, well devised, and it is a unanimous decision by those nations involved. 


In verses 6 through 8 there are a number of nations listed.  There are some minor  discrepancies between some Bible teachers to what these nations correspond to today.   That being said, all scholars are pretty well convinced that the ten nations spoken of here presently surround Israel.  They are, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and possibly 
.   I suggest the following concerning these nations.    Ammon , Edom  Moab, is present day Jordan.   Assyria would be Iraq.  Hagrites and Gebal would be Syria.  Tyre would be Lebanon, close to the border to Israel.  Philistia would be the West Bank.  Amalak would be eastern Egypt.


Many prophecy teachers have linked the battle spoken of here to the battle of Ezekiel 38 and 39, but that really can't be.  The main reason for this is that the nations in Psalm 83 don't match the nations that are listed in Ezekiel 38.


Some Bible teachers suggest that there are as many as nine battles that take place at the end of this age.  That might well be so. On the other hand, one battle might well lead into another  battle, making it hard to distinguish from one battle to the next.


From verse 6 to the end of the chapter Asaph pleads with God to totally destroy these attacking nations.  I will not comment on each of these verses, other than to note that the plea is for total destruction.


This chapter ends in verse 18 with what Asaph feels is the reason for God destroying these nations.  The reason is legitimate because God Himself states this throughout the Bible.  The final purpose of this battle, and really, all that God does, is to make known to the nations of the world that "Yahweh" is the Most High over all the world.  He is the only true God, and at the end of the book of Revelation, you will note that the whole world will know this to be true.          




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